The Postpartum Timeline
During the first few weeks after childbirth, a mother’s body starts healing and adjusting to not being a pregnant mom. The stage is referred to as the postpartum period or postpartum. A mother’s body has to go through a lot of changes while she recovers. However, such changes are not exactly the same for all women.
The first weeks after a woman’s childbirth are also the best time to bond with her baby. It is also time to establish a routine to take care of her little one. Postpartum care is extremely necessary, and your physician may wish to meet you for the checkup two to six weeks after giving birth. It is also a suitable time to discuss issues, including birth control.
What happens right after childbirth and the following weeks or months?
Irrespective of how a woman has given birth, her recovery period comprises the first 6 weeks postpartum. It is possible that a woman has had a smooth delivery and no complications during her pregnancy. However, her body is still stretched, as well as, stressed to the maximum. Now is the time for her body to regroup.
However, it is imperative to note that all new mothers are not the same. It means each woman will have a different recovery rate and have distinct postpartum symptoms. While most of these are likely to smooth up within 7 days, other symptoms such as perineal pain, backaches, and sore nipples can persist for several weeks. Other signs such as an achy back and leaky breasts could exist until the child grows up a little.
In case a woman had a normal delivery, she could be contemplating how long she would have to bear the soreness and her perineum to heal. The recovery period might vary from 3 weeks to 6 weeks based on whether she had tears or not. Are you wondering whether your vagina will be the same or not after birth? It may not be the same but will possibly be quite similar.
On the other hand, if it was a C-section delivery, the mom can expect to spend the first 3-4 days postpartum recovering in a hospital. Also, it will take around 4-6 weeks before she can feel her normal self1.
Expected changes that the mother will likely experience.
The postpartum period starts instantly after giving birth. However, the duration for which it lasts is variable. Usually, it takes around 30 days to 40 days, 60 days, or even one hundred days.
A woman may feel sore for some days and exhausted for many weeks. Additionally, it can take around four to six weeks to feel like your old self. However, if you had a cesarean birth, the recovery time could be possibly even longer. For the next few weeks and days, there could be some bleeding and afterpains when the uterus shrinks2.
Bleedings and sore muscles
There are various changes in the new mom's body, including bleeding and sore muscles as we said earlier. After pains or contractions can shrink her uterus for many days after giving birth. It takes about 6-8 weeks for the uterus to shrink to its pre-pregnancy size. Sore muscles are also common after childbirth.
Several women go through what is commonly referred to as the “baby blues” immediately after giving birth. The symptom is at its peak on the 4th day. It may take less than a fortnight to ease up. Do you have the blues for more than some days and she has been nurturing thoughts about hurting your child or yourself? It is better to consult her doctor immediately. There could also be postpartum depression and it has to be treated. Counseling, medicines, and support groups can come in handy.
Resumption of menstrual cycles
The resumption of the menstrual cycle after giving birth may vary from case to case. However, for a majority of non-breastfeeding moms, the first postpartum cycle happens about 55-60 days after the delivery. On the other hand, breastfeeding can delay the resumption of menses by many months, particularly when the baby does not get other supplemental nutrition3.
Changes in breast
While changes in a woman’s breasts may start before her delivery, these can become dramatic postpartum. Many hormones interact to permit the seamless production of milk.
Progesterone and estrogen levels plummet during this stage, thus playing a major role in mood swings.
Such changes can continue for a minimum of five days postpartum. However, in some women, it can continue for a much longer period.
Consult your doctor if required
Proper postpartum care is extremely important because of all these changes. It may be necessary to consult your physician to make sure that your body’s healing process is happening as expected. Your gynecologist can also help you to overcome the emotional turmoil and recommend you to adjust to becoming a new mother. Let your physician know when you have any signs that are bothering you.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Lindsay Hudson
Lindsay is a freelance writer who is mom to a lovely daughter. She loves dressing in matching outfits with her daughter and bringing their 2 dogs out for their daily walk.