Childbirth is often compared to running a marathon. Not only does giving birth and going through labor require strength and endurance, your muscles (and other parts of your body) will also be sore after you have delivered a baby. Are you pregnant and hoping to take a look at what you will feel like postpartum, or did you already have your baby and want to know when you will feel like yourself agains?
The postpartum recovery process comes in stages. Right after delivering your baby, you will probably feel at your worst. At the risk of giving the dreaded "too much information", I say I hold the position that there is no such thing when it comes to child birth. So, a quick look at one day postpartum:
- Your vagina will be swollen after a vaginal delivery.
- You will feel pain while peeing if you tore or had an episiotomy, unless you pour water onto your damaged bits as you pee.
- You may be constipated.
- While taking a short walk, it may feel as if your inside will fall out.
- Your breasts will have started producing milk, and will feel heavy and perhaps painful.
A few days later, you will already feel better. As your body physically heals from childbirth, you are still likely to feel exhausted and not up to much physical activity. On the mental and hormonal side of things, you may have the baby blues and feel moody or tearful. You will, of course, also have lochia, or postpartum bleeding. This postpartum bleeding can last for around six weeks.
It is fair to say that most women will already feel an awful lot better two weeks postpartum, but you will have recovered from giving birth around six weeks after you had your baby. The long-term "side effects" of your pregnancy, like pregnancy weight gain, may take as long as your actual pregnancy around nine months to wear off. Conscious weight loss after pregnancy efforts may be needed to reach your goals.