Question about post-partum period

Specialties Ob/Gyn


A couple of recent threads in the nursing student forum have brought me to this question: is it still common practice for OBs to advise new moms to avoid physically demanding activity until the 6-wk. checkup?

I'm asking because I always understood this to be standard wisdom, i.e. most employers with decent sick leave policies don't expect new moms to be back at work until after the 6-wk. check. This was my employer's policy when I had my daughter, and she's 10, so it wasn't quite the Dark Ages when she was born. :chuckle This has also been the experience of many of my friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.

My school's policies state that students are not permitted in clinicals until after the 6-wk. exam. But in a couple of recent threads I'm reading of students who are planning to return to clinicals immediately, and suggesting that policies such as my school's are potentially discriminatory.

I'm not debating the should/should not of people's individual circumstances. Sometimes life comes down to, ya gotta do what ya gotta do. For myself, I unfortunately had the episiotomy from hell, and it was probably 3 weeks before I could do much of anything without pain. It would absolutely not have been possible for me to do anything as physically demanding as nursing. But for every story like mine, there is also a story of another mom who felt great shortly after delivery, or had minimal discomfort.

I'm just curious: what is the current practice, what is the current thinking on this topic.

Thanks for your insight. :)


669 Posts

The usual policy now is "as tolerated". No sex for a minimum of 3 weeks (some people fudge that, though and go earlier). And pull back on the amount of physical activity if blood in the lochia increases. The more rigid restrictions are the abdominal activities (the abd muscles are still weak until around 4-6 weeks) and heavy lifting (the pelvic floor is still weak and could still give until 4-6 weeks). So, basically, any activity mom can tolerate and doesn't require anything resembling bearing down or iso-ab work (lifting, crunches, etc...) is ok.

I went back to clinicals 1 week after lap-abd surgery in 2003 and then this past January I started clinicals 2 1/2 weeks after my daughter was born. If I could have, I would have taken 6 weeks! :p


74 Posts

I had my son during nursing school and returned to clinics 1 week postpartum as well. In fact, they let me go home during lunch to breastfeed.

This topic is now closed to further replies.

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X