The postpartum period can be quite the adventure. Not everyone will have the same recovery or postpartum experience and even if you have had 3-6 babies in the past, the chances of it being the SAME will be slim. Your body will go through SO MUCH during childbirth whether it is is vaginally or C section your body will need to recover and you will notice quite a few changes.
Weight loss can be quite confusing. This is something that you need to remember that when you have a baby you will lose quite a few pounds, lots of FLUIDS, a whole human will exit your body so you will notice some dramatic weight loss within the first week. Even the first day you will notice that your body feels and looks different but it will take quite a bit of time to shift back to pre pregnancy. Do not focus on the weight loss aspect of it focus on how you are FEELING and healing and just overall how you are doing.
You will notice lots of changes as far as swelling goes. You have just birthed a human so your body will be swollen due to many reasons! Medication, potential surgery, bloating, blood pressure etc. The list can be quite long. It is important to pay attention to your swelling after you give birth and make sure during the postpartum period you are taking care of yourself and moving your body. If you feel concerned over any swelling contact your provider, always watch out for yourself! After I had my third in 2019 I had a complicated C section which caused quite a few struggles including INTENSE swelling, bloating, air bubbles that hurt etc. I was SO nervous over blood clotting once I got home that I tried to pay my best attention to all and any swelling. All was well but it was pretty overwhelming not knowing what and is normal. I just took it upon myself to call whenever I felt ANY concern.
Your stomach WILL TAKE SOME TIME TO SHRINK DOWN. It will take a few months at least to notice your uterus back down as well as the bloating and swelling. If you had a c section sometimes it can take longer. They say that the first 6 weeks is the postpartum period THEY say that for a reason as it really does take some time for things to shrink back down to where they were before conception. Don't be so hard on yourself things take time and you will just have to take care of yourself during this period of recovery.
You might have aches and pains and this is normal. Your vagina might have some swelling, healing for some time. You might have sore body parts, you might have headaches, and you might have itching and numbness especially if you had a c section. Your body will experience quite a bit and as I have mentioned before it is important to take all questions and concerns to your provider. You might have stomach cramping especially within the first week as things begin to shrink back down and your body will cramp quite a bit as it expels the blood and mucus from your uterus.
Expect your discharge to change over the days and into weeks. Once you give birth whether it is vaginally or by c section expect your discharge to change and know that it can vary. As the uterus shrinks and sheds during this time expect blood, mucus, and tissue to leave the vagina during this time. USE those giant diapers, get depends that is what saved me after my most recent delivery. They were super comfy and thick and I found them to be better for the postpartum period instead of the mesh undies we have all have been forced to love.
You might randomly pee your pants and it is normal. Once you give birth your vaginal muscles might weaken and this can cause you to pee at any time. You might cough, sneeze, sit wrong and you might pee a little. I recommend doing kegels to strengthen the pelvic muscles. If you are NOT familiar with what kegels are it is when you go to hold your pee and flex your pelvic muscles, do that. It helps.
NIGHT SWEATS. Oh my gosh this was something that I REALLY noticed after having my daughter a few years back. Granted I did give birth MID SUMMER but the night sweats were bad. I had never experienced hormonal night sweats like that before and honestly didn't know it was common. So that was a relief to know that it happens to quite a few people with the hormone changes! Your body changes SO much and hormones are crazy after you give birth so be sure to stay hydrated and perhaps lay on something to collect the sweat. It sounds gross but if it helps it helps!
You might get constipated. No you probably will. This sucks because it really is a big issue and your body gets SO backed up and sometimes we are afraid to go to the bathroom with fears of tearing, it hurting, straining, etc. So it is easier to just hold it in. But take your stool softeners, get through it. I recommend warm baths if your provider approves and if you feel good of course that is the ultimate thing. I know they say no baths but just pay attention to your healing and if you REALLY need some help make it quick or let the hot water hit your lower back. RELAX and just get through it. I know it seems silly working through that first poop but it really IS A BIG DEAL.
Take care of yourself. Give yourself grace and love because you birthed a human. A HUMAN. That is a big deal so be kind to yourself. You will notice many changes and most are normal but remember that all of your concerns are valid so if you feel confused or nervous or concerned, REACH OUT to your dr.
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