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Are You Familiar With the 5-5-5 Rule for Postpartum Health?

by Lucy
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When it comes to pregnancy, there are still a lot of unanswered questions about what to prepare for after giving birth. As everyone’s experience is unique, there is a lot of consistency between postpartum health concerns. So we have put together a full explanation of what the 5-5-5 rule is and how it can be a savior during such a huge life and health transition.

Bringing life into the world is a beautiful thing but it is also demanding on your overall health. They do say it takes a village to raise a baby but not everyone has access to that kind of support so this little one is counting on you for their every need while you are trying to heal.

Knowing the 5-5-5 rule might be the answer to your postpartum health issues so without further ado, let’s get into it.

mom sipping from mug while holding baby | oksanashufrych via Canva.com
Photo credit: oksanashufrych via Canva.com

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What is the 5-5-5 Rule for Postpartum Health?

This rule accounts for over fifteen days of a mother’s postpartum journey. This time should be dedicated to resting and healing when and if you can find those moments. The 5-5-5 rule is a postpartum care plan that involves five days in bed, five days on the bed and five days near the bed. Simply put, it’s a resting rule that gives your body the chance to regain all its energy and build a healthy mental relationship with what life is like now.

As bringing life can be a long and demanding experience, in some cases mothers don’t have a chance to rest again, but if you are lucky enough to have a partner who is off work to support you, then you’d have a greater chance of fulfilling the 5-5-5 rule.

This rule has recently gone viral on the social media platform Tiktok, where a new mother, Oriana Barger, explains why postpartum rest is not only necessary but also encouraged by doctors, especially those who have gone through a rough natural birth or had some sort of surgery. Anyone who has been exposed to surgery is told by health professionals to rest so the same should be true for mothers.

Barger goes on to say in her video, “It’s incredibly important to take a break after you have your baby. Remember that the uterus really creates a lot of pressure in that abdomen, and then all of a sudden a lot of that weight is gone and with it the pressure … You are left with a wound the size of a dinner plate, and your uterus is healing. Your body is healing and just like that, it goes through other medical and physical treatments, and it is going to take time to heal.”

The 5-5-5 Postpartum Health Rule Explained

As you begin the rule of five days in bed where you absolutely do not do anything, it is just you and the baby spending some quality time together, which also allows you to rest. Here, you would need some help from family, your partner and friends for things like changing the diaper, getting some food for you, or helping you to the toilet. All the little things that you might feel bad asking for, don’t; you’ve gone through a lot and deserve to be waited on for five days.

The next five days are you on the bed, this is you slowly adjusting back to normality so you might be sitting upright, changing the baby’s diapers and going to the toilet without help. This helps build your energy back up and slowly adjust to your routine.

The last five days are you near the bed; this might consist of you still chilling but maybe walking around the room more and getting used to moving your body around and spending some quality time with your newborn without overworking yourself so early on. We wouldn’t recommend standing for long periods or over 30 minutes and slowly building your energy back up.

The 5-5-5 rule is a perfect way to ease yourself into a routine and join motherhood with the right mindset. You need time for your body to heal and there is no harm in taking those two weeks for yourself and your newborn. It might be difficult for single mothers to participate in this rule. You could try to stay with a family member or friend who is willing to support you during this period or, in some cases, hire help.

How To Practice the 5-5-5 Postpartum Rule

Mothers who have completed and shared their experience with this rule have said it requires a lot of self-reflection and self-discipline. Women of our generation or those raised to be the doers and helpers to the point we find ourselves overstretching. We don’t treat ourselves with the same grace as we give others; therefore, taking this time and depending on someone else to do the helping can be daunting, scary and just uncomfortable.

Not only that, you might be feeling riddled with guilt, feeling like you shouldn’t be allowed to be doing all this resting but that’s completely not the case and as a mother who has gone through this unique experience, you need to allow your body and mental health to heal so you can raise your child from a good start.

It might be hard and you might feel yourself going crazy. When you think about it, after 10 of those days in and on your bed, you will be dying to get out and about but then you might be causing further strain on your body if you push it too much. When you think of the grand scheme of things, it’s not that much time to set aside for you and your newborn to get familiar with and adjust to your new life.

Final Thoughts

The first two weeks of your postpartum period should be all about resting and giving yourself the chance to heal. All in all, the healing process can take up to six weeks; therefore, dedicating 15 of those days is a mere blink and the minimum you should be doing. This is all based on how you feel as well. Who knows? You might have a fast recovery but in most cases, the 5-5-5 rule is a good starting point.

After this well-deserved time off, health professionals such as Space Dental recommend visiting your dentist as soon as possible after giving birth to ensure that pregnancy hasn’t taken a hit on your oral health. You could also hit two birds with one stone, as it’s important to bring in your newborn anytime before their first birthday for a check-up even if they haven’t gotten their teeth yet. It’s a good way to get peace of mind and professional health recommendations. If you don’t have dental insurance, you may want to consider a Dental Discount Plan to get the care you need.

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