The period of first 6 weeks after your Labor and delivery is called postpartum period. This is a wonderful time for you and you are busy with your little one but this is also a time for mother to heal her body after a big change. your body changes in many ways postpartum.
You may face many challenges during this time, you have to take care of your newborn, breastfeed him, but this is a time where you have to take care of yourself also.
Your body changes a lot after a big stress of 9 months and then labor. Your newborn might be your priority — but postpartum care is also very important.
Pregnancy changes your body in many ways and it keeps changing even after the baby is born. A new mother should take off from work for at least 6 weeks after delivery. This time can be very emotional and stressful for a new mother in both ways, physically and mentally.
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What changes you can expect in body postpartum
Here are few changes in your body that you might expect during first few weeks postpartum.
1. Postpartum Body pain
After all the hard work of labor, pushing, bearing pain of contractions, its completely ok to feel tired and some sort of body pain. It will not last longer and will go away in few days. This discomfort is completely managed by painkillers and over the counter prescribed medicines.
After your delivery, uterus contract to its regular size and during this time some women feels abdominal cramps and pain in belly. These cramps should go away in few days.
3. Vaginal discharge
After your baby is born, your body gets rid of the blood and tissue that was inside your uterus which is called vaginal discharge or lochia. During first few days flow can be heavy and you can also see some blood clots, but it’s completely normal. You can have discharge for few weeks or even a month or more.
4. Sore and Enlarged breast
Post pregnancy, for the first 2 to 3 days your breast will become sore, swollen, and filled with milk. This swelling will go down in few days and probably when you start breastfeeding.
5. Back pain
When you were pregnant, your body was putting extra weight on the muscles of your back. After delivery a wrong posture can cause more back pain for a new mother.
6. Post pregnancy vaginal soreness and pain
If you had a vaginal tear during delivery or your doctor made an incision, the wound might hurt for a few weeks. It can take 4 to 6 weeks to heal completely. Over the counter pain killer can help in managing pain. If you are felling uncomfortable then try to sit on a pillow, cool the area with ice-pack or Sit in a warm bath just deep enough to cover your buttocks and hips for five minutes.
7. Excess sweat during night time
Excess sweat during night time in the first days after labor is a part of your body’s natural hormonal-adjustment process. This will go away in few weeks. Generally most of the postpartum symptoms go away in 6 weeks.
8. Urinary Incontinence
Pregnancy, labor and a vaginal delivery can stretch or injure your pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder and rectum. This might cause you to leak a few drops of urine while sneezing, laughing or coughing. These problems usually improve within weeks but might persist long term.
After delivery, constipation is very common for new mother. It can take 2 to 3 days to have a bowel movement. Some women scared to go to the toilet because of stitches, which can make the situation tougher. Try to drink lots of water and eat fiber rich food.
10. Post pregnancy Anxiety and mood swings
Many new mothers experience a period of feeling down or anxious, sometimes called the baby blues. Symptoms include mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping however the baby blues typically subside within two weeks.
11. Postpartum Hair loss
During pregnancy your hair grows much faster than normal and you will feel like you have beautiful hair. Post pregnancy your hair will fall out more rapidly for few months. This is due to the major stress on body because of pregnancy and hormonal changes.
This is common during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins in and around the anus that may hurt or bleed. Try to drink lots of water and fiber rich food so that you don’t need to strain while bowel movement.
13. Missed period
If you’re not breastfeeding, your period may start again 6 to 8 weeks after giving birth. If you are breastfeeding, it may not start again for months. Some women don’t have a period again until they stop breastfeeding.
14. Stretch marks
You may have stretch marks on your belly where your skin stretched during pregnancy. Some women also get them on their thighs, hips and bottom. These thin scars on the stomach, hips, breasts, or butt usually start out red and then lighten within a year, but they don’t go away completely.
15. Post pregnancy Skin changes
Post pregnancy lots of hormonal changes happen , especially during first few weeks after your baby is born. Hormonal fluctuations cause these dark patches on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lips that can fade by the time but sometime don’t go away completely.
Postpartum body checkup (When to check with Doctor)
You should consult your health care provider if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below
- High fever
- Heavy bleeding
- Constipation that last more than 3 or 4 days
- Burning while urination
- Discharge from a C-section incision and episiotomy\
- Postpartum depression
- Any changes in vision
- Vaginal discharge that has foul-smell
- Sore breasts that are red or feel hot to the touch.
- Abdominal pain that is getting worse
- Passing large clots