Every birth is different,
Every body is different,
We all recover and heal at our own pace.
We all perceive recovery differently,
We feel pain or discomfort differently.
No post birth recovery is the same,
No woman is the same,
and no experience will ever be the same.
What to expect during the first few days-weeks after the birth:
- All the food! lots of nutrients to aid with healing. Fibre to keep bowels moving. Lots of water to avoid dehydration.
- Vaginal bleeding and discharge (also known as lochia) is normal for up to 6 weeks after birth. This will be heaviest in the first week after birth and slowly over the following weeks will become lighter until it completely stops.
- Tearing of the perineum (skin between the vagina and anus) is not uncommon during birth. Swelling and bruising is often associated with this. Ice can be relieving and comforting during the first 24 hours. Regular Panadol and Ibuprofen can also help. Try to avoid sitting all day, frequent periods of lying to relieve pressure on the tear or stitches. It is important to keep the area clean with regular showers and washes throughout the day. Pat the area dry and monitor for signs of infection (more in depth talk about tearing and healing to come!)
- Your body literally rearranged/squeezed its organs to make room to grow and birth this baby. Its okay to feel and look different! Slowly return to movement or exercise when you feel comfortable to do so. It is also important to consider your pelvic floor post birth- commencing pelvic floor specific exercises when feeling ready. It can be useful to engage a physio to guide how best to manage this.