Your Body After Delivery
Now that your baby is in your arms, you may expect your body to be back to normal. However, following childbirth, you may still experience some pain and discomfort.
Here are some common post-natal issues and pointers for coping with them:
After a C-section, you may have difficulty getting up or walking around due to the pain at the incision site.
Action to take: Your body will heal more quickly if you eat well and take lots of fluids. It is good to walk, even if it is initially painful. Avoid lifting heavy things or exerting force when carrying out your tasks as your stitches may break open. Call your doctor immediately if there is a splitting open of your incision.
Some women get piles or haemorrhoids after they have a baby. They gradually become smaller and the discomfort then eases.
Action to take: If they don’t disappear, ask your doctor for some form of relief from this condition.
3. Leaky breasts
During the first two days after childbirth, your breasts produce colostrum, a sticky yellow fluid that is actually the first issue of breast milk. Milk production begins properly from about the third day after delivery.
Action to take: Get a good bra for support and a nursing bra if you are breastfeeding.
4. Afterbirth Pains
These cramps are due to uterine contractions as the uterus shrinks to its former size and shape.
Action to take: Put a hot water bottle or warm compress on your tummy. Keep your bladder empty as a full bladder displaces the uterus and makes it prone to relaxation and inefficient contraction.
5. Vaginal Discharge
Several weeks after childbirth, vaginal discharge called lochia will appear. It starts as a bright red flow with clots, changing to reddish brown and gradually to a yellowish white discharge.
Action to take: It can be left alone as it is the body’s way of flushing out blood and tissue left in the uterus from the pregnancy. It can last four to six weeks.