Now, you have finally put up with approximately 40 weeks of pregnancy and some difficult hours of childbirth. Since you are officially a mother, now you might see the transition from pregnancy to postpartum, which brings with it a plethora of symptoms and problems.
Due to this, you should know all about postpartum care, postpartum health and the different tips that could help you in the recovery process. But before that, let us know what is postpartum care.
- 1 What Is Postpartum Care?
- 2 How Long Does It Take To Recover After Childbirth?
- 3 Bleeding After Childbirth
- 4 Recovery Process Coping With The Body Changes
- 5 Let Us Wrap It Up!
What Is Postpartum Care?
Postpartum care refers to the care of the new mother and the baby after six weeks of childbirth. This is a period where a woman might face a plethora of emotions like happiness, sadness, stress, agitation, anxiety, etc. You may experience joy and delight due to the arrival of a new member to your family, but may even adjust to the new changes at the same time. During this time, you could even have post check up appointments with your doctor.
If you have become a mother for the first time then you may adjust to all the new challenges after childbirth. You need to take care of your baby and yourself during this phase. Most of the work mothers may not even go back to their prior routine up till six weeks after birth. So you receive a good amount of time to adjust with all the new changes and recover. You might even face problem in taking care of the baby. But eventually, you will figure out the schedule that could help you in the postpartum health and recovery process.
Here is a comprehensive article detailing most of the important aspects of postpartum care.
How Long Does It Take To Recover After Childbirth?
The minimum duration that you may require after childbirth to recover is the first six weeks. No matter how easy your delivery was, your body needs up to six weeks to relieve itself from all the stretches and stress that you have faced.
But you should always know that different women may have different recovery rates. They may even show different postpartum symptoms. Some of the symptoms may be relieved in almost a week, whereas other symptoms, like perineal pain, backache, sore nipples may even last for some weeks. On the other hand, some symptoms like backache or leaky breasts may even show up until your baby becomes older.
The mothers who had given vaginal birth might even have a longer recovery time. It could easily take anywhere from three weeks to six weeks for your perineum to heal and soreness to go away. On the other hand, if you had childbirth through the C-section, then you may spend your initial three to four days of postpartum in the hospital. The C- Section delivery might take anywhere between four to six weeks to go back to normal again.
Here are additional pointers that could help you with the recovery process.
Bleeding After Childbirth
Postpartum bleeding or bleeding after childbirth is known as lochia. Lochia could last up to six weeks and is just like a very heavy period. The bleeding consists includes all the left over blood and tissues from the uterus. You may face the heaviest bleeding from the first three to 10 days.
But then the bleeding may slow down and change its colour from red to pink to brown and to yellowish-white. However, if you find large clot spots or find yourself bleeding for more than one pad in an hour, then you should consult your doctor.
Quick references for additional information.
- Bleeding after birth.
- Postpartum hemorrhage.
- About bleeding duration.
- Here is an article by the Indian government as well.
Recovery Process Coping With The Body Changes
Engorgement Of The Breasts
Your breasts would fill with milk just after a few days of childbirth. Filling of the breasts with milk is a normal process.
However, some of the new mothers might also face swelling in the breasts, which is known as engorgement of the breasts.
Swelling or engorgement of the breasts may improve only with time. But till then you could relieve the discomfort by compressing the breasts through a warm or cold compress.
You may even use nipple cream that could help to soothe the pain and cracking. But eventually, the sore nipples may even take their own time as your body adjusts to breastfeeding.
Article 1 & Article 2. These are a couple of supporting documents that might help you with more detailed information.
Changes In The Pelvic Floor
The area between your vagina and rectum, known as the perineum may tear up due to the stretches during childbirth. In some circumstances, the doctor may even be required to cut this area to facilitate labour.
Due to this, it takes longer for the pelvic floor to recover from childbirth. However, certain tips might help you to recover. You could ice the area with the cold packs or prefer doing Kegels exercises and sit on a pillow.
In the initial 24 hours after childbirth, you may also be recommended by the doctor to ice your perineum every couple of hours. You might even clean the area with warm water before and after urinating.
This could help to evade the urine irritating the sensitive skin. Another tip that could help you to recover from the changes in the pelvic floor is to try a warm bath for at least 20 minutes few times a day. You should also not stand, sit or sleep on your side for long periods.
Here is an interview from Pelvic Floor Therapy.
You might see vaginal discharge after two to four weeks of childbirth. Vaginal discharge is a method of your body to discharge the remaining tissues and blood from your uterus. You could use sanitary napkins until the discharge stops.
You may not opt for tampons for approximately 4 to six weeks after childbirth or until your doctor recommends them. On the other hand, if you think that your vaginal discharge is foul-smelling, then you may consult your doctor.
More on this here.
Your body may even sweat a lot during the nighttime after childbirth. The primary reason behind this is the hormonal changes in your body. So, you could help your body to stay cool by removing off the blankets.
Here is an article about hotflashes post pregnancy.
You might even face Constipation during postpartum. Eating high fiber foods could help you to get rid of constipation.
On the other hand, staying hydrated or drinking lots of water might even help to ease such problems. You might even strengthen your pelvic muscles by opting for different Kegel exercises.
However, if you face a problem with constipation even after trying out all the methods, then you may consult your doctor.
Listed here are some of the preventive steps.
Uterine PainOnce you give birth, your uterus may shrink back to its normal size. However, the shrinking of the uterus might cause pain and cramps. This pain requires time to subside. Till then you should consult your doctor about the different pain medications. Several methods and tips that could help to deal with the postpartum changes are as follows.
Eat WellThe major solution to all the problems during postpartum could be to eat well. You should eat healthy food that consists of a combination of complex carbs and proteins along with fiber. Eating a healthy diet could help to prevent haemorrhoids. Eating might also help to combat fatigue and Constipation.
Postpartum kegel exercises are the best exercises that could help your vagina to get back to the normal shape. It could also help you to take care of the inconvenience related to the urinary process. Once you are comfortable doing these exercises, you could go for three sets of 20 every day.
More on kegel exercises here.
Stay ActiveEngaging in strenuous and contact sports just after delivery might not be a great option So you may not go back to the pre-pregnancy workout immediately. However, you may always have a word about your doctor related to the easy workout routine. You could always start by taking brisk walks. Walking will help you to deal with Constipation and gas and boost your muscle tone and blood circulation. It is also likely to boost your mood and resolve the depression symptoms.
Get Enough Sleep
The foremost thing your body requires after childbirth is to rest both physically and mentally. You could help your body in the recovery process by letting your relatives and friends do all the chores for you.
You may even ask your partner to take care of the baby while you sleep. So the new mothers must take as much sleep as possible.
A little information on sleep deprivation after childbirth here.
Let Us Wrap It Up!
Hence, postpartum could be a life-changing phase of your life. So you need to focus on adapting to all the physical and mental changes.
Generally, the women may spend all their time during pregnancy to get ready for the arrival of the newborn. However, they forget to prepare for the postpartum phase. But through this article, you could know all about postpartum health and care.
All birth tips and methods mentioned above might help you to adjust to the changing body and physical conditions going on with you.