The First 42 Days

Childbirth is often the first major medical event in a woman’s life, yet she will not see a doctor again until six weeks (42 days) after returning home with her newborn. During this time she is learning to care for her baby, struggling with the physical recovery of a c-section or vaginal delivery, breastfeeding or pumping up to twelve times per day, and experiencing a tidal wave of emotions – such as joy, anxiety, and even depression.

We surveyed hundreds of new mothers across the country to learn more about their First 42 Days postpartum. Their responses overwhelmingly indicate a need for improved care, education, and support. Join us in shining a light on this critical chapter of early motherhood! Follow along on social media and share your story using the hashtag #First42Days.

By the Numbers

  • 90% of new moms believe educating mothers about what to expect/resources available during the first six weeks postpartum can and should be improved.
  • 3 out of 4 report they were not given information or guidance regarding any products/medical devices that may help with physical recovery.
  • Half of new moms report not feeling prepared in what to expect and how to care for their body the first six weeks postpartum.
  • 66% report the postpartum period was more difficult than they thought it would be.
  • 1 in 4 report not feeling like they had access to the necessary care to address struggles with caring for themselves and/or their newborn postpartum.

Postpartum Recovery Scorecard

 “The weeks following birth are a very nerve-wracking and uncertain time for new moms, which is why they need to feel fully equipped with what to expect during their recovery and how to care for their baby. Before moms leave the hospital with their newborns, it’s imperative that they feel confident in knowing the symptoms they will experience as their body recovers, when the severity of symptoms indicate a more serious issue and the resources available to them to help with the process – especially when it comes to medical devices that will aid in healing.”


Real Moms Share Real Postpartum Experiences

Additional Survey Insights

  • Almost half (48%) of new moms report feeling mostly stressed and/or overwhelmed during the first six weeks postpartum.
  • Half of moms (50%) report not feeling prepared in what to expect and how to care for their body the first six weeks postpartum.
  • The most common physical symptoms after giving birth are breast engorgement/soreness/pain (70%), soreness/pain in the vaginal/rectal area (64%) and abdominal/uterine cramps (63%).
  • More than one-in-three new moms (36%) contacted a medical professional about the above symptoms between giving birth and their first postpartum checkup.
  • Nearly two-in-five new moms (38%) saw a healthcare provider (OBGYN or primary care) within the first two weeks of giving birth.
  • Nearly one-in-five new moms report not being provided guidance regarding symptoms that may indicate a health concern after delivery, and when to raise these concerns to a doctor.
  • More than half of new moms (54%) report not being advised to wear a postpartum support garment to assist with healing.
  • An overwhelming majority of new moms (76%) were not given information or guidance regarding any products/medical devices that may help with recovery. For those who answered yes, these are the products most commonly cited: abdominal belt/girdle/belly support band, peri bottle, donut pillow, witch hazel pads, dermoplast.
  • The top thing new moms struggled with most in the first six weeks postpartum is breastfeeding (66%), followed by postpartum depression/anxiety (48%) and social support isolation (39%).
  • Nearly three-in-five new moms (59%) felt they needed assistance breastfeeding comfortably and successfully.
  • One-in-four new moms (25%) report not feeling like they had access to the necessary care to address any/all of the above issues.
  • Almost all new moms (90%) believe educating mothers about what to expect/resources available during the first six weeks postpartum can and should be improved.
  • Interestingly, most new moms (65%) report getting information about what to expect during the postpartum period from friends/family, followed by OB/midwife (46%) and other online resources (41%).
  • The majority of new moms (66%) report the postpartum period was more difficult than they thought it would be.
  • Which, not surprisingly, resulted in more than half (56%) having family/friends stay with them to help out.
  • Especially for the quarter of mothers (25%) that had to go back to work within the first six weeks after giving birth.

More on Postpartum Recovery

Preparing to Breastfeed

How to prepare for breastfeeding when you're pregnant, what supplies are essential, and what to expect in the fourth trimester. 

What Are Lactation Consultants?

Everything you need to know about lactation consultants before beginning your breastfeeding or pumping journey.

Recovering From a C-Section

Tips for speeding up the c-section recovery process and guidelines for how to best take care of your body and incision site!

Mental Health's Impact on Breastfeeding 

The postpartum period is one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging periods of a woman’s life.

Postpartum Healing & Recovery

Potential symptoms to expect and tips to make your postpartum experience one that is happy and healthy!

Challenges of Postpartum Depression

Having a new baby is wonderful but can also lead to significant stress! At what point do symptoms indicate postpartum depression or related conditions?