Safely returning to activity after your baby. Stage 1
Going home from hospital with your newborn for the first time is one of the most
exciting and wonderful times in life. It can also overwhelming with a host of new
skills to learn whilst your body is fatigued and physically recovering.
Don’t worry…you are not alone in all of these mixed emotions and challenges.
In the early days and weeks, simply caring for yourself and your baby can add
significant strain to your body. One of the most important things when first
heading home is to take some rest time for yourself. This might mean having an
afternoon kip whist baby is asleep or it may be simply lying down with bub and
unloading the pelvic floor and spine for 20 mins a few times each day.
Remaining on your feet all day and racing about at every opportunity will bring more
fatigue, upset, physical discomfort and slow the recovery of your core muscles.
Restore the body by beginning with a gentle ten minute walk in the first week if
comfortable. This will encourage circulation and good nutrition to the spine,
restore movement to stiff joints, improve mental wellbeing and benefit baby
whilst exploring the surroundings. Your abdominal wall and pelvic floor will
benefit from someone else pushing the stroller initially to reduce load. Walking
in the mornings may be easier as your pelvic floor and abdominal wall recover,
and it leaves the afternoon free for other necessary household tasks. A walking
program can be gradually increased within your comfort levels. Listen to your
body…you know it best.
Allow recovery for the first six weeks. Simply returning to daily tasks, looking
after baby, resting and gentle walking is more than enough to achieve!