Just delivered your baby? Congratulations! For a new mum like you, here’s all you need to know about postpartum recovery.
The time has come for you to spend with your bundle of joy. But you also need to know that your body needs a lot of care and nurture. This transition period from pregnancy to postpartum brings with it a variety of changes.
We’ve put together this article so you can read all that you must know about your health and the recovery after childbirth.
Does it take too long to recover after your baby’s birth?
You would have had a breezy pregnancy and an easy delivery – you could have had a tough pregnancy and probably a tough delivery – whatever be the case, your body needs some time to recoup. Whether you delivered vaginally or via C-section, a minimum of 6 weeks after delivery is referred to, commonly as the recovery period.
Every mother is unique, and each one recovers at a different pace. Most of the postpartum symptoms usually are backaches, nipple soreness, etc. which get better in a couple of weeks. If the symptoms go beyond this, you may want to check with your doctor.
There might be some soreness in the perineum area, especially if you’ve had a vaginal delivery. It could take about 3-6 weeks for it to heal, depending on whether you had a tear or the doctor did an episiotomy during the delivery.
What about postpartum bleeding?
After you give birth, postpartum bleeding (also known as lochia) can last anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks. Postpartum bleeding is something like a heavy period, which is, in essence, vaginal discharge after giving birth. It contains mucus, blood, and uterine tissue. The bleeding is quite heavy for the first 3-10 days, and then it tapers off — the color of the discharge changes from red to pink and then goes from brown to yellowish-white.
Since the flow is pretty heavy and not like your regular period, usage of tampons isn’t recommended. Pads work best for this kind of bleeding. If you notice there are large clots or if you are encountering very heavy bleeding – i.e., you are changing more than one pad per hour, it is advisable to get in touch with your doctor to ensure there is no postpartum hemorrhage.
Can you speed up the postpartum healing process?
Oh yes, you surely can do with some TLC and heal a lot sooner and feel better.
Help the perineum heal – You can use icepacks on the perineum, say every 2 hours immediately after the delivery.
C-section scar - You could clean the incision with soap and water and also check with your doctor if you can use any cream to help heal sooner.
Ease aches and pains with a painkiller.
Try to get into a routine after the delivery. You may not be able to start the routine full-on, but make sure your diet has a lot of fiber, you walk around a bit because bowel movement can take a while to become regular. If you find yourself ridden with constipation, you may use stool softeners.
Nursing bras are specialized bras which gives additional support to lactating mothers and allows them to breastfeed their babies easily without having to remove the bra. As a new mother, your breasts will also be going through a tough time – from soreness to aches, especially when the baby is trying to latch on and if you have lactation issues. Make sure that you are wearing comfortable nursing bras.
Rachel wearing Chloe Dream Love Bra.
Staying active postpartum – The sooner you can get back into an active routine, the better it is for your body to start feeling normal again. However, it is important to take the opinion of your doctor before doing any form of exercise or strenuous activity. But once you get a green signal from your doctor, exercise is a great way to feel good. But do wear a bra with good support while you exercise.
Nursing Pads - Breastfeeding can cause soreness in breasts and the nipple region. You can use breast pads to help absorb milk leaks between feeds.
Make sure you are using maxi sized sanitary pads – for the postpartum bleeding. You will need these for at least a couple of weeks until postpartum bleeding reduces.
Sitz bath – This is a tub designed in such a way that you can sit for a while and soak. This is helpful especially if you have hemorrhoids.
Wearing cotton underwear is also vital. Comfort is more important than looks, don’t you think?
You could also use a postpartum binder to help reduce your postpartum belly and provide some support for your back.
There’s absolutely no doubt that having a baby can be life-changing. Just be assured that you are not alone, almost every new mother faces these and you can easily get over this with awareness and access to the right products.
Postpartum is exciting so try to enjoy this period, this stage of your life with your bundle of joy!