The postpartum period is typically defined as the six weeks after you deliver your child. It’s a joyous and amazing time, but it also will involve a period of adjustment and healing after you deliver your child. Let’s take a look at a few things that are typically involved in postpartum care, and a few of the issues that may affect you after giving birth.
Your vagina will be sore after delivering your baby, and this is especially common if you experienced a vaginal tear during delivery, or an incision was required during the birth. Depending on the severity of the issue, this may take several weeks to heal. Over-the-counter drugs and numbing sprays and creams can help with this discomfort.
After delivery, your uterus will shed its mucous membrane. This discharge begins heavy and red, and will begin to taper away after a few days, becoming more watery and becoming a pinkish-brown or yellowish-white color. However, heavy vaginal bleeding is not normal. Contact your health provider if you are bleeding excessively and filling a pad within an hour, or you notice a lot of pelvic pain and tenderness, or a fever.
For a few days after delivery, you may feel “afterpains” – contractions that resemble menstrual cramps. These are normal, and caused by blood vessels compressing in your uterus to prevent excessive bleeding. You can treat them with an over-the-counter pain reliever.
Your pelvic floor muscles, which support your bladder, uterus, and rectum, are often stretched in the process of pregnancy, labor, and vaginal delivery. This can cause minor urine leaks when you cough, sneeze, or laugh. This typically improves within a few weeks. Pelvic floor muscle exercises (Kegels) can help improve your bladder control and speed up your recovery.
Pregnancy, labor and a vaginal delivery can stretch or injure your pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, and rectum. This might cause you to leak a few drops of urine while sneezing, laughing, or coughing. These problems usually improve within weeks but might persist long term.
Every woman recovers from childbirth differently. For this reason, we recommend following up with your health care provider within 8 weeks of delivery to ensure that your body is adjusting properly and you have not experienced any major health issues related to delivering your baby. So don't wait. Schedule your appointment at Women’s Medical Associates of Nashville now.