November 08, 2017 3 min read
The day you find out about your pregnancy, your body starts changing. And this phase continues till after you have delivered your baby. The first 6 weeks postpartum will be very different from what you have experienced till now. Apart from all the emotional feels that you will have for your newborn, you will also go through some uncomfortable time physically. If you are a first-time mother, it can be a bit difficult to handle at first. But well, as the case is, eventually, you take it in your stride.
Here are 5 things that most new mothers experience in the first 6 weeks postpartum. By simply knowing what’s coming your way can help you a lot in coping with the changes.
5 Symptoms that You May Face during First 6 Weeks Post Partum
You are likely to start lactating shortly after the delivery. Since in many cases the filling up of milk with breasts can be pretty rapid, there can be discomfort. The breasts swell up with milk, causing pain.
Once you start breastfeeding, the breasts should feel lighter and the pain should also diminish. However, for the initial few weeks, the pain may well up each time the breasts swell up with milk. In case you are not breastfeeding, which most OBGYNs do not recommend, the pain is likely to last until you stop lactating.
However, there is something you can do to relieve it temporarily. A warm shower can give a lot of relief. And once you are out of the shower, lay warm towels on your breasts for pain relief for a longer time.
This one is going to be with you for these few weeks if you have had a normal delivery. The perineum is the area between your rectum and your vagina. Evidently, it is one sensitive part of the body that suffers during normal childbirth. It may even tear during labor and sometimes may even need an incision (episiotomy) for easy delivery.
Having gone through so much, the perineum stays sore and sensitive for at least 6 weeks postpartum. Applying a cold can help. You can also use ice wrapped in towels. You may also consider trying Kegel exercises that can bring back the muscular strength in the pelvic zone. Also, sit on cushiony surfaces. When you pee, wipe from front to back rather than back to front, thus saving the area from infection. If it is extremely painful, consult your OBGYN.
Yes, after birth pains exist but they are very different from labor pains. As the uterus shrinks back to regain its original size, you will feel cramps in your belly. Immediately after labor, the uterus may weigh something around 1- 1.5 kg. It is also hard and round. The shrinking process takes place rapidly during 6 weeks postpartum. Then it will weigh approx 0.05kg.
This shrinking process causes cramping in the belly and should go away in a few days. If the pain is too much, you must discuss it with your doctor.
A lot of women experience constipation after delivering the baby. As it is, the body has taken a lot during childbirth. Even a small discomfort as constipation can be very painful for the stomach and the perineum (if you have delivered your baby normally).
You can help yourself by eating high fiber foods like banana or oatmeal. Make sure that you increase your water intake substantially. If it persists for more than a week or 10 days, do seek medical help.
Discomfort in Urination
Feeling pain or a burning sensation while peeing is common after childbirth. There might also be a feeling that you want to be but are unable to. At times, you may not be able to control peeing (incontinence). All these symptoms may manifest themselves up to 4 to 6 weeks post partum till your internal organs heal themselves.
The best you can do to manage it is drink oodles of water. Try soaking in a warm bath. If that doesn’t relieve the symptoms, do consult your OBGYN for medication.
When it comes to the reality of post-pregnancy phase, it can be a little discomforting at first. But the joy of motherhood can eclipse it most times. Also, when you know about the symptoms and how to deal with it, it can ease your situation a lot.