Postpartum Expectations: Part Two

Physical recovery.

This can vary depending on how baby was born; vaginally or by cesarean. No matter how baby was born, the parents body has gone through tremendous change, and needs time to heal. After a vaginal birth, there may have been perineal tearing which may or may not require stitches. This area, no matter the degree of tear, will require some love and time to heal and recover. Most new parents are sent home with a peri bottle to use when going to the bathroom to relieve some of the stinging that comes along with urinating, but can also offer soothing relief from wearing a pad until bleeding stops.

Giving birth is hard work, and the postpartum body can feel sore all over. Getting plenty of rest and going slow for the first few weeks or so will help the body bounce back and recover faster.

More common in subsequent births, after pains can cause discomfort due to the shrinking of the uterus. These cramps vary in strength, but can vary from light menstrual cramps to strong cramps reminiscent of contractions. Your body is doing exactly what it should, but often times this is overlooked, and can be surprising.

When baby is born by cesarean, the parent will be recovering from abdominal surgery (seriously, you've just had surgery. Marjor. Surgery. Dont brush off what you've just experienced. Take it easy!). There will be an incision on the abdomen that will be tender and sore for awhile, and though rushing to move around is not a good idea, refraining from any movement will hinder the healing process. Day to day activities will be a challenge as bending at the waist is basically where the incision was, and holding baby and breastfeeding may also be a challenge. This is time when relying on outside support would be encouraged.

Take care of your scar. Not enough people know that a cesarean scar needs love and attention too! The Vagina Whisperer on Instagram has great information on how to take care of it!

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