It takes a year to recover from childbirth, says study

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How long does it really take to "bounce back"? Probably longer than what your health professional is saying, according to this research

Most health professionals would say that it takes about six weeks for a woman to recover from the trauma of childbirth, but according to a study, it actually takes most women much longer, reports The Daily Mail.

Dr. Julie Wray of Salford University interviewed women 2-3 weeks, 3 months, and 6-7 months after giving birth to get some insight into how women recover. The women found the 6-week recovery timeframe to be “fantasy”—a year was more realistic. Women also reported being disappointed by the lack of postnatal care after 6 weeks.

“Women feel that it takes much longer than six weeks to recover”

postpartum recovery

Photo: Dreamstime

“The research shows that more realistic and woman-friendly postnatal services are needed. 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,” Dr. Wray said in a media release.

One year might even be a conservative figure. According to The Huffington Post, health complications like abdominal separation, adhesions, post-stitches pain, or pelvic floor dysfunction can occur even more than two years after giving birth. 

Physical recovery aside, women also need emotional and psychological help to transition to motherhood. This is made even more difficult if the mother was working before giving birth. Seeing unrealistic portrayals of motherhood in the media doesn’t help, either.

“I wouldn’t say it would be enough to trigger post-natal depression, but if you were already vulnerable to poor body image or to depression or anxiety it could definitely have a detrimental effect,” psychologist Jo Lamble told Daily Mail Australia about these celebrity mothers on social media.

“They could be seen as minor problems, but they are not minor for new moms”

postpartum recovery

Photo: Pexels

According to Sue MacDonald of the Royal College of Midwives, new mothers are not able to get as much access to care as they would want to. They tend to put up with discomfort because they are given the impression that it is normal.

“’Women do suffer ill-health, which involves back ache and feeling tired. They could be seen as minor problems, but they are not minor for new moms,” MacDonald told The Daily Mail.

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