Ivanka Trump is making headlines for stumping for her father on the campaign trail just a week after giving birth to her third child. Trump, 35, appeared at a political rally in Long Island on Wednesday to introduce GOP front-runner Donald Trump during a campaign stop. Ivanka acknowledged that it was hard to leave her newborn son Theodore at home so that she could be at the event, but said she was motivated to do so because the presidential election is “more important now than ever.”
Reactions to Ivanka’s public appearance have been mixed. Some applauded her move, saying she looked “radiant,” while others question whether it was even safe for her to be out so soon after giving birth.
“She needs to stay home,” one commenter wrote. “Who leaves their baby for a formal occasion a week after giving birth?” another said. “Pretty crazy if you ask me.”
But experts say there’s nothing wrong with going out so soon after having a baby-provided you’re smart about it.
“Many doctors will tell women that they can leave the house as soon as they feel well enough to do so,” women’s health expert Jennifer Wider, M.D., tells SELF. “Getting out can be healthy for moms, especially if there is a history of postpartum depression.”
Melissa Goist, M.D., an ob/gyn at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center, echoes the sentiment. “For a mother who has had a vaginal delivery without any complications, there is no reason she can’t be out of her house, at the store, or in public,” she tells SELF.
But doctors don’t exactly recommend that you throw yourself into your full pre-baby activities at this point. “Most women take about six weeks to completely heal after having a vaginal delivery,” Goist says. “This includes any vaginal tearing and the uterus shrinking back to a normal size.” With that in mind, she says doctors typically recommend taking it easy during this time. Activities such as walking, standing, pushing a stroller, etc., are considered fine during that six-week period. More intense activities like working a full day and strenuous exercise are typically not advised until a woman has been cleared by her doctor.
Of course, most women aren’t feeling physically amazing at this point. They’re often tired from being up with the baby and can bleed for several weeks after childbirth. Wider also notes that women can have “after pains,” prolonged vaginal discharge, and pain at the location of an episiotomy (a surgical cut made in the vagina during childbirth to help prevent tissue rupture). If that’s the case, “it’s probably wise not to do any rigorous activity until the symptoms subside,” Wider says.
As for the baby, breastfeeding is the main concern (provided a mother is breastfeeding). This typically needs to happen every two to four hours, Goist says, making stepping out for a short time between feedings not that big of a deal. If a mother isn’t nursing, she says the time away isn’t as critical. “Bonding early on is important, too, so spending as much time with a newborn is important,” Goist says, adding that “there is no specific amount of time that a mother would be away for a limited period that should inhibit this bonding.”
So, if you want to step out for a bit a week after giving birth a la Ivanka, you’re probably OK to do so.
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