After having a baby, all you want to do is stare at the beautiful little life you created all day long. But every mother needs to allow her body to relax for some time. Of course, your baby does need to be watched over, but if you don't look after yourself, you won't be able to look after the tiny tot. Knowing what changes your body is undergoing will help you understand why you need to take rest.
Following are the changed that occur in your body after a vaginal delivery:
CHANGE IN THE UTERUS:
In order to accommodate the baby during the pregnancy, the uterus gets stretched and after the baby is delivered the uterus contracts and reaches its normal size. During the first few days of delivery, you will notice a hard lump in the lower part of the abdomen which is nothing but the uterus which has contracted to half the size just before your delivery and it shrinks rapidly in the next few weeks. There might be some cramping occasionally especially when you breastfeed.
It is normal to have vaginal bleeding for 2 to 6 weeks after delivery and the discharge from the vagina after delivery is called LOCHIA. The amount of bleeding varies from day to day and the colour changes from bright red to watery red or pink. After a few weeks, it will change to yellow, white or clear colour.
BLADDER AND BOWEL FUNCTION:
For months the uterus was pushing on the bladder and during delivery, there would have been pressure on the bladder which can cause the bladder to lose sensation or become numb. You will have the first bowel movement 2 to 3 days after the delivery. It is important to pass urine for every 2 to 3 hours. Drink plenty of fluids and take foods rich in fibre so that the stools are not hard.
It is normal to see an increase in the swelling in your legs during the first 1 or 2 weeks after delivery as the body can retain up to 6 litres of water during pregnancy. After delivery, this might tend to collect in your legs and in a few weeks it will come down by itself.
HANDLING PAIN AFTER DELIVERY:
It is common to have pain near the vagina and in the first 24 hours after delivery, you may even be given an injectable painkiller if you had the pain unbearable. After that, you should be able to manage with painkillers.
RESUMING NORMAL ACTIVITY:
You can start moving around your room as soon as you feel up to it. One month after the delivery, you should be able to completely resume all your normal activities including driving your vehicle.
After a vaginal delivery, it is usually safe to resume intercourse 6 weeks after birth. By that time, you will have had your postnatal check-up and your obstetrician would have made sure that you have healed well. You may be a little apprehensive about the pain the first few times but you will be comfortable soon.
Remember, even if you have not resumed your periods or are breastfeeding, you can still become pregnant.