As soon as you use the due date calculator or see the two pink lines on the pregnancy test kit, to check when will you see your little one, your excitement knows no bounds. However, pregnancy, childbirth and all that they entail do not end after you deliver your baby. The next stage after delivery is the postpartum stage.
Right after you undergo delivery (whether natural or C-section), you undergo many changes - physical, emotional and mental. This stage, called postpartum, is the time it takes for you to go back to your pre-pregnancy stage, and can often last between 6-8 weeks post childbirth. However, each experience is unique and some may recover sooner or later, depending on many factors like the experience of childbirth, previous conditions etc.
As you navigate through the postpartum, you also get acquainted with many physical and emotional changes. You are healing your body while you and your partner learn to look after the newborn. As you experience all these, it can get overwhelming at times. It is thus, extremely crucial that you identify all the signs and changes and work towards healing them or accepting them. This care for the mother post-delivery, is called postpartum care.
If you have just undergone a normal delivery, you can observe some or all of the changes, listed below:
If you had a vaginal tear or needed an incision during childbirth, there may be some vaginal soreness post the delivery. Or in layman terms, there is a loss of tightness after birth. This can be alleviated with cold/hot packs, over-the-counter painkillers, warm baths etc.
Post-delivery, you will start shedding the superficial mucous membrane that lines the uterus during pregnancy. This can cause heavy bleeding and can last up to weeks. However if you experience too much pain or it continues for a long time, you should consult your doctor.
Vaginal delivery can loosen your pelvic muscles and this can lead to a few drops of urine leakage involuntarily when you laugh, sneeze etc. You can consult your doctor for any exercises that can help tackle this.
If you experience pain while passing bowels or notice a swelling in the area, you may have hemorrhoids. You can consult your doctor and it can be eased with creams, medication or eating fiber-rich foods.
The breast engorgement, usually experienced after childbirth can be eased with frequent breastfeeding on both sides. Benefits of breastfeeding have been noted in both mother and baby and can also help ease the tenderness.
Hair & Skin Changes
When you’re pregnant, your hormonal changes can make your hair grow faster than it sheds and also make you skin glow. But after delivery, you may observe the exact opposite as your hormone levels go back to normal. This can last up to 4-5 months. However, there are some hair and skin tips that you can look into to take care of this.
Changes in Mood
Hormonal changes and the sudden shift of roles, can often lead to mood swings post childbirth. It’s important that you stay conscious of these changes and address them accordingly. If your mood swings are unusually low or if you notice the signs of postpartum depression, it’s best to get in touch with experts.
As you undergo the aforementioned changes, it’s necessary that you look after yourself and here are some postpartum care tips to do just that:
Postpartum care is an important part of every woman’s healing journey and is unique to her. Paying attention to your signs and always consulting your doctor can make this process easier. Keeping a calm mind and allowing yourself time to heal with the help of loved ones is the key to a healthy recovery.