Recovery after delivery doesn’t take a few days – it is weeks of healing and recuperating for mothers.
The road to recovery might seem difficult and long. To set your expectations on recovery after giving birth, here’s what we’ll be sharing to make the journey enjoyable:
- How Long Is The Recovery After Delivery?
- The Timeline of Recovery After Delivery
- What To Expect…
- …the day after giving birth?
- …a week after giving birth?
- …3 weeks after giving birth?
- …6 weeks after giving birth?
- …a year after giving birth?
How Long Is The Recovery From Delivery Of A Child?
The recovery process depends on the way you gave birth – naturally or by a c-section. Whichever you have gone through, the recovery period is usually 6 weeks from the birth of the baby.
Postpartum care should be part of your recovery as well. Not only will the healing and recuperating be better, but getting professional help is always a good idea for your health.
Postpartum refers to the concerns regarding the health and wellness of the mother post-delivery. Postpartum care is a regular check-up you can have with your prenatal healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will then guide you to recovery through the weeks, even months, post-delivery.
The Timeline of Recovery After Delivery – What To Expect
The Day After Giving Birth
You will experience lochia, vaginal bleeding that is normal after giving birth to your baby. Depending on the tearing of your vagina or how you gave birth, your vagina will feel sore and you may need stitches. Do stock up on maternity pads as the vaginal bleeding may continue throughout the recovery period.
Your uterus will also start going back to its normal size pre-pregnancy which may cause discomfort and cramps.
Hormonal levels will start changing again, which may result in overwhelming emotions and thoughts. It will also be normal to feel exhaustion so get as much rest as you need.
At this point, the colostrum production of the breast is starting and getting ready for your baby’s first meal as well.
The Week After Giving Birth
Urinating may come as a challenge because your vagina will still be sore from childbirth. If you had a c-section, the incision will make moving around quite difficult, too.
You might also show signs of baby blues. If you need someone to talk to, reach out to your husband or your healthcare provider.
Hormonal levels will start to decrease which may be the cause for mood swings and your emotional state. Focus on the love and care your husband is giving you and the baby. Choose to see the brighter side of the picture – you can hold and love your baby now.
Your breasts will be producing and releasing colostrum now and you’re all set for breastfeeding smoothly without assistance.
Vaginal bleeding is normal too. Do not fear when you still feel contractions – your muscles are adjusting back to their normal sizes. This means you could also experience constipation.
3 Weeks After Giving Birth
Postpartum blues is normal – missing your baby’s kicks and movements in your tummy, wanting to always be near your baby and never wanting your baby out of sight. Postpartum depression is a different case.
If you feel like you are experiencing emotions or thoughts that are leading to depression-like anxiety, emptiness and sadness, reach out to your partner and consult your doctor for options on counselling. Disclose how you are feeling to your doctor during your session.
Your incision may start to be healing if you had a c-section. Heads up! The incision area might start to feel a bit itchy, too. You can still feel quite sore, but moving around will be better for you.
If you had a normal delivery, moving around could be easy for you by now. The stinging of peeing or pooping is not as intense as the first week of recovery.
6 Weeks After Giving Birth
Don’t forget your appointment with your healthcare provider to update on your recovery. Assessments made at this point is to make sure that your recovery after delivery is normal and progressive.
By this point, your uterus should be at its size pre-pregnancy and your wounds are healing to perfect health. Your doctor will also let you know if you can start exercising and what food is best for you at this point.
It’s normal to feel like a majestic lion with an amazing mane, but postpartum, expect to lose the volume and thickness of your hair for a while. This is bound to happen due to the fluctuating hormone levels.
Urinary incontinence is something that you will go through now because of contracting pelvic muscles due to pregnancy and delivery. Kegel exercises can help in controlling your bladder by strengthening the pelvic muscles.
A Year After Giving Birth
If you have been breastfeeding until this point, it is normal to not get your period thanks to lactational amenorrhea.
Being healed and recovered from delivery, you will have a balance in hormonal levels and hair loss will stop at 6 months postpartum. You start to feel and think like your old self again.
You can start exercising and dedicating yourself to healthy skincare products that are safe for you and your baby.
While you are returning to your normal routine, going on a weight loss diet might be too soon since your body needs to gain back all the nutrients it lost being pregnant and giving birth.
Invest your diet in healthy lean meat, luscious greens and plenty of beneficial fruits. Hydration is key to feeling and being healthy!
In A Nutshell…
No recovery is ever easy or painless. Just like everything people go through, recovery and healing take time, patience and care.
Focus on the healthy birth of your baby, the support and love of your husband and the moral support from your family. Eat healthy, live healthy and think healthy – recovery after delivery is a life-changing process in the journey of being a woman.
What’s your healing story? Share your experience with us!