Most women are extremely curious about what contractions will feel like, and how they will know they are in labor. How you will feel after giving birth is another thing many women would like to know about, but that is equally difficult to describe! For women who would like to prepare for the postpartum period, we have made a list of what to expect after giving birth. We've also included tips that might make those first few weeks a little easier.
- Postpartum bleeding (lochia) tends to last at least two weeks, and it is not usually for women who have just given birth to bleed for up to six weeks. It's called "the mother of all periods" because it presents as a huge period. Expect some clots. Your uterus is cleaning itself out after having carried your baby for 40 weeks!
- Some women experience after pains or postpartum cramps. While this is more common for women who have already given birth before, even first-time moms can have after pains.
- If you tore or had an episiotomy (vaginal cut), you are likely to feel some pain or a burning sensation when you pee. You can counter this unpleasant feeling by drinking lots and lots of water to dilute your urine. Squirting water onto the affected area with a peri bottle while you urinate is another effective technique you can use to save yourself from pain while peeing.
- Your nipples may feel a bit sore in the first few days, if you are breastfeeding. Your breasts may also become engorged (especially if you are not breastfeeding, but also if you are) after giving birth. Massaging them or expressing some milk with a pump can help.
- Many women feel emotional and experience the "baby blues" after delivery. Some mood swings are completely normal, but if you are experiencing extreme feelings of depression, you should consult your doctor.