The Importance of Rest and Recuperation After Home Birth
Following the birth of your baby, you will feel a surge of energy. This is largely due to your hormones. One of the best things about a home birth is how great mothers feel after the birth, but this does not mean you should get up and play hostess to those in your home!
It is vital to get plenty of rest after giving birth. For the seven days immediately following the birth you should be in bed 23 hours out of the day. You don’t have to sleep that whole time—clearly that’s not possible with an infant—but you should be resting and allowing your body to heal. Your uterus needs rest to contract and heal from the detachment of the placenta. Imagine a placenta sized wound inside of you—that’s what your uterus is recovering from! Your back and belly muscles also need rest to contract back to their pre-pregnancy function. Your midwife will give you exercises to do while reclining that will help strengthen these muscles.
After birth it’s normal to have soreness from the exertion of labor or different positions you labored in. Your perineum will also be sore, especially if you need stitches. Your midwife will suggest different herbs and sits baths that will help your perineum recover. Uterine cramping will also be a normal part of recovery. The cramping will increase when breastfeeding, but it’s all healthy and necessary.
Just remember that you will be physically exhausted in the weeks to come! Your family friends are there to help.
Boston Women’s Health Collective. (2008). Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy and Birth. Simon & Schuster.