Growing a baby in one’s belly is a wonderful experience, but it’s also challenging for the body. Books and doctors can tell new mothers that they will be back to normal within six weeks of delivery, but a new study has shown that most women take a lot longer to recover after giving birth .
Julie Wray, a researcher at the University of Salford, England, interviewed women at different stages of postpartum life. She found that the standard six-week recovery period is a “complete fantasy,” and that it can take up to a year to recover from childbirth.
It’s not just physical recovery that’s needed, there’s also mental recovery. Many feel the pressure to get back on their feet soon after giving birth and think that it may be necessary to return to work as early as six weeks.
Wray found that recovery should begin at the hospital. At the time, women spent more time at the maternity ward learning how to take care of their babies and getting advice on breastfeeding. Now, some women are released as early as six hours after delivery and have to cope, according to Wray’s research.
“Research shows that more realistic and women-friendly postnatal services are needed,” concluded Wray. “Women think that it takes a lot more than six weeks to recover and that they should be supported beyond six to eight weeks after birth. “