It takes nine months for the female body to grow and nurture a baby. As you prepare for the arrival of your newborn, you may begin to wonder about the hours and days after giving birth and what you can expect after labor.
How does your body change from carrying a baby, to giving birth and back to normal again? Understanding these changes to your body can make your transition to motherhood a little bit easier.
Changes to expect on your body after giving birth
Abdomen still looks like you are pregnant
Fresh mothers often still look pregnant immediately after giving birth to their newborns. Women lose between 6 – 13 pounds immediately after labor. But the body needs time to lose the remaining weight and returns to it’s shape before pregnancy. You may experience swelling in your hands and feet. This indicates water retention. Mostly, women still look “pregnant” for a week or two after giving birth.
Changes in washroom habits
Stuff you take for granted, like going to the bathroom, may not go as planned. Signals that your bladder sends to your brain to tell your body to release the urine may have been disrupted. This is due to the pressure during labour and pushing. The physical act of the baby’s head coming through and pressing against the urethra.
Or the labia and vulva are really swollen, which can pinch the urethra and make it difficult to pee. Cold compresses or a warm sitz bath can help. On the other hand, you may be peeing (or sweating) a ton in the first week or two after delivery. During this time, your body adjusts to changing hormones and works to get rid of excess fluid. Pee can also sting your sore bottom. This is why your nurse or midwife likely gave you a super handy squirt bottle. Fill it with warm water to spray your perineum while you pee.
Contractions after giving birth
Contractions don’t only occur during labor. It’s a normal way by which the body returns it’s shape before pregnancy. However, it mostly occurs whiles you’re breastfeeding. You womb is roughly 2 1/2 pounds after giving birth. With contractions and time, your womb reduce back to about 2 ounces by six weeks following birth.
Body pains after delivery
Delivering naturally causes your vag*na stretch. This occurs in order to accommodate your baby. Due to this, you will feel soreness in your body after delivery. Additionally, the opening between your vag*na and an*s may be cut to help the baby come out. You will be sutured in case you were cut. Use ice packs to ease pain and sit on a pillow for extra comfort. Besides, severe pain occurs in your lower abdomen if surgery was done for you. Adjust your routine post-delivery to accommodate healing. Keep the area clean to avoid infections. And also don’t lift anything heavier than the baby.
Your breast feel full, heavier and painful
Your breasts may also become very sore, full and heavy. This mostly occurs as milk starts to come in during the first few days after delivery. Warm compresses and showers can help with breast pain. Nipple pain and cracking are also common. This happens as the nipples adjust to your baby breastfeeding. Let your breasts air dry after showers.
Bleeding after delivery
Slight bleeding normally occurs after delivery. This occurs due to the removal of tissue lining your womb during pregnancy. After delivery, the body removes it. It can be heavy at times but reduces with time. It may also last a few days to weeks.
Fatigue and tiredness
Giving birth is such a great deal. It can drain all your energy. Moreover, you lose a lot of blood during delivery. Due to this you will, experience fatigue during the first day after giving birth. Just drink plenty of water and eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. This will help you regain some strength.
Despite the many hormone changes and mood swings you may have experienced during pregnancy, many women are surprised to experience mood swings after delivery. A woman’s body will go through many hormone dips and spikes, which can affect her mood. Remember, these mood swings are natural.