The 5/5/5 Rule
Postpartum is hard enough, but parents I'm here to tell you we make it harder on ourselves by continuing to keep up with social appearances and letting visitors come and go as they please without serving us in this time of bonding and recovery. I say this with love, STOP IT! Here is how, it's called the 5/5/5 rule and it is a well kept secret but we are blowing its cover.
5 days in bed
You read those 4 words (well 3 and a number) and probably already think I'm crazy, but keep reading! Spend 5 days in your bed snuggled up and working on breast/chest feeding if that is how you have chosen to feed your babe. This time should also be spent resting/napping when baby sleeps. While one of you is obviously recovering from childbirth, the other should be taking care of you by bringing you food in bed and taking baby when you need some extra zzzz's or to take a sitz bath or enjoy a shower. You will undoubtedly have to head off to an appointment during this time, but don't take that as an opportunity to run errands. Go to the appointment, come back and rest. You may find your bleeding picks up after this little outing, take that cue from your body and enjoy a soak in the tub. *I would also like to note that avoiding stairs during this time is solid advice. You will hear midwives and some doulas break it down like this: you just birthed a baby and a placenta. Did you see how big your placenta was? That is the size of the wound on the inside of your body that needs to heal (roughly the size of a dinner plate). There is the visual to help you take your recovery a little more seriously.
5 days on the bed
Sensing a theme here? You get a little more freedom these next 5 days but you are encouraged to continue taking things easy. You can sit on the bed now *wink.* Your partner should still be bringing you your meals/snacks/drinks in bed. Baby should be close and you should continue to work on perfecting your breast/chest feeding relationship and bonding with baby. If you feel so inclined to do so, you may fold some laundry while on your bed, but only if you really want to. I encourage you to let it pile up, or enlist your partner or visitors to help with laundry. *Continue to avoid stairs.