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What is the 555 Postpartum Rule? Here’s Why It’s Essential for Recovery

postpartum mom snuggling her baby in bed

The 555 rule can help you get the rest and recovery your body needs to heal from birth. But what is it, and how can it support you? Keep reading to learn more.

The days immediately following birth are crucial, not only for soaking in all the goodness of your new baby and bonding with them but for taking it slow and healing your body after it has been through so much with pregnancy and birth.

The miracle of growing your little one and bringing them into the world puts your body through a lot, so it’s essential to take proper care of yourself and focus on resting as much as possible during the first couple weeks after giving birth.

postpartum mom snuggling her baby in bed

The 555 postpartum rule is a great guideline that suggests five days in bed, five days on the bed, and five days around the bed, adding up to 15 days of taking it easy and allowing yourself to recover gently during this time.

We’ll dive deeper into this concept in this article for you today and hopefully inspire you to prioritize healing your body and bonding with your baby so that you can ease into your new routine as comfortably as possible.

What is the 555 rule for postpartum?

The 555 postpartum rule is a great concept to follow during the postpartum period. The 555 rule suggests how to spend the first 15 days after giving birth:

  • Five days in bed
  • Five days on the bed
  • Five days around the bed

Five days in bed

For five days in bed, you should give yourself at least five days to fully rest as much as you can and only get up when it’s essential, such as using the bathroom, grabbing a quick bite to eat, or taking a brief shower.

We understand that this is a luxury not everyone may have.

Try your best to plan to have someone stay with you who can help you and your partner for the first week or so after you give birth. They can help take care of things like cooking and other matters that need tending to, if possible.

Read next: Five Ways Your Partner Can Support You During Postpartum

Five days on the bed

For the next five days, it’s suggested to spend them on the bed. This looks like doing other things other than solely resting, such as sitting up, cuddling with your baby on top of the bed, relaxing with your other kids if you have them, or moving to another cozy space in your house, such as a soft couch or chair.

You’re still resting plenty during this second five-day period, but you can give yourself more freedom to move around if you’re comfortable.

The five days on the bed set the stage for prime bonding time with your newborn, so fully immerse yourself in this stage and rest up.

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Five days around the bed

For the last five days of the 555 postpartum rule, it’s recommended that you spend this time around the bed.

You should still place a great emphasis on resting as much and as often as you can, but if you’ve been doing this already for the first ten days, then you should be good to increase your movement a bit and hang around your bed rather than in it day in and day out.

You can take this time to walk and hold your baby around your room, fold some laundry (only if you want), and do other gentle activities.

Keep things simple and don’t stand for more than 30 minutes at a time – after all, you are still in the early stages of healing and recovery, and rest is still paramount.

mom snuggling her baby in bed postpartum

What is the most critical time of the postpartum period?

The postpartum period is commonly referred to as the 4th trimester because your body goes through just as many – if not more – exponential changes during this time as it does throughout the three trimesters of pregnancy.

The postpartum period is considered six to eight weeks after having your baby, but the most critical time during this stage is the 24-48 hours immediately following birth. And we believe postpartum never really ends.

These first two days are important because your body is undergoing drastic adjustments, and complications in both mother and baby are most likely to arise if there are any.

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During the first two days following birth, both mom and baby must be closely monitored to identify and treat any potential issues as soon as possible.

Despite the critical nature of this period, it’s also a super special and precious time for parents to bond with their newborns, including the golden hour after birth (which we fully recognize and appreciate that this is not always possible in all birth situations).

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Why you should (try to) practice the 555 rule after birth

The 555 postpartum rule is a great guideline to follow after giving birth because it gives the mother ample time to heal and rest her body correctly.

Slow and steady wins the race, and the gentler and more accessible you are with yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, the better you will feel in the long run.

Participating in the 555 rule helps ensure you are fully rested and not worrying about anything other than your and your newborn’s well-being. Two weeks will fly by, so try to enjoy these slow days bonding with your baby as much as possible and focus on the recovery process.

mom playing with her baby on the bed

Listen to your body during the postpartum period

The first days and weeks after giving birth might be a whirlwind, which is precisely why it’s so vital to rest and recover as much as you can during this time after your body has been through so much.

Every woman’s recovery from birth is different, so give yourself plenty of time to heal and form that incomparable bond with your little one. The 555 postpartum rule helps ensure that mom is given this time to make resting her primary focus.

New mothers’ physical, mental, and emotional well-being requires the utmost support. Be sure to surround yourself with uplifting people who will help care for you and anything else that needs to be tended to during this time.

Don’t try to do too much too fast – one of the very best things you can do right now is take care of yourself and rest so you can show up in all the ways you desire sooner rather than later.

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