What NOT to do Postpartum: A Physical Therapist's Advice

After baby, it's easy and common to fall into focusing solely on baby while giving little thought to your own recovery. While it may be a common thing moms tend to do, it's so important to be mindful about your own recovery. Many of my posts focus on how to optimize recovery and everything you should do. But I thought a post about some things to simply avoid or limit might also be helpful. Read more to learn what NOT to do postpartum.


Do NOT Ignore These Signs

The following are red flags that should not be ignored under any circumstances. At the very least, call your doctor if you are experiencing any of these. However, it may be more appropriate to head straight to the emergency room.

  • Bleeding that soaks a pad every hour
  • Passing clots larger than a quarter
  • Foul smelling odor from the vagina
  • Fever over 100.4 degrees
  • Terrible Pain
  • Swelling, redness, discharge from your incision or episiotomy site
  • Difficulty urinating even with deep breathing, dark, cloudy urine
  • Any vision issues
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain, warmth, tenderness in your legs
  • Frequent nausea/ vomiting
  • Lightheadedness/ dizziness
  • Any trouble breathing

What NOT to do Postpartum

None of these things are meant to be forever. However, these are things that I would recommend NOT doing immediately postpartum. And I recommend these not only as a pelvic floor physical therapist who works with many postpartum patients but also as a fellow mom and friend of many postpartum women. At the very least, try to avoid these things for the first few weeks postpartum. If you're not sure how to modify your life to avoid these things, please reach out to your healthcare provider. To learn about things to avoid specifically for your pelvic floor, check out this post.

  1. Over- Do It
    1. Trying to do it all
    2. Not asking for help
  2. Ignore Pain
  3. Hide that you are Struggling
  4. Neglect Nutrition
  5. Smoke or Misuse Drugs
  6. Rely Solely on Google
  7. Take a Bath or go Swimming
  8. Have Sex before your Check-Up
  9. Hold your pee for long periods of time
  10. Strain to pee or poop
    1. Or hold your breath
  11. Do not diet
    1. but do eat nourishing foods (preferably cooked by someone else!)
  12. Lifting heavy weights or items
  13. Underestimate the importance of sleep
    1. Nap when baby naps? At least try or take the time to do something that will fill you up instead of drain your energy
  14. Compare yourself to others on social media
  15. Be afraid to ask for help
  16. Forget to drink water
  17. Avoid exercise altogether

I hope this list of things to avoid helps you take care of yourself so that you have the best possible postpartum recovery!

Check out these previous posts to help optimize your postpartum recovery:

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