University study finds new moms need year of recovery after giving birth

Any new mom knows how great a toll childbirth has on her body. After nine months of growing another human being inside her ever-expanding body, snapping back to pre-pregnancy form is not quick and it certainly isn't easy.

Sure, we see the airbrushed celeb moms on the covers of magazines looking better than ever just weeks after popping out their bundles of joy, but the notion of new moms being able to magically look like they've never been pregnant so quickly is more of a fantasy than what the majority of new mothers actually experience.

To debate the notion that new moms will be "back to normal" within six weeks post-delivery, Salford University's Dr. Julie Wray interviewed new moms to find out what they had experienced post-pregnancy – at two to three weeks past birth and later at three, and six to seven months after they gave birth. Her study found that new moms realistically need a full year to recuperate. "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."

Aside from the physical requirements to get their bodies back in shape and the recovery from any pregnancy-related pains or changes, moms are exhausted – from the birth itself, the sleepless nights, the unforeseen and expected challenges, and the dramatic change in their lifestyles.

Along with the physical, new moms can be stressed, are burdened by the pressure to excel in every area of motherhood, and some even experience post-partum blues or depression, with mood swings, anxiety, sadness, sleep disturbance, and a range of other symptoms.

Most new moms would agree that six weeks is not nearly enough time to recover after giving birth and surely welcome the findings of Wray's interviews. That said, most new moms do want to "get their body back" in a reasonable amount of time after they've had their child. For safe and attainable tips to do just that, WebMD has reliable information for moms seeking their "pre-baby bodies," from when to begin the process to workout tips that work, and more.

One full year may sound long, but for any new mom raising a newborn, the time miraculously flies. After nine months of pregnancy, mothers deserve at least a year to recover!

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