After my baby is born, when can I start with my routine work such as cleaning, cooking, etc?
If you stay in bed and breastfeed the first week, and take it very easy the second week, you should be nearly finished with your bleeding and feel pretty good. You can try your normal activities the third week, and if the bleeding does not increase, it is safe to do what you like.
How long you bleed depends on whether you rest the first two weeks and breastfeed (in which case you're done or nearly so) or run around, do laundry and bottle feed, in which case it takes 6-8 weeks. If you had an episiotomy, the stitches are usually gone by your 6 week checkup.
My rules for having sex again are:
To get to #1 fast, stay in bed (literally) for two weeks and breastfeed. No cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry -- nada.
-- Cynthia, CNM. PhD.
Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.
Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.