Postpartum Recovery Around the World


Although most people tend to focus on the changes that take place in a woman’s body while she is pregnant, some people don’t realize that there is also so much going on after delivery as well. The body is healing and getting back to normal, which is even truer if a new mother had to have a c-section, where they have to make sure that they are healing properly as well. Some may not understand all the things that a body goes through after childbirth. A couple of the main things that happen are that the uterus starts the process of shrinking back to its normal size and the rest of the organs return back to where they were before your were pregnant. You may also experience frequent urination and be unable to tell when you have to go.

The way women are treated throughout the world postpartum is different from country to country, from some women getting treated like they shouldn’t be exempt from anything to others being asked to lay around for many weeks after having a child. Here is a look at some country’s policies, to see how they differ from place to place. There is a stark contrast between how women are treated in America versus most of the rest of the world. Keep reading for information about some practices that take place around the globe.


In America, many moms are expected to go home within a day or two of having their child. While the baby may be tended to at the hospital, mom is not provided with a lot of information while she’s there, and there is virtually no help at home. For example, moms are likely to have to go home and cook and clean, as well as visit with everyone that comes over to see their new child. This is a lot to ask of a mother, especially since she has just been through the process of having birth and may not be feeling herself. Additionally, she will also have to feed her baby throughout the night and take care of other chores around the house, so she may not be getting the proper sleep or diet she needs to function properly, which can seriously lengthen the amount of time it takes to heal properly. Most American women are directed to go to the doctor around 6 weeks after they give birth to see how their body is healing and if everything is getting back to normal. However, so many things can happen to a woman in that amount of time.


In China, it is considered very important for the mom to be on bed rest for 30 days after she has a child. She generally asks her mother in law to help take care of the baby during this time, or visits a special hospital that takes care of all of the child’s needs. Moms also adhere to strict diets and are generally kept away from their husbands, since they are asked to abstain from a wide variety of activities.


In Japan, moms are to relax for three weeks. As a whole, a mom will move in with her parents during this time and stay in bed as much as she can. She also will take the opportunity to bond with her baby and spend some quiet time where she just takes it easy while her body recovers. This leads to healthier and happier moms.


In India, moms rest anywhere from 1 to 2 months, depending on the specific customs in the part of the country they live in. They also bathe in a certain way and have daily massages, so they can get their bodies and minds back to normal. Again, this is a great way for moms to relax and stay stress free, at a time when their bodies are doing a lot of work to heal.


In Mexico, some moms take advantage of a cultural quarantine, which usually lasts for 40 days. During this time, they don’t have to cook, do any chores, or take care of babies or other children. They also have a list of things they can’t do, like wash their hair and eat spicy dishes. While they are being quarantined, they often take the time to bond with their children and relax their bodies, so they heal faster. Most people that practice this custom think that it leads to them having better health later in life.

General Differences

As mentioned previously, American women are not necessarily given the tools they need to take care of their body or baby when they leave the hospital. They will likely have to look to others or take special classes to learn everything they need to know. Some American women even report that they often search the internet for all the information they need to get back into shape and for all the little problems that they may encounter along the way.

On the flip side, all the rest of the countries discussed, including many of the countries on the map offer mom a chance to not only relax and get better, but they also teach them valuable things that they need to know during this time. Some of these things include how to breast feed, how to treat diaper rash, and even what to do when baby needs a bath. In other words, valuable things are addressed, so mom can feel more confident when she has to do these things for her child. It can also help her feel like she isn’t alone, since she was given guidance and understands how to do some of the most important things a mom needs to do for her child. Remember that babies don’t come with a manual, so you need all the help you can get.

It is thought that some of these practices found around the world were also observed in America until around the 1800s, when people stopped living in tents and nomadic housing and started secluding themselves into houses and apartments. After that time, there were those that wanted to own property, instead of taking care of their neighbors and friends. During these early days, women would stay together in tents for weeks after pregnancy, and everyone would chip in to make sure that all children and households were taken care of and that everyone stayed healthy.

It is important that a mom has a lot of time to decompress and relax after she has a child, no matter what country she lives in, so if you know someone that needs help, you may want to bring over some food, offer to babysit, or even volunteer to do some things around her house. While all mothers may not take you up on these offers, there’s no reason not to try. After all, they may be able to return the favor whenever you have a child, and you may even gain a lifelong friend. Besides that, it is the right thing to do when you know someone needs some help. You would do the same thing if they had major surgery, which is what childbirth essentially is.

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