What Symptoms Can You Expect During Postpartum Recovery?
Congratulations, you have a new baby in your life! If this is your first child, you’re dealing with a new experience, and you have no idea what to expect. Recovering from the effects of childbirth can take some time, even if you had a C-section instead of natural birth.
In this post, we’ll give you everything you need to prepare for the physiological changes in the first three months after giving birth. Here’s to your recovery!
During childbirth, the uterus expands, and it starts to shrink back to its standard size after the delivery. The uterus can take up to 3-weeks to return to its average size and shape; during this time, you’re going to experience what we call “afterpains.”
Afterpains can vary in intensity and duration, but in most cases, they are dull pains that last anything from a few minutes to a few hours.
The Baby Blues
You just experienced the miracle of childbirth and starting a family. So, why do you feel so sad? After giving birth, your body undergoes a rebalancing of your hormone profile. It takes some time for the body to adjust to producing less estrogen and progesterone.
As hormone levels drop, you might start to develop the symptoms of the baby blues. For most women, these mild sensations of depression fade in anything from a few days to a few weeks. Women that face more challenging situations may develop a severe form of the baby blues that progresses into “postpartum depression” (PPD). PPD occurs in around 15% or less of new mothers.
Treatment for PPD includes clinical psychology interventions and hormone therapy.
Most women experience constipation in the first few days following giving birth. There are several reasons while your bowel movement slows down.
Epidural medications used in pain relief during childbirth can contribute to the constipation., the use of a mild laxative will help move things along and break constipation.
This condition occurs due to the painful swelling of veins in the rectum. You can get hemorrhoids during the pregnancy or the strain of pushing during the delivery of your baby. These painful lumps can break and bleed after a bowel movement, increasing the risk of infection.
You can get relief from the pain and itching caused by hemorrhoids using medicated pads. These pads come fortified with witch hazel, a soothing natural ingredient that helps heal the hemorrhoids and stop the itching and pain symptoms.
The hemorrhoids should shrink in the first three weeks. If they get worse, contact your doctor for assistance.
The perineum describes the region between the vagina and anus. In most cases of childbirth, this area tears as the baby comes into the world. In some cases, the doctor will make an incision in this area to prevent the tearing and help reduce the pain symptoms during birth.
If your perineum does tear, the doctor repairs it with stitches. The stitches can take up to three weeks to heal. If the perineum doesn’t tear, it will remain sore for two to three weeks after the delivery. Sitting on an icepack a few times a day can reduce the symptoms of swelling and pain.
Sore Breasts and Nipples
Breastfeeding is a new experience. It’s common for new mothers to experience tenderness and pain when breastfeeding in the first few days.
If the pain continues past three days, it might be that the baby isn’t latching correctly. Change your feeding position and see if that helps. Using moisturizing cream with lanolin is your best option for soothing the pain without harming your baby.
Vaginal Discharge and Bleeding
We assure you, the bleeding and discharge you’re experiencing is entirely normal after giving birth. You might also experience these symptoms if you have a C-section birth.
The discharge and bleeding, known as the “Lochia,” is the body’s way of getting rid of the extra tissue involved with feeding and housing your baby. This effect lasts for the first ten days and then tapers off.
After the birth, progesterone levels remain high. This hormone causes your body to hold onto more water post-childbirth. The edema may take anywhere up to two weeks to subside as your hormone levels come back into check.
It takes time for your body to get rid of the baby weight. Some women have a harder time dropping the extra pounds than others. It usually comes down to your hormone recovery, and how fast your hormonal system comes back to homeostasis after giving birth. After the first week from birth, you can expect to lose anywhere from 6 to 12-lbs.
It’s common for women to get headaches in the days following the pregnancy. As the body adjusts to the hormonal changes, it can lead to strange occurrences, such as the baby blues, and issues like headaches.
However, if you’re experiencing persistent headaches alongside symptoms of high blood pressure and anxiety, it might be a sign of a stroke.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
DVT is a rare occurrence in pregnancies, and typically only features in 1 in every 1,000-births. It’s more common for DVT to be an issue in overweight or obese women giving birth.
Symptoms can feel like a pulled muscle in your legs or discomfort. DVT can be life-threatening if the clot breaks away and moves toward the lungs.
Try Red Light Therapy with Sonic Vibration at Home
To resolve the issues of pelvic floor problems that lead to urinary incontinence – try red light therapy. RLT helps to restore the structural integrity of the vaginal walls and the pelvic floor muscles. Red light penetrates deep into the tissues in the vagina and the pelvis, allowing the accelerated repair of tissues that rely on collagen for recovery.
A red light device, like our MyElleVibe device, is an excellent tool for restoring the health of the vagina and pelvic floor. The red light focuses on the walls of the vagina and the cervix, tightening the vagina. One 10 to 12-minute treatment every other day is all it takes to get your vagina and pelvis back on track to health.