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How Long Is Post-Delivery Recovery?

Photograph by Twenty20

How long it takes you to recover from giving birth depends on your delivery, says OB/GYN Hampton B. Richards of Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas. Typically, he states, women stay in the hospital for two nights after a vaginal delivery and for three to four nights after a cesarean.

"The day after your delivery, you should be up and moving around, eating regular food, and caring for your baby," Richards says. Once you're home, low-impact activities, such as taking short walks, are encouraged, but you should hold off on exercise until your body has recovered. This can take three to six weeks, he said, but get the clearance from your doctor first. "You don't want to injure yourself, and you need get back a foundation that you can then start to build muscle and endurance from," he advises.

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