So you’ve had your baby and from what most people tell you it’s just a matter of figuring out how to look after your baby. Nobody really speaks about the things you may go through after you have had the baby.
Here are some things you may experience:
Contractions Don’t Stop
Once the baby is out, the contractions continue until your uterus is back to normal size. Mine were most apparent when I fed my baby. Sometimes they were stronger than other times. Occasional use of Panadol helped me get through these pains. Stay positive and know that they are a good and normal thing to occur after birth. It’s just your body returning to normal.
Some people may have stitches after they give birth because of tearing. You may experience some stinging and tenderness where you have torn, depending on the depth of your tear. The stitches dissolve themselves so there is no worrying about having to have them removed. Your midwife will monitor them in the days following and when they come and visit you at home once you go home. You will have a 6 week check-up after birth and they may be checked. If not, and you are concerned about how you have healed, ask your doctor/gynaecologist to take a look. Before 6 weeks they can’t really tell you much as birth is traumatic for your body and it needs time to heal.
Birth is traumatic but your body is made to cope with it. For the first few weeks you may be uncomfortable down there with the swelling. Every day activities like sitting, getting up off the bed or couch, sitting on the toilet, and so on, could be uncomfortable due to the swelling and tenderness you are experiencing. Just take your time and don’t rush to do anything. Remember your body has just been through a traumatic event to give birth to your child. Once the swelling goes down you may feel even more uncomfortable, but it is more of a ligament or muscle pain that you may experience. Remember you have just given birth and your body had to adjust to allow room for your baby to come out. Don’t rush back into anything too fast. I experienced groin pain, and hip pain. Four months on and I’m still experiencing a bit of weakness and discomfort with my hips.
This can last up to 6 weeks for some. Now I know what you’re thinking. “Oh my goodness, 6 weeks of bleeding?” This isn’t always heavy bleeding. Again this is different for everyone. Bleeding may not always be a heavy bleed, it might just be a bit of spotting or light bleeding. Everyone is different. If you’re experiencing any unusual bleeding or clotting, contact your doctor, midwife, or the hospital as soon as possible. Once you feel you no longer need to wear maternity pads, perhaps you will feel comfortable wearing a liner while the spotting occurs.
Once you have had a baby naturally your pelvic floor is weaker. So don’t be surprised if you leak or don’t make the toilet in time. Especially if you’re holding your baby and need to find a safe place to put them down before going to the toilet or waiting in line to go to the toilet, or needing to open the door to get inside your house. You’re tender and sore in the first few weeks so there is no rushing anywhere as it’s just not very comfortable. Pelvic floor exercises are important! In the first few weeks while swollen you feel like you’re doing nothing, but persist! My gynaecologist told me the best way to strengthen your pelvic floor is to imagine you’re at the shops and you’re busting to go to the toilet. You have to hold on until you get to the toilets. The same way you hold on is how you perform your pelvic floor exercises. Repeat this multiple times a day. Gaining strength in your pelvic floor will take time!
Your stomach takes time to join back together
During pregnancy your abdominal muscles separate to make room for the baby to grow. Once the baby is born it takes time for your body to mend and return back to normal. Some people need physio assistance to regain the strength back into their core muscles. Don’t rush to make this happen by returning to exercise too soon, follow your midwife’s advice. You may find it a bit tender, especially when you’re holding your baby and they kick into your stomach where the gap is. I even found while breastfeeding my baby, having her lay across my belly in the early days was sometimes uncomfortable.
None of the above information is meant to be taken as medical advice, I am simply sharing my experiences so you’re more aware of what may possibly happen so that it is less of a shock once you have had your baby.
By Clare at Relaxed Parenting Blog