What Not To Do After Giving Birth: The Ultimate Guide for 2023

You’re pregnant with your first baby and wondering all sorts of things about what it’ll be like when you give birth. But did you know there’s a lot you need to know about what not to do after giving birth?

post partum tips

Affiliate links may be used in this post and if so I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you when purchasing from my site. I’m also part of the Amazon Affiliate (Associate) program where I earn a commission from sales made through my affiliate links. Find my full disclosure policy

Some you’ll hear from your doctor, and some you’ll find on your own when talking to girlfriends. Just think of this article as a good girlfriend giving you a heads-up about what it could look like after giving birth.

You may have heard not to lift anything heavy and not to have sex for 6 weeks but did you also know that you shouldn’t put anything else in your vagina, like a tampon?

It doesn’t have to be a scary and overwhelming time right after having your baby if you know what to expect, so let’s jump in and learn together.

what not to do after giving birth

What not to do after giving birth

All information provided on the site is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you’re seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. MomtoLittles.com, and its owner, are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on your site. This site is for informational purposes only and not meant to replace your medical professionals.

  1. Don’t put anything into your vagina

You’re likely going to hear this from your doctor and friends. And that’s because it’s extremely important advice.

While not everyone has the same birth experience, nor will they have the same possible trauma’s to the vagina, this is a general rule of thumb to women after giving birth. You’ll want to avoid sex and tampons until your 6 week post partum checkup with your doctor.

Your vagina has gone through a lot and your uterus is still recovering from birth as well. Anything that could introduce infection into your body should be avoided while you’re healing and that includes sex and tampons.

You can bleed up to 6 weeks after giving birth to your baby, so you will need to use pads, not tampons, during this time. Of course, should you have any questions about this you’ll want to approach your doctor with your questions.

During birth you can tear, or be cut so that it’s more controlled than a natural tear, and with stitches you’ll also want to be careful about what goes into your vagina and when.

The safe bet is this, don’t introduce anything into your vagina until you get the go-ahead from your doctor.


2. Don’t ignore any pain

Most mothers are going to experience pain after birth. Your body has just gone through quite the experience, as has your vagina – or your belly, if you had a c-section.

Having said that, there are signs of “natural” pain and symptoms of pain you should bring up to your doctor.

You may experience the following after giving birth:

  • cramping from your uterus shrinking back to size
  • pain where your stitches are
  • pain where your vagina meets your anus
  • breast pain from becoming engorged

Types of pain that would suggest you need to call your doctor:

  • pain with a fever over 100.4 degrees
  • heavy bleeding that soaks a couple pad per hour
  • pain when urinating and when/if it gets worse over time
  • severe headache that doesn’t go away and affects your vision
  • chest pain and/or difficulty breathing
  • pain and swelling in legs

Bottom line is this, whether this is your first child or not, if you have any pain listed above, or pain not listed that you’re concerned about, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Don’t ignore lingering or unusual pain.


3. Don’t lift anything heavier than your baby

Whether you’ve had a c-section or vaginal birth, you’ll want to be very careful about what you’re lifting. A good rule of thumb is nothing heavier than your baby should you be lifting.

Leave the heavy lifting to your partner. 

If you do lift something heavy, you may rip the stitches. You can also increase your bleeding, increase pain levels, and so on – just by doing too much or lifting heavy items.


4. Don’t overdo it

This goes along the same vein as not lifting anything heavier than your baby.

You’ll want to focus on healing your body and taking care of your baby and not much more than that.

Make time for basic self care:

  1. sleep
  2. rest
  3. drinking plenty of water
  4. taking care of your vagina or c-section wound
  5. very gentle and short times out in the fresh air

But don’t overdo any activity. 

The first couple to three months after having a baby needs to be as much of mommy in bed with baby, resting, nursing, and taking gentle care of yourself and the newborn.

As much as possible, don’t overdo it. 


5. Don’t feel ashamed of sad or hard emotions after having baby

What’s commonly referred to as the baby blues affects upwards of 80% of women who have had a baby. It is normal to have a wide range of emotions after giving birth to baby.

You may experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, and stress after having a baby.

According to Healthline, if you are experiencing these feelings past two weeks you need to be evaluated for post-partum depression.

Reaching out to your doctor is vital if you’re experiencing post-partum depression symptoms. 

  • crying
  • anger
  • disconnected from baby
  • withdrawn from family and friends
  • not enjoying things you used to enjoy
  • fear you will hurt your baby

If you experience any of the above, reach out to your doctor. 

Post partum depression affects 1 in 5 women, so please don’t feel ashamed if you feel anything that could be considered depression. Your doctor will be able to help get you feeling better.


6. Don’t forget to take birth control

Did you know you can get pregnant as quickly as 6-8 weeks after giving birth?

If you don’t want to get pregnant again quickly, it’s important to continue with your birth control methods. You’ll want to speak to your doctor about birth control methods, especially if you are breastfeeding.

And although breastfeeding may possibly keep you from getting pregnant, it isn’t fool proof. Condoms are always an option if you aren’t able to take other birth control options while breastfeeding.


7. Don’t take on everything on your own

A big piece of advice for what not to do after giving birth would be not doing it all on your own.

If you have help offered to you, accept it. 

It’s not always easy and many new mothers want to huddle up and do it all themselves. However, it can stress your body and emotions more than it’s worth.

If you have friends and family willing to cook meals, stop by and fold laundry, grocery shop for you, or even hold the baby while you nap – take it.


8. Don’t worry about losing weight

You may want to get into your pre-pregnancy jeans but it’s advisable not to restrict calories, especially if you’re breastfeeding. Even if not breastfeeding, your body has gone through a lot and you need to feed it well while recovering.

Get plenty of water, eat protein rich food, and take in enough calories.

Give yourself time to get to your pre-pregnancy weight. You shouldn’t carry the weight of losing the weight on your shoulders while you’re adjusting to motherhood and taking care of a newborn.


9. Don’t stress out about breastfeeding 

Many women go into their pregnancy’s expecting they’ll breastfeed, then the baby arrives and they question the decision.

You often hear it is the natural way to feed your baby, it is great for bonding, and saves money. While these can be true, breastfeeding is often not easy, sometimes doesn’t come naturally to mama or baby, and can be an added source of stress.

Make the most of your breastfeeding experience

  • consult with a lactation consultant
  • get enough water and food daily
  • feed the baby on both breasts
  • feed when the baby is hungry

If you are experiencing supply issues, pain or discomfort, latching issues or the like, it’s important to speak to your doctor about it. It’s amazing how much help professionals can be in guiding you through the process.

If you need to supplement your feedings with formula, check out these bottles that will be less confusing to the baby when feeding.

Want more breastfeeding tips for beginners? I wrote an article all about tips your mama didn’t tell you in order to help you get the most out of your breastfeeding journey.


Don’t do these 9 things but do these instead

So now that you know some of the things you shouldn’t be doing after giving birth, let’s wrap up with what you should be doing.

  • bonding with baby
  • sleeping as much as possible
  • resting
  • feeding baby and getting to know your little one
  • let others help you in whatever ways work best for you

Having a baby, whether via C-section or vaginal, is a very big deal to the body – treat it as such. Put an emphasis on recovering, healing, and resting as much as possible.

And, enjoy bonding with your baby.

Welcome to motherhood!

Related reading: how many burp cloths do I need?

Pin for later reading

post partum recovery

XOXO, Nell

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content