Finally , your baby is here, and you’re thrilled. You will also experience an emotional roller coaster apart from being physically exhausted and a bundle of nerves.
Wondering if you will ever fit into your jeans again creeps up at the back of your mind. Those tedious. Antenatal classes where suppose to prepare you for this, but reality sets in.
WHAT YOU MIGHT NOTICE / EXPERIENCE PHYSICALLY:
Sore breasts: Your breasts may be painful and engorged for several days when your milk comes and your nipples may be slightly sore.
- Constipation: Your first bowel movement may be a few days after delivery. Women with hemorrhoids, healing episiotomies, and sore muscles will experience pain.
- Episiotomy: If the area of skin between the vagina and the anus was cut during delivery,or it tore during the birth, the stitches in that area will make it painful to sit or walk for a little while during the healing process. It also can be painful when you cough or sneeze during this period .
- Hemorrhoids: Although common, haemorrhoids which are swollen blood vessels in the rectum are frequently unexpected.
- Hot and cold flashes: Your body’s adjustment to new hormones and blood flow levels can cause such to happen
- Urinary or faecal incontinence: The stretching of your muscles during delivery can cause you to accidentally urinate when you cough, laugh, or strain or might make it difficult to control your bowel movements, especially if you had a lengthy labour before a vaginal delivery.
- After pains: After giving birth, your uterus will continue to have contractions for a few days. These are most noticeable when you nurse your baby or when you are given medication to reduce bleeding.
- Vaginal discharge: This will Initially be heavier than your regular period and often containing clots, This discharge will gradually fade to white or yellow and then stop within several weeks.
- Weight: Your weight will probably be about 5-7kg below your full-term weight because of the baby, placenta and the amniotic fluid that has left your body.An additional water weight will drop off within the first week as your body regains normalcy
WHAT YOU MIGHT NOTICE / EXPERIENCE EMOTIONALLY
- “Baby blues.” : A good number of new mums are irritable,sad,cry, or anxious several days after delivery. Baby blues are quite common and usually related to physical changes (including hormonal changes, exhaustion, and unexpected birth experiences).
Baby blues usually subside within 2 weeks.
- Post-partum depression (PPD): More serious and longer lasting than the baby blues, this condition is present in 10%-15% of new moms and may cause mood swings, anxiety, guilt, and persistent sadness.
This can be diagnosed even up to a year after giving birth, and it’s more common in women with a history of depression, as well as a family history of depression.let your doctor know immediately.
- Also, when it comes to intimacy, you and your partner may be on completely different pages. Doctors often ask women to wait a few weeks before having sex to allow them to heal.
THE HEALING PROCESS
If you’ve had a caesarean section (C-section), it can take even longer for your body to heal , because surgery requires a longer healing time.
Pain is greatest the first few days after the surgery and should gradually subside. Your doctor will advise you on precautions to take after surgery, and give you directions for bathing and how to begin gentle exercises to speed recovery and help avoid constipation.
THINGS TO KNOW:
Birth Control: You can become pregnant again before your first post-partum period.This is less likely if you are exclusively breastfeeding, have not had a period, and your baby is younger than 6 months old, but it is still possible.
It is advisable If you want to protect against pregnancy to discuss your options with your doctor.
- Breastfeeding: You need plenty of sleep, lots of fluids, and good nutrition, to breastfeeding successfully Avoid caffeine, which causes loss of fluid through urine and sometimes makes babies wakeful and fussy.
If you have any breastfeeding problems, talk to your doctor, midwife, or a lactation specialist. Relieve clogged milk ducts with breast massage, frequent nursing, feeding after a warm shower, and warm moist compresses applied throughout the day.
If you develop a fever or chills or your breast becomes tender or red, you may have an infection (mastitis) and need antibiotics. Call your doctor if this happens. Continue nursing or pumping from both breasts, though, and drink plenty of fluids.
- Engorged Breasts: Engorged breasts will reduce when proper breastfeeding method is established.
- Episiotomy Care: Continue sit baths (sitting in just a few inches of water and covering the buttocks, up to the hips, in the water) using cool water for the first few days, then warm water after that.Sitting on a pillow may be more comfortable than sitting on a hard surface.
You might be prescribed with an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen to help with the pain and swelling.
- Exercise: Exercise as soon as you’ve been cleared by your doctor to help restore your strength and pre-pregnancy body, increase your energy and sense of well-being, and reduce constipation. Begin slowly and increase gradually. Walking and swimming are excellent choices.
- Haemorrhoids and Constipation: Alternating warm sit baths and cold packs can help with haemorrhoids. It also help sitting on an inflatable do-nut cushion.
- Incontinence: Urinary or faecal incontinence often eases gradually as your body returns to its normal pre-pregnancy state. Encourage the process with Kegel exercises, which help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. Just pretend you’re trying to stop peeing. Squeeze those muscles for a few seconds, then relax. Do this continuously for a few minutes daily.
Wear a sanitary pad for protection, and let the doctor know about any incontinence you have.
WHEN TO CALL A DOCTOR
- Have a fever of 38°C or above
- Used more than one sanitary towel in an hour and pass large clots or if the bleeding increases
- The C-section or episiotomy incision becomes very red, swollen or drains pus
- A new pain develops as well as swelling, or tenderness in your legs
- You have a hot-to-the-touch, reddened, sore breasts or any cracking or bleeding from the nipple or the dark-colored area of the breast
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Pain on urination, a sudden urge to pee, or you are unable to control urination
- You have increasing pain in the vaginal area
- You have new or worsening belly pain
- You develop a cough, chest pain, nausea, or vomiting
- You have bad headaches and/or visual changes
- You become depressed, have hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, or any thoughts of harming your baby
Recovery from delivery is gradual and things will get easier. In a little while, you will be able to fully focus on enjoying your new baby.
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