Rest and Activities

Rest is essential for all new moms. The physical demands of labor, birth and caring for your newborn, plus the emotional demands that a new baby places on your family, are exhausting. Get plenty of rest. Nap when the baby naps.

  • Limit the time you spend sitting each day. Lying down or standing up provides comfort and helps you heal. If weather permits, take walks outside every day. Start slow and gradually increase your distance.
  • Take care of yourself and your baby. You can do light housework if you feel like it. Let friends and relatives help with meals, vacuuming, laundry and heavy cleaning.
  • Do not lift anything heavier than your baby for two weeks after a vaginal delivery or six weeks after a cesarean section. You should not resume strenuous exercises until four to six weeks after your baby is born.
  • You can safely return to driving a car when you can comfortably press on the brake. Generally, this is one to two weeks after delivery. Be sure to test your braking strength before you drive.