In part 1 of our pregnancy series we discussed what you can expect immediately following birth. If you missed the article you can find it here: What To Expect Straight After Birth – Pregnancy Series: Part 1
The first six weeks at home Following Vaginal Delivery:
While this is a very exciting time for you and your family, ensure you look after yourself well for this first six weeks!
Women who give birth vaginally and had damage to their perineum are recommended to continue their perineal care during this time. Being aware of the signs of infection is also important, as risk of infection along the perineum is possible after damage. This may include fever, nausea, a change of odor in the area, or a change in colour of discharge from the wound.
Exercising in this initial 6 weeks is recommended to remain very gentle and light. Recent media releases have shown some women jogging or performing high intensity exercise just days or weeks after delivery, which is not recommended by Women’s Health Professionals.
Walking 15-30minutes per day, gentle abdominal exercises and stretching are your best options for the first 6 weeks. (Check out Pregnancy Series: Part 4 for great exercise ideas and options to do at home, and with your baby!) Begin with a gentle 10minute walk along flat ground when you feel comfortable and slowly progress to longer walks or up hills. Consider how difficult your walk is while pushing your baby in the pram as walking uphill with a pram can be challenging after delivery. If you feel great within your body and wish to begin heavier or more intense exercise, book an appointment with a Physiotherapist, to have a full screen of your body and for professional recommendations of exercise options specifically for you.
For more information about your birthing experience, or for further treatment following birth, consult your Obstretrician or Women’s Health Physiotherapist.
Stay tuned for the next blog in this series: The Best Recovery Tips Following A Cesarean Delivery
By Rhiannon Mouritz
Physiotherapist @ Happy Physio