This is what Happens to your Body after Vaginal Birth
After 9 months of nurturing and carrying a baby in the womb, your body is going to transform again and heal itself. It’s a process and transformation is going to take a while as the body adjusts itself. Changes to do with breast, cervical floor, vagina, and emotional as well as psychological changes will occur after vaginal birth.
The cervical bones and the cervix of a woman who has given birth are different from those of a woman who has never had a baby. The cervix will assume a “smile” shape as opposed to the circular or O shape of a woman who has never given birth.
Transformation will also meaning reworking of hormones, healing and readjusting of the body to accommodate nurturing of the baby and working of the body.
Here are 6 things that happens after vaginal birth.
Vaginal discharge and Lochia
Lochia is a bloody discharge, a mixture of blood and mucus and can continue for up to 6 weeks. The discharge comes from the uterine wall, where the placenta was attached. The discharge may have blood clots but clears as time goes by.
You can start having sex 4 to 5 weeks after giving birth but due to the change in hormones and breastfeeding your vagina will be a bit dry. Dryness is due to low levels of estrogen therefore it is advised to use a water soluble lubricant in case of intercourse.
Perineum is the area between the vagina and the anus. It stretches and may tear during childbirth and more especially if you had an episiotomy. Episiotomy is a cut made at the perineum to ease child delivery.
You can find relief by having warm baths, or placing cold packs on your perineum. Cold packs are soothing and they also help reducing the swelling on the perineum.
Breast Engorgement and Breast Feeding
Breast engorgement is characterized by enlarged, warm, heavy and sometimes swollen breast. This can happen more so if you miss a feeding and due to increased circulation in the breast.
To ease discomfort, wear supportive bras and apply warm compresses. Pumping breast milk or frequent feeding also relieves breast engorgement.
If you are breastfeeding, you might not receive your period until after the weaning is over but bear in mind you could still get pregnant. If you choose to bottle-feed, you may receive your menses between the 6-12 weeks but they will be irregular at first.
As the uterus contracts to its original size, the contractions maybe accompanied by cramping. The after pains feel like menstrual pains and are more common in women who have had more than one pregnancy. The crams prevent bleeding from where the placenta was attached on the uterine wall.
- To ease discomfort and pain:
- Go for a walk
- Place a heating pad on your stomach
- Take a sitz bath. You can use Epsom salt, essential oils, baking soda or anything else provided by your healthcare provider
Your body went through a lot to bring a human being into the world. Be patient, allow it to recuperate , love it and give it all the care it needs.
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