The 6-Week recovery Rule
I read an article a little while back that really resonated with me and has stuck in my mind, it talked about some research that has just been released on the healing period of a postpartum mother. This research has concluded that it takes a full year to heal from giving birth, not just physically but also mentally. I could not agree more but this got me thinking, why is it that we feel we need to get back to our pre pregnancy bodies so quickly? Why is the 6 week mark the ‘normal’ end of the healing period?
It takes on average 40 weeks to grow a baby, that’s approximately 280 days! Yes, 280 days. That’s a lot of hard work going on inside, there’s no holidays, breaks, sick days, just constant baby baking, 24 hours-7 days a week for 40 weeks.
It baffles me to think that after all that time, we are meant to be ‘back to normal’ after a mere 6 weeks. Heck, I think 6 weeks was the pinnacle of my sleep deprivation meltdown!
Where did this ‘6-week rule’ come from? Is it all the famous Instagram mummies that only post the highlight reel?
Is it the celeb mummies that seem to magically look exactly as they were before baby?
Who knows, maybe it’s our own pressures of wanting to get back to our pre baby selves to start to feel normal again or maybe dropping a few pounds to escape the ‘she has let herself go’ stigma.
Whatever it is, it needs to stop. There is already an enormous pressure that everyone places on new mums to have it all together and having it all together in 6 weeks is an absolute joke.
Let’s embrace the fact it can take a year to heal (at least) and be kinder to ourselves, as we are all doing the very best we can. Listen to our bodies, if you don’t feel ready to hit the gym, then don’t, move your body in other ways that your more comfortable with and enjoy, maybe it’s a stroll with the pram, a swim or gentle stretching.
If it’s 6 months down the track and you feel you aren’t emotionally coping but feel embarrassed it’s so been so long since you gave birth, don’t, find someone to talk to. Looking after our mental health is equally important as our physical, it’s okay to seek help, even if it is years down the track.
I guess the point of this article was to highlight the fact it does take longer to heal from pregnancy as well as childbirth and to celebrate the fact that this acknowledgment is becoming more mainstream.
Being gentle with ourselves as new mums is sometimes a struggle and letting go of expectations can definitely be a challenge but giving ourselves time to adjust and heal is key.