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After Pregnancy

November 23, 2008

AfterPregnancy Here’s what to expect as you recover  from childbirth.

When you get pregnant there are many changes your body will go through.  Your body changes in more ways than you think, and it does not stop when the baby is born.  You need to think about the postpartum care and what it involves, managing all the problems that comes after childbirth.  Here’s are some of the important things to expect after delivery.

Contractions

After the first few days after delivery you may feel contractions called after pains. These after pains (contractions) will occur during breast-feeding and they help prevent excessive bleeding.  The way it does this is by compressing the blood vessels in the uterus. The after pains feel kind of like menstrual cramps when you have your menstruation period.  If they are unbearable see your doctor and they may prescribe pain medication.

Soreness in the Vagina

Some women will have a tear during delivery and this could hurt for a few weeks when you sit or walk.  Some of the things you can do to help is:

  • Keep the Wound Clean
  • Sit Down Carefully
  • Do your Kegels Exercises
  • Always looks for Signs of Infection
  • Soothe the Wound with ice packs

Discharge from the Vagina

For up the six weeks after delivery you will have a discharge that’s bright red heavy flow of blood for a few days.  The discharge will gradually go away. Use sanitary napkins to reduce the risk of infection instead of tampons.

Hemorrhoids

It’s possible you may have hemorrhoids if you have pain during a bowel movement.  Hemorrhoids is the swelling near your anus which is stretched and swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum.  If bad see your doctor for a hemorrhoid medication.

Having a Problem Urinating

Surrounding the bladder and urethra you may have swelling or bruising of the tissues that may lead to difficulty urinating.  It may help to place a hot or cold packs on the tissue between the vaginal opening and anus.  This could also be symptoms of a urinary tract infection so be sure to consult your health care provider.

Leaking Urine

The connective tissue at the base of the bladder  stretch after pregnancy and birth.  This could cause nerve and muscle damage to the bladder or urethra.  Some times when you laugh, strain, or cough you may leak urine.

Bowel Movements

Sometimes because of fear of hurting your perineum or aggravating the pain of hemorrhoids you may find yourself avoiding your bowel movements.  Something else could happen is the inability to control bowel movements (fecal incontinence).  This happens sometimes when you have an unusually long labor.  Again and always if you have these problem or any problem consult your health care provider.

Sore Breasts

A few days after delivery, your breasts may become heavy, swollen and tender.  This discomfort should not last but a few days.  Feeding your newborn regularly will help this problem.

Weight Loss

After you give birth you may feel  out of shape and in some cases you may still look pregnant and flabby.  Don’t get upset this will not last forever and is perfectly normal.  You should loose ten or more pounds during birth from the weight of the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid.  The next few days you should loose more from leftover fluids.  Sorry after that it’s back to eating right and exercise.  This should get you back to your pre-pregnancy weight.

Mood Changes

Many women after childbirth will have some powerful emotions going on.  This is called the baby blues, mood swings, sadness, irritability and anxiety are common.  The baby blues typically will not last long about seven to ten days.

Hair Loss

When you are pregnant you normally do not loose any hair but after delivery you could sheds the excess hair all at once.  Your hair will be back to normal in about six months.

Changes in the Skin

You could notice small blood vessels breaking during the pushing stage of labor causing small red spots on your face.  Not to worry they should go away in about a week.

Just wanted your to know some of the main changes your body will go through after childbirth.  You should have a postpartum checkup in about six weeks or so after birth to make sure there are no problems with your vagina, cervix and uterus and that they are healing well. Even though what you are feeling is entirely normal you still need to talk to your health care provider about any concerns you may have.

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