Postnatal recovery takes longer than you think

Expectations that women bounce back six weeks after giving birth are wrong, says researcher

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Official stats suggesting women recover from labour after six weeks are unrealistic, according to Salford academic Dr Julie Wray.

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After studying two maternity wards in Salford and Trafford, Dr Julie suggests a year would be a more fitting timeframe for women to recover from the physical and emotional after effects of labour. Dubbing the six week recovery period a “fantasy”, Julie added that postnatal recovery can be a lonely and difficult time.

Staffing cuts and NHS changes mean women often feel they’re “left to get on with it” without any basic training in baby care, Dr Julie explained.

“The research shows that more realistic and woman-friendly potnatal services are needed,” she advised. “Women feel that it takes much longer than six weeks to recover and they should be supported beyond the current six to eight weeks after birth.”

Midwives from the wards echo Dr Julie’s thoughts, saying that paperwork demands frustrate them as it means less hands on time with new mums. Dr Julie is urging changes be made so women are supported beyond the six week mark.

How long did it take you to feel more-of-less back to normal after giving birth?

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