A Women Gives Birth and is Reborn Again. Keeping a life for nine months and giving birth is a process of undergoing a major emotional and physical transformation. So, if you are a new Mom and are physically helpless and mentally anxious and fearful, do not worry; it’s normal to feel like that. Talk about it and, with time, this too shall turn into beautiful memories.
Congratulation on becoming a Mother. The postpartum healing period completely depends on the birthing procedure. Cesarean delivery takes more time to heal compared to vaginal delivery. Having said that, the healing time is completely individual and, there isn’t any clinically prescribed timeline that suits all. However, the healing stages will remain constant for all. Compared to virginal delivery, C-section delivery takes more time to heal.
The first six weeks after childbirth can be very challenging, especially after a C-section. However, with every week, your will get physically better. Know what to expect at every stage of postpartum.
Let’s go week by week.
The First Five Weeks
An earnest request to all new moms, please do not think about losing weight now. Your body needs to regain its lost strength first; only then can you focus on getting back to shape. So, relax and take it easy.
Stiches Around Vagina
In the first week, your Incision site healing will begin. If you have got an incision around your vagina during baby birth and have got stitches in that area, then week one is the time when these stitches will start dissolving. The area will only get normal after 6-7 weeks. After the third week, you can start doing the Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles. However, consult your doctor before starting the exercises. If you experience pain on the incision site or pus-like discharge, then contact your doctor immediately.
If you experience perineal pain, then try applying cold packs in that area. You can also try sitting on a seat cushion that makes your feel comfortable.
You will experience some amount of vaginal discharge due to the shedding of blood and tissues that line around your uterus during the pregnancy period. The bleeding will automatically subside in few days. If heavy bleeding continues after 4-5 days, contact your doctor.
Pain During Urination
It is normal to feel a burning sensation around the urinary outlet for few days. It is due to the pressure exerted on the bladder and urethra during childbirth. To get instant relief from this pain, you can sit on a tub of warm water and keep consuming a lot of water.
It is normal to feel constipated in the first few days of childbirth. It could be due to medication or a change in mental condition during that time. Feeling anxious about bowel movements, especially with the stitches around the area, is common; thus, drink a lot of water and consume food that contains lots of fibre. If the abnormal bowel movement continues beyond the 4th day, consult your doctor.
Drastic hormonal changes occur during the first few weeks of postpartum, causing abnormal sweating. However, if sweating is accompanied by fever, then you must consult your doctor. It could be a sign of infection.
Abnormal hair fall can be disturbing but, after C-section, hair fall is common. This is due to the hormonal changes that occur post-childbirth. The good news is that the hair fall will get automatically reduced after 3-4 weeks. When your estrogen levels increase, your hair will return to its normal thickness.
During the first week of breastfeeding, you might experience sore nipples and breasts. However, if this condition continues after the first week, it could be that your baby is not latching correctly. In this case, consult a lactation expert.
Mental Status During The First Five Weeks
In the first week, the mental status gets disturbed due to physical discomfort and pain. Hormonal changes are also common during this time; thus, feeling irritated and tired is normal. However, a lot of women overcome this week with the joy of seeing their baby. Feeling overwhelmed during this time is common, so the best remedy is – always keep some help by your side for the first three weeks at least.
By the 3rd week, you will be comfortable with breastfeeding. However, your emotions will create confusion; you will be happy one moment and, the other moment, you might want to kill yourself. Thus, the only way to survive this time is to get good sleep and keep your mind engaged.
A lot of women experience a lot of anger during the first three weeks. The feeling of others not understanding your pain can lead to irritation. Also, as your body changes, you might lose the desire to live and enjoy life. However, by the end of the 4th week, as your scars recover, you will again feel the drive to exercise and put yourself back in shape. So, hold on, do not let yourself fall into depression.
As the child grows, mothers usually wish that they could hold time back. However, during the first 3-4 weeks, you may desperately want your baby to grow up and adapt to the normal sleep pattern.
To get over this period, we would strongly recommend you to be in constant touch with your doctor. The mental and physical changes you encounter during this time are medically accepted and, only a doctor can validate the same, empathize with your situation and give you hope.
The Sixth Week
By the sixth week, you will find yourself back. The baby blues will also become normal, and although you might still suffer from weight issues, your body will be ready for exercise.
Congrats, by the 6th week, your uterus will be back to the pre-pregnancy stage. As the uterus gets back to normal, the abdominal pain will also reduce.
C-section takes time to heal; however, by the 6th week, you can begin with light exercises and start driving as well. However, avoid lifting heavy things and ask your doctor when you can resume normal activities.
By the 6th week, the scars will stop hurting and itching. Soon, you will be able to regain your normal activity.
Post-Six Weeks Tips:
Congrats! You have indeed crossed a mountain; here are few things that you must follow even after the 6th week.
- Be good to yourself because your body is still fighting.
- Start exercising but be gentle with yourself.
- Try avoiding sexual activity for few more weeks. Your scars have just healed.
- Sleep whenever you can. It is the best medicine.
- Drink lots of water and eat high fibre food. Remember your baby is still breastfeeding.
The Final Word:
Feeling great about giving birth to your baby and feeling bad about your condition can seem like a constant battle. Postpartum blues are painful, but with proper guidance, good food, and lots of rest, you can sail through this period. Remember, you are not alone in this; every new mom goes through the same, even the celebrities you admire have gone through the same. So, it’s just a matter of time.
First-time moms are always looking for answers to their physical and mental situations. They might hate their body, life, and everyone around them, but these are not emotions but hormones that are creating havoc. So, understand the various phases of postpartum and enjoy the journey with patience and self-love. In our next article, we will talk about the common questions related to postpartum.