The minute you discover that you’re pregnant you turn into a sponge- the one that soaks in all the information regarding pregnancy and childbirth. You read books, research on the internet, you ask your doctor, and you ask every other woman who has had babies! But not a lot of women put enough of thought into what happens after the baby is born. Especially when it comes to taking care of yourself after childbirth, you become a little ignorant. If you really don’t know what to expect after you deliver your baby, this article will help you get started on the research.
1. Bleeding And Discharge
No matter what kind of delivery you’ll have- natural or cesarean, you will have bleeding and discharge for a while. This is called lochia and it lasts for about 10 days after the delivery (1). You may have light bleeding or spotting for up to 6 weeks after delivery. These things are quite normal and you can just use regular sanitary pads during this time. Do not use tampons since they might end up giving you an infection. Also, if the bleeding is a little heavy, you will have to use maternity pads.
Be careful about postpartum hemorrhage which is heavy bleeding after delivery (2). This usually happens 24 hours after the delivery but it can also occur within 12 weeks after childbirth. Postpartum hemorrhage can be fatal and you need to consult a doctor immediately in case it occurs.
2. Painful Pooping
Hemorrhoids caused due to swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus is something that is common after delivery (3). Your early morning pooping sessions can make you moan in pain and you may also experience discomfort during bowel movements. Seek the help of your doctor in case this occurs- she might prescribe you a stool softener if needed. From your end, you can try eating a lot of fiber-rich food items like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to make things easier in the toilet. Also, drink plenty of water.
3. Lack Of Interest In Lovemaking
Your interest in lovemaking may dive down after the delivery because of the fall in estrogen levels (4). It may take a year to completely get back to how you were with your partner in bed. Moreover, you would be really exhausted after the delivery and a big chunk of your time and concentration will be spent in taking care of the baby.
4. Bulging Belly
Your belly is not going to come back to the pre-pregnancy stage as soon as you deliver your baby. It’s not really like a balloon after it loses the air inside. It usually takes around six to eight weeks for the uterus to get back to the pre-pregnancy stage but it doesn’t really stop there (5). Your body gains a lot of weight while you’re pregnant and you need to sweat it out. That ain’t really going to work until a few months because you need to take care of your health and your baby. Once you are healthy, start working out so that you can get back in shape.
5. A Different Cup Size
Pregnancy means bigger breasts- don’t raise your expectations because they are going to get back to your normal size once you stop breastfeeding (6). A lot of women experience smaller and saggy breasts after birth and the initial increase in size only stays for a while.
6. Shoe Size
Pregnancy gives you a good reason to go shoe shopping! Your feet may become larger and you might even have to switch to a whole other size when it comes to footwear (7). An average sized woman gains 25-30 pounds of weight during pregnancy and it increases the pressure on your feet. The influence of the hormone relaxin- produced during pregnancy to relax and prepare your body for childbirth – also plays an important role here. It loosens the ligaments in your feet which further affects their enlargement.
7. Hair Loss
A lot of women have shiny, lustrous hair during pregnancy but it goes back to normal after the delivery (8). This is because of the drop in your estrogen level and you might be experiencing shocking hair fall for a while.
No matter how many difficulties you go through, it’s all worth it because you have your baby. Yes, you made that tiny little person and this is why you’re nothing less than Wonder Woman! In case you experience any difficulties that look unusual, you can always seek the help of your doctor in understanding the situation better.