This new study reveals exactly how much time a new mom’s post-birth body needs to recover
Growing a human inside of you for nine months and then giving birth is no joke. Yet for some reason, many employers in the U.S. only give new mothers six weeks to recover. That’s why a newly-released study is so important — since it shows that moms need a full year to recover, contrary to popular belief.
To anyone who has had a baby or has been around after a baby is born, this isn’t at all surprising. But it’s certainly nice to know science has caught up with what moms have known forever.
Dr. Julie Wray, a researcher at Salford University in England, interviewed women at different stages of post-partum life. She found that the standard six-week recovery period is a complete “fantasy,” according to The Daily Mail.
Some women may feel pressured by their jobs to go back to work quickly, or they may even be putting pressure on themselves.
But it’s important for all women to give themselves plenty of time to physically and mentally recuperate.
Wray found that recovery starts in the hospital. Women used to spend more time in the maternity ward learning how to take care of their newborn babies and getting the hang of breastfeeding. They stayed in the hospital until they were ready to leave. Wray has discovered that, now, some women are being discharged after just six hours and expected to just know how to do everything.
"The research shows that more realistic and woman-friendly postnatal services are needed," Wray concluded. "Women feel that it takes much longer than six weeks to recover and they should be supported beyond the current six to eight weeks after birth."
Taking into account health department budgets, however, it’s not that simple: “Government funding cuts and a national shortage of midwives means that postnatal services will only face further challenges,” she added.
Recovery after childbirth is, of course, different for everyone. But the general consensus is that allowing the body and mind to heal for a full year is much better than simply a month or two.
We totally get that people have to go back to work. But it’s important to remember that your body is healing the way it needs to, and not to add any unneeded pressure on yourself to make it happen faster.
Bodies go through such intense changes during pregnancy, allowing yourself the time you need to recover is truly the healthiest situation for both you and your baby.