After childbirth feeling beat up is normal, you need time to recover after the amazing thing your body did. Educate yourself on healing from a cesarean or vaginal birth and handling issues such as fatigue, bleeding, pain, cramps and sweating that can occur with postpartum healing.
Will my vagina and perineum ever get back to normal?
Your vagina is likely to stay a bit larger than it was before giving birth if you have a vaginal birth. The vagina will be stretched open following delivery. There may also be bruising and swelling. The swelling will start to reduce over the next few days, and muscle tone starts to return to the vagina. Muscle tone is aided in its restoration with regular Kegel exercises.
The healing of any small tear in the perineum that did not result in stitches should not cause a lot of discomfort and should heal quickly. The perineum requires healing time when there was a significant tear or episiotomy. Get the okay during the postpartum checkup from your practitioner before returning to sexual activity. Do not have intercourse until you are ready, if there is continued tenderness in the area.
Why am I feeling so moody?
There are a number of factors that can cause mood swings. These included the sleep deprivation from caring for a newborn baby, continued discomfort from going through labor and childbirth, hormonal changes and adjusting to the emotional changes of motherhood. Starting a few days after birth to a few weeks after it is common to feel blue.
Call your physician and tell them your symptoms if the feelings do not go away in the first few weeks or if you begin feeling worse. You may be suffering from a more serious problem known as postpartum depression. Your doctor can give you a referral as this may require further treatment. Seek professional help immediately if you feel that you cannot care for your newborn or that you might hurt the baby or yourself.
Postpartum Healing After a C-Section
The typical hospital stay for C-section patients is two to four days. You will require help to take care of yourself and your baby because recovery is not measured in days, it is measured in weeks. Older children can feel needy after you have been gone for a few days, and you are returning with a new baby. You want to get as much help as you can with the new big brother or sister so they know they are still important and with the demands of the new baby.
How will I feel right after surgery?
Immediately after surgery, you may be groggy and nauseated. There are medications that will minimize the discomfort; the nausea can remain for as long as forty-eight hours. Mothers that received narcotic in the spinal or epidural are more likely to feel itchy everywhere. Tell your caregiver so they can give you something to help the itching.
How active should I expect to be?
It is vital that you get adequate rest when you get home but you need to walk around regularly. Walking aids in the prevention of blood clots and other complications while it promotes healing.
Do not overdo it. Start slow and gradually increase activity. There will be soreness in the belly for some time while you recover from the major abdominal surgery. Avoid lifting anything that weighs more than your baby does and do not do heavy housework for eight weeks.
Tammy Mahan spent many years working in the maternity ward. She enjoyed helping bring new life into the world as well as educating new moms about what to expect about postpartum healing. When Tammy is not caring for her own family, or her patients she enjoys writing for Healthline.com.