01 June 2019
Your body has performed an amazing task; bringing your small, beautiful person into the world. During the past 9 months, your body has adapted to the demands of mother nature and the little wonder that grew inside you. You may feel like your body is changed forever and you will never be the same again, but there are other symptoms you should be aware of.
1. Post-natal contractions
During the first few days after delivery you may suffer from some kind of cramps, from mild to sometimes extreme pain that reminds you of your period, only worse. These cramps are called after-pains. This can occur while you are breast feeding your baby and is caused by the hormone Oxytocin, which also helps you to release your milk during feeding. The cramps are caused by your uterus contracting and shrinking back to its old size This process, of course, is different for every mother, so there’s no way to tell when it will stop. You might pass some blood - also completely normal, your uterus is cleaning itself.
In the first few days after delivery your breasts can feel very painful and warm due to your body getting ready to produce the milk your baby needs. You can try to alleviate some discomfort by breast feeding as often as possible, or with warm compresses.
3. Painful vagina
This one is a no-brainer, after what you just went through. Sitting or urinating may cause pain or discomfort – it’s best to take it easy and keep an eye on whatever wounds or sutures you may have. If something doesn’t seem right, speak to your doctor.
An age old and very common problem during late pregnancy and just after – the enlarged veins around your anus from all the pushing and straining that came with childbirth (and the constipation you might have been dealing with before your baby showed up). You may feel itchy, irritated, or sometimes in pain, especially when you go to the bathroom. There are a variety of creams and treatments for this, including upping your fiber intake. If you do bleed excessively, you should speak to your doctor about it.
5. Your first period - again
Quite often after childbirth your period will be different than it was before. You may notice a heavier flow, or more clots, or that the cramps are worse than you remembered. None of this should be frightening, even if they are annoying. It’s all normal. Your body may slowly return to the way it was before, but it will take its own time to get there.
6. Losing weight
You may want to return your pre-baby body as fast as possible, but before you go on that heavy diet or exercise schedule, it is very important to let your body rest and recover from the ordeal you just went through. Try some light exercise and eating healthy and the rest will come with time.