During pregnancy your body went through a lot of changes to keep baby safe and healthy. Now that your baby is here, you will start to notice physical and emotional changes you may or may not have been expecting. In this article we will discuss some of the physical changes you may experience and your post-pregnancy care.
Perineum soreness: Whether you gave birth vaginally or via C-section, the area from your belly button to your groin experienced a lot of distress. Vaginal birth can stretch or tear the area between your vagina and rectum known as the Perineum. Because of the strain on this part of your body you may experience soreness after birth.
What can help?
- Put a cold pack on your perineum.
- Use ice wrapped in a towel. Or you can buy cold packs that you freeze in your freezer.
- Sit on a pillow.
- Soak in a warm bath.
Having afterbirth pains?
As your uterus shrinks back to its regular size you may experience cramping. Right after birth, your uterus is round and hard and weighs about 2 ½ pounds. By about 6 weeks after birth, it weighs only 2 ounces. These cramps should only last a few days but ask your doctor if they persist for longer.
What should I expect after a C-section?
A cesarean section (c-section) is major surgery, so it may take a while for you to recover. You may be really tired for the first few days or weeks after a c-section. Also, your incision (the cut on your belly) may be sore.
Here’s what you can do:
Your doctor may prescribe you a pain medication. If not, check with them before you take any over-the-counter medicine for pain, especially if you are breastfeeding.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask if your partner, family or friends can help around the house as you heal.
Should I expect bladder problems after giving birth?
You may feel pain or burning when you urinate. Sometimes you may not be able to stop urinating. This is called incontinence. If you have pain, burning trouble urinating or you have incontinence:
- Drink lots of water.
- Soak in a warm bath.
- Reach out to your doctor if the pain continues
Why am I so tired after giving birth?
Blood loss is common during childbirth. A low blood count as well as lack of sleep from a newborn can really be a drain on those batteries.
How to recharge:
Sleep when your baby sleeps, even during naptime!
Eat foods like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and pasta, and lean meat and chicken.
Limit sweets and foods with a lot of fat as they are a major drain on energy.
How soon can I get my old body back?
Right after baby is a great time to get to a healthy weight, no matter how much you weighed before you got pregnant. You feel better and are less likely to have health problems if you’re at a healthy weight.
Here’s what you can do to lose weight:
- Try to stick to healthy foods.
- Limit sweets and high fat foods .
- Drink LOTS of water.
- Get active! (Make sure to check with your doctor first) Just a little activity everyday is great for your physical and mental health. Walking and swimming are great activities for new moms.
- Breastfeeding helps you burn calories as well as boosts your baby’s immune system keeping both of you healthy.
Your post-baby maternity care is just as important as prenatal care. Take care of your body so you can be the best mommy that little bundle needs. For more information go to: www.marchofdimes.org