Skip to Content

When can I start doing household work after delivery?

This post is for general information purposes only. Please visit my disclosure policy for more information.

Unfortunately, household work doesn’t disappear the moment you become a first time mom!

There will still be laundry and dishes and chores to do.

But, for the first several days and weeks of your recovery, you will need to take it easy. This is especially true if you had a cesarean section!

So, when can you get back to household work?

Mom irons a shirt while holding her baby.

For A C-Section Recovery

It’s safe to walk, go up and downstairs and do very light housework, but only when you’re feeling up to it!

  • Avoid anything that will put strain on your body or incision which won’t have maximum strength until 4-5 weeks postpartum.
  • Don’t do heavy lifting (anything heavier than your baby) or anything that requires you to bend over or push (such as pushing a shopping cart or even vacuuming). If you do need to lift something, bend at the knees and not the waist!
  • You should also avoid getting your incision wet and all the other standard things not to do during postpartum.

Gradually increase activity as your body regains strength. Listen to your body’s cues and never push yourself beyond that limit!

After 6 weeks, you’ll check in with your doctor and he or she will give you more instructions for how to progress, according to your unique body and level of recovery.

RELATED: How many stitches will I need for a c-section?

For A Vaginal Delivery Recovery

Mothers who have delivered vaginally will also want to avoid heavy lifting but can do light housework as long as it doesn’t tire you out or put your body at risk.

For the first several days, take things extra slow and be sure to get help from friends and family. You’ll want to focus on healing and caring for your baby.

Once you’re a little more rested and getting into a good newborn sleep schedule, you can start picking up some of the tasks you’d normally do around the house.

Break your workload into smaller, more manageable chunks so you don’t get overwhelmed or easily tired and to minimize the amount of lifting that may be required (i.e. small loads of laundry so baskets are lighter).

General Postpartum Advice

Regardless of your delivery method, you should proceed with caution and make your highest priority caring for you and your baby. Focus on managing your postpartum body changes and all the painful and uncomfortable things you may feel after giving birth.

The laundry and dishes can wait or be done by someone else. Be patient with yourself and allow plenty of time for healing before focusing on your surroundings!

Here are even more first time mom tips including important things to know about breastfeeding, newborn baby hacks and more!