Postpartum- What you need to know.

The postpartum recovery mainly depends on the type of delivery i.e vaginal birth or C-section. Whatever be the type of delivery, the first six weeks will be a very intense period for the mother. The hitherto free-spirited lady has to turn into a responsible mother overnight. The overwhelming emotions and body fatigue takes its toll and the new mother needs ample rest and relaxation. Nourish your body with good food, plenty of water and enough rest.

Every new mother is different and everyone’s recovery time will vary. The majority of pains should ease up within days, while others may continue for weeks. 

·      After giving birth, it is common that you will have vaginal bleeding and discharge, even if you had a C-section. Light bleeding and spotting can last up to six weeks after delivery.

 

·      If you have stitches due to a torn perineum it will take 7-10 days to heal. Gently clean the stitch with warm water after each time you use the toilet. If you have stitches from a caesarean birth, these heal in varying degrees. The stitches in the skin should heal in 5-10 days. The underlying stitches in your muscle layer will take longer to heal. These won’t heal completely for 12 weeks.

·      As your uterus shrinks back into its normal size and shape, you will feel pain in your abdomen. For many women, applying heat to the area helps control the pain. If these pains get worse, you should call your doctor.

·      It is very common to be constipated in the days following childbirth. To help ease constipation, drink plenty of water and try to eat foods that offer a lot of fibre. If you haven’t had a bowel movement by four days postpartum, call your doctor.

·      The area between your vagina and anus, the perineum, will be sore and possibly swollen postpartum. You may feel discomfort in this area for several weeks. Sitting on an icepack several times a day for 10 minutes will help relieve the pain.

·      During the first few days of breastfeeding, it is normal for women to have sore nipples and breasts. If the soreness continues beyond a few days, it could be that the baby isn’t latching correctly. Try changing positions or consult a lactation expert. 

·      Days after delivery, your body will continue to hold on to water. You may notice the swelling in your hands, legs, and feet. It shouldn’t last much longer than a week after delivery.

·      Even though you long to get back to shape after delivery, this will take time. Your weight loss will happen very slowly. For many women, breastfeeding seems to help promote weight loss. Until your six-week postpartum check up, you shouldn’t be doing any serious exercise.

·      Motherhood, in spite of its figurative magnificence, can be confusing and even anguishing, especially to new moms. Majority of women struggle with their feelings in the first few weeks. It is important to understand that this is part of hormonal changes. Confiding in a friend of family member can often make you feel better. If these feelings last more than a few weeks or it is seriously affecting your daily functioning, this may indicate postpartum depression. If you have severe feelings of sadness or hopelessness, you should consult doctor.

It is imperative that you bounce back to the pre-pregnancy physical and mental stature. After an intense period of physical strain and mental churning, you may emerge as a very different person. The most important thing is that you feel confident and pleasant.  So, wait for things to happen at its own pace and do not rush.  

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