What to Expect After a Vaginal Delivery (recovery)
Your recovery from vaginal birth will depend a lot on what kind of pregnancy you experienced. For example, was your pregnancy and delivery a fairly normal one, or were you blessed with one or some of these nagging problems; back pain, hemorrhoids, constipation, or varicose veins? At least 50% of all new mothers have some sort of health problem to recover from after childbirth.
Recovering from lack of sleep
One big concern is sleep, or lack thereof. A major cause of depression is fatigue. Some suggestions for overcoming fatigue are the following:
- Is there someone who will be available to help with the work around the house? Such as helping with the other children if needed, help with the meals, or watch the baby when you can get out of the house for a break? Tell your friends and family that helping you would make an excellent baby gift.
- Take your naps when the baby does for a few weeks.
- Get away for some adult time when you can. Even if it is for a short period.
Getting your body back to normal
Remember it will take the first 6 weeks for your body to heal itself from the strain of giving birth. It will take your genital organs anywhere from six to eight weeks to start to function at their normal size.
The pregnancy hormone called relaxin will stay in your body for about 5 months. This hormone is what causes your ligaments and muscles to increase in both size and elasticity. Because of this, it is important to realize that your joints are fragile and any high impact activity should be put off for a while.
When you have completely stopped bleeding, you can try things like walking and swimming. Other exercises such as tennis or biking or low impact aerobics should wait until 4-5 months after birth.
Normally, if you were thin before you became pregnant and only gained about 25-30 pounds, you may have your shape back in about 3 months. Moms who have given birth before may take up to 3-6 months to lose the extra weight. Women who are overweight my take from 6-9 months to recover their shape.
Health problems such hemorrhoids, varicose veins, bleeding gums, and skin pigmentation, may last for months after your baby is born.
Post-partum depression or 'baby blues'
It is very common for woman to go through a depression after the birth of their baby. If you feel you are having this problem, please let your doctor know. He is there for your support both before and after your baby is born.
Here are some of the symptoms you may feel when going through this depression:
- If you have a hard time keeping your concentration
- If you find yourself crying more frequently
- If you are worried about harming your baby
- If you find yourself feeling an overwhelming sense of your world crashing in
- If you find yourself having trouble with sleep
- If you feel helpless or have been contemplating suicide
- If you can't seem to recover from your sadness
Remember, that there are lots of women who have gone or are going through this same thing. Talk to your doctor. He or she will know what to do.
Just remember, don't get discouraged. It will take time for you and your body to get back to normal. In the meantime, take the time to rest, and hold, and welcome your newest little angel to the family. Good luck.