It’s hard to truly understand the pain and exhaustion that come after birthing a child. Managing sleep deprivation as you heal and care for a brand new life can be both overwhelming and daunting. More and more mother’s are leaning on the 5-5-5 Rule postpartum as a way to give themselves the rest they need to recover.

After going through the challenging postpartum phase three times before, Brittany Washington decided to try the 5-5-5 Rule after the birth of her fourth child.

“I decided to follow the 555 postpartum rule because with each of my pregnancies, I found myself constantly rushing into my recovery and returning to work, which wasn’t beneficial for my body’s healing process,” Washington said.

The 5-5-5 Rule postpartum has gained popularity for its simple yet effective approach to promoting recovery and well-being during the crucial postpartum experience. This rule advocates for five days in bed, five days on the bed, and five days around the bed. It offers a structured framework for mothers to prioritize rest, recuperation, and bonding with their newborns. Ample rest and care aid in a mothers recovery reduce the risks of complications like postpartum depression, anxiety, and physical ailments such as clogged milk ducts and mastitis.

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Understanding the 5-5-5 Rule Postpartum

The 5-5-5 Rule is a holistic guideline designed to assist mothers through the postpartum period with care. Its premise revolves around three phases, each spanning five days. These phases facilitate a gradual transition from complete rest to gentle activity. By following this rule, new mothers can optimize their recovery, minimize the risk of postpartum complications, and foster a deeper connection with their babies.

Washington says she was surprised by how much energy she had by simply allowing her body the downtime it needed to heal.

“I found myself more energized and able to fully engage in activities with my newborn. This allowed for valuable one-on-one bonding time, which I discovered to be incredibly beneficial for both myself and my baby,” Washington said.

She also says the 5-5-5 rule made spending quality time with her three other children possible.

“I rested well and my kids would be in the room with me sometimes with a little fort drawing, playing games, watching a movie but when baby was sleep they would leave out the room for mommy to rest as well,” the mother of four explained.

Breaking Down the ‘5-5-5 Rule’

5 Days in Bed

The first five days are all about rest. Mothers are encouraged to spend this time primarily in laying bed sleeping, doing skin-to-skin with baby and resting. This period allows for ample rest, promoting healing and recovery after childbirth. To achieve this, prioritize restorative sleep. Also, limit physical exertion and enlist support from loved ones for tasks like childcare and household chores.

5 Days on the Bed

As the first phase concludes, mothers can gradually transition to spending the next five days on the bed. During this phase the majority of time is still spent in bed but can include more sitting up as well as some gentle movements and activities that support circulation and mobility.

5 Days Around the Bed

In the final phase, mothers can expand their activity levels while focusing on rest and recovery. The majority of time is still spent in the bedroom but can include more movement. Spend time sitting near the bed and engage in light stretching or gentle exercises recommended by healthcare providers. Frequent changes in position help prevent stiffness and discomfort. Gradually reintroduce activities that were paused during the initial recovery period. Listen to your body’s cues, and avoid overexertion as you enter daily routines.

Prioritize nutrition, hydration, and emotional well-being throughout each phase to optimize recovery and promote a positive postpartum experience.

Necessary Support

Adhering to the 5-5-5 Rule requires patience, self-care, and support from partners, family, and friends. Washington says her positive experience with the rule was a direct result of her husband being onboard.

“He was willing to assist with household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and answering phone calls, which was incredibly helpful during my recovery,” Washington stated. “I’m grateful to have such an understanding partner who prioritized my well-being and supported me throughout the postpartum period.”

Washington encourages other mother’s attempting the 5-5-5 rule to