Your Postpartum Recovery Schedule
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To help you understand what to expect after giving birth, here's a guide to postpartum recovery to help you understand the changes your body goes through after giving birth, coping strategies and how long each stage lasts.
Having a baby is one of the most magical and life-changing moments in life. However, with all the binge focus on the birth and your new joy, it can be easy to forget that your body has just gone through a very intense physical and emotional experience and it may take a while to recover and feel "normal."
While your doctor and everyone else you know may give you plenty of advice about giving birth and caring for your newborn, often very little attention is paid to the realities of postpartum recovery. In fact, research shows that the vast majority of new mothers are underprepared for the postpartum experience.
With a lack of communication about the toll pregnancy takes on the body and the postpartum recovery process, many moms are surprised by the intensive and lengthy recovery process that is now in place. Additionally, many new mothers are confused and unprepared for what happens during each recovery phase, which can last for months. Often, with so much excitement about the baby, many women don't want to ask about this transition at all. But, during this phase (which many call "the third trimester"), a little focus on understanding post-pregnancy recovery can help you prepare, reduce stress, and boost your confidence and comfort.
To help you understand what to expect after childbirth, here's a guide to postpartum recovery, including the changes your body goes through, coping strategies, how long each phase lasts, and how to tell if what you're going through is normal.
1 Week Postpartum
The first postpartum week is the most intensive in terms of adjustment and recovery. You just gave birth, are caring for your newborn, and may have experienced vaginal or perineal tears or other complications of labor. Your vagina and entire pelvic area will be uncomfortable, and swollen, and may wear down. Your breasts, nipples, and areolas may be sore. If you had a C-section, you are also recovering from major surgery. All your organs need to move back into place, your hormone levels are changing rapidly, and your body is preparing (and learning) to breastfeed.
You may spend the first night or two in the hospital before going home. Seek advice and support when needed. Coming home with the responsibilities of a newborn can be intimidating. Know that everyone feels a little overwhelmed and unsure when it comes to parenthood. Plus, even though you've probably done a lot of prep work and read all the baby books, it's normal to still have a lot of questions and things don't always go as planned.
While a baby's needs are simple, caring for a baby can be more challenging and confusing than expected. Working with your baby on a sleep, feeding, and diaper-changing schedule is harder than it sounds. Be flexible and patient with yourself (and your baby), trust your instincts, and try not to worry too much.
Your breasts will begin to fill with milk within a few days after giving birth. This happens whether or not you plan to breastfeed — initial milk production depends on the drop in the hormone progesterone after the placenta is delivered. For some women, milk that "comes in" just creates some extra satiety. Other women experience swelling, which can become very uncomfortable. In this case, it is important to release some of the extra milk in the breasts through massage, breastfeeding, or expression. Many women also relieve pressure by putting cabbage leaves inside their bras, a trick that helps reduce swelling.
For the first week or so, you'll likely experience some severe postpartum bleeding, including the discharge of large blood clots. This is true whether you had a vaginal or cesarean delivery. Your vaginal discharge, called lochia, isn't just blood; it's also made up of the mucous membranes that line your uterus during pregnancy. Expect to wear pads for a few weeks. Do not use tampons during this time, as they can cause infection.
While heavy vaginal bleeding is normal in the first few days postpartum, you should contact your healthcare provider right away if you soak more than one sanitary napkin per hour, or experience severe pain, fever, or feeling disoriented.
Postpartum pain can be excruciating (and often gets worse with subsequent deliveries). But they actually serve a good purpose -- shrinking your uterus back to its normal pre-pregnancy size. After delivery, your uterus weighs about 2.5 pounds; by 6 weeks postpartum, it shrinks to just 2 ounces.
You may find that your postpartum pains are more intense while breastfeeding. This is because the release of oxytocin during breastfeeding strengthens uterine contractions.
Vaginal and Perineal Healing
Whether or not you've experienced a vaginal or perineal tear or cut (from an episiotomy), the area will feel engorged, stretched, pounded, and out of place for a while. You may also experience soreness, tingling, and body aches if your skin is broken in any way.
You can soothe the vaginal area by taking warm baths, using ice packs and witch hazel, sitting on a donut pillow, and squeezing warm water in the vagina and perineum after (or while) urinating. Hospitals often give new mothers a squirt bottle -- to take home -- to use to gently cleanse the vaginal area with warm water after using the toilet. Consult your healthcare provider if you have worsening vaginal pain or fever, as these may be signs of infection.
Although common, don't forget that a C-section is a major abdominal surgery. It's important to rest as much as possible after a C-section (which is obviously a big challenge in caring for a newborn) and to follow your doctor's instructions for wound care, including keeping your feet still, keeping your incision clean, and not putting pressure on your incision.
After the epidural wears off, you will start to feel pain from the incision. Pain medication can help, and ideally, stick to regular medication to manage discomfort. There will be no severe pain at the incision site after the first few days, but tenderness will remain for a while.
First Bowel Movement
Many women dread having their first bowel movement after childbirth. But holding things in is worse - you risk exacerbating any hemorrhoids (a normal side effect of weight bearing during labor) and making that first bowel movement even more uncomfortable.
The truth is, nothing will "fall out" the first time you poop; you'll be doing just fine. Constipation is often a problem because pain relief and the toll childbirth takes on your body often lead to hard stools. If you're feeling overwhelmed, consider a stool softener for extra help.
It's perfectly normal to still look pregnant after having a baby. Remember that your uterus is still contracting to its normal size. Also, your skin is stretched and you still retain some extra fluid. After your baby is born, you'll likely lose about 10 to 15 pounds, which includes the weight of your baby, amniotic fluid, and placenta. But because women tend to double or triple their weight during a healthy pregnancy, you'll still be heavier than you were before pregnancy. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
You will continue to lose excess water over the next few weeks, but losing excess weight will be a slower process because postpartum weight loss is gradual and based on healthy eating habits and exercise. most healthy. Extended breastfeeding can also help with weight loss.
Your body goes through rapid hormonal changes after childbirth, which can make you feel extra crying, moody, elated, and/or irritable. You're also adjusting to motherhood, feeding your baby, not getting enough sleep, and possibly feeling overwhelmed. Make sure to be open and honest with those you love and trust, stay hydrated, and well-nourished, and get as much rest as possible.
Be compassionate and patient with yourself, your recovery process, and your (sometimes) volatile or overwhelming emotions. Know that postpartum depression is common and be aware of its symptoms, which include excessive worry about the baby, lack of interest in the baby, feeling excessively sad, restless, guilty, or worthless, and/or trouble sleeping, concentrating, remembering, or eating. If you feel overly depressed or have any concerns about your emotional health, talk to your doctor.
3 to 6 Weeks Postpartum
You may start to feel more and more like yourself at this point, which is great. You may be exhausted from taking care of your newborn, but start to follow the schedule. Keep in mind that you are still recovering and most likely have not received clearance from your healthcare provider to "can" more vigorous activity. Also, know that as your body heals, it returns to its new "normal."
The growth and delivery of your baby change your body in dramatic ways, so it's unrealistic (and unnecessary) to expect it to return to the exact same state it was before pregnancy.
Postpartum bleeding should be light now and will end by this stage. You should contact your healthcare provider if it recurs or if you bleed heavily. Making sure you rest and don't overexert can keep bleeding to a minimum and help you recover faster.
General Physical Recovery
By now, your vaginal area should not be very sore, although you may not be fully recovered enough to have sex. Your C-section scar may be tender and even numb, but your pain should be mild. Some lingering sensations along the C-section scar are normal, as the incision severed nerves that take time to heal (and may never fully reconnect). You may still look slightly pregnant, but your uterus is gradually shrinking to its normal size.
Mood Changes and Postpartum Depression
Many mothers experience the "baby blues" in the first two weeks after giving birth, which can last for weeks. Crying, crying over the smallest things, being elated one minute and sad the next is very common. Your hormone levels are going through a huge adjustment, as is your body and lifestyle (like becoming a mom), so it's normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed, or even nostalgic about your old life.
Sometimes the emotional impact of all these changes can become more ingrained and morph into postpartum depression. If you are struggling emotionally, seek help by talking to your doctor, family, and friends.
If after two weeks you're still feeling down, especially if it feels extreme or unmanageable, talk to your healthcare provider about postpartum depression.
How to Use Sheinshaper Postpartum Belly Binder 6 Weeks Postpartum to Help Recovery?
Postpartum corsets have benefits such as improving posture and mobility, supporting the back and relieving back pain, stabilizing the pelvic floor, providing pressure and support to your abdominal muscles, and reducing swelling and fluid retention, and a high-quality postpartum corset can also support C-section recovery separated from the rectum.
After a natural delivery, you can start wearing a postpartum belly binder after 2 days postpartum
Day 1: On the first day you wear the postpartum belly binder, you'll want to test it for 30 minutes to an hour. Avoid heavy activity the first time you wear it. You may prefer to wear it standing up, but it can also be worn while feeding your baby. I don't recommend wearing it while sleeping.
Day 2: The day after you wear the postpartum straps, I recommend increasing the time to 1-2 hours. If for some reason you can't stand wearing it for 2 hours straight, try wearing it for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening.
Day 3: By this time you should be more comfortable wearing postpartum straps and you will be able to tolerate a substantial increase in wearing time. Try increasing the time you wear the postpartum belly binder to 2-4 hours a day.
Afterward, increase the time of wearing the postpartum belly binder according to your body's tolerance, and wear the belt between 1 and 6 weeks postpartum to get the best results. I recommend wearing it 12 hours a day and that's it. Start with 30 minutes to 1 hour the first day, then increase by 1-2 hours each day. The maximum time you want to wear it is 12 hours.
It can be worn continuously for 12 hours a day, or it can be divided into two 6-hour wearing periods a day. No matter how you get your 12 hours, it's important that you wear it for a maximum of 12 hours a day.
You can start using the postpartum belly binder on the first day after surgery, just make sure your doctor examines your C-section incision before using the Postpartum belly binder.
If you notice that the area around the incision looks red, warm, or draining, you may be developing an infection. Avoid using a postpartum belly adhesive as it introduces more bacteria into the area when it comes in contact with the incision.
These postpartum belly binders should not be tied all day long as this puts unnecessary pressure on your belly and can cause a hernia over time. If sitting or lying down for a long time, please remove the postpartum belt.
If your medical professional agrees, begin wearing the postpartum belly binder throughout the day and remove it when sitting for long periods of time or sleeping. Adjust the belt to allow for breathing, and check periodically for any bruising, rashes, or signs of a potential hernia. Always keep your medical professional up-to-date so that during the exam, your medical professionals can keep track.
Postpartum abdominal support belt is using 4pcs soft steel ribs for your back's support and helps to put organs back in place
Postpartum belly binder adopts segmental stress force that won't pull your wound, help you to reduce wound pain after c-section
Postpartum belly bands has 3 closures to enable you easily adjust its tightness and helps to shrink your uterus to normal size
6 Weeks to 6 Months Postpartum
At about 6 weeks, you may have a postpartum checkup with your healthcare provider. They will verify that any vaginal tears or C-section scars are healing properly and make sure your uterus has shrunk to its pre-pregnancy size. Your doctor will also perform an overall health assessment. If all goes well, you'll get the green light to exercise and have sex (although it's normal to want to take your time on both counts). Your exam is a good time to talk to your doctor about any other concerns you have.
Postpartum Hair Loss
During the first few months postpartum, you may notice something odd happening in the hair department, with your hair thinning or even starting to fall out. This might seem weird, but it's perfectly normal. Here's why: Hormones during pregnancy can cause your hair to grow thicker and fuller. Once these hormones stabilize, your body will naturally shed unwanted hair.
After giving birth, many women experience urinary incontinence to some degree - from occasional leakage of urine (often accompanied by sneezing, yelling, laughing, or straining) to more frequent "peeing." This is due to the normal stretching and weakening of the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and childbirth. Additionally, episiotomy or tears during labor (especially 3rd and 4th-degree perineal tears) can lead to urinary and fecal incontinence. Kegel exercises can help strengthen these muscles and help you regain control.
If bladder control problems persist (or seek help on how to perform Kegel exercises), talk to your doctor. They may refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist. The professional can also help with rectus septa (a full normal stretch of the linea alba tendon that holds the abdominal muscles together). Moderate to severe stretches of the rectus muscle weaken your core and create a depression around the navel area.
Fecal incontinence (difficulty controlling bowel movements or gas) can also be a postpartum challenge. Seek help from your doctor if you experience leaking stools or have difficulty getting to the bathroom in time.
If you're not breastfeeding, you should have your first postpartum period between 6 and 12 weeks after giving birth. Most women who breastfeed will find that their postpartum period is delayed, sometimes by several months. Every woman is different, but if you are exclusively breastfeeding (no supplements and feeding on demand), you are less likely to resume periods before your baby starts solids or breastfeeding decreases.
Before you resume sexual activity, even if you are not menstruating, discuss birth control options with your healthcare provider. Remember that breastfeeding alone usually doesn't protect you from unwanted pregnancy, and you can get pregnant without your period.
If you were an avid exerciser before having kids, you may be itching to get back to your old routine. But even when you can exercise, remember to take it slow. Think about how you are when you return to exercising after an injury. If you're starting out exercising for the first time, consider an activity like gentle yoga, swimming, or walking, and work your way up to higher-intensity exercises. Putting too much pressure on yourself in the first few months can lead to injury.
How Can I Use Sheinshaper's Postpartum Recovery Garment to Get My Body Back After 6 Weeks Postpartum?
The postpartum sweat waist trimmer is made of 100% neoprene and is worn around your belly to help increase your core temperature and allow your body to expel excess water from your belly during exercise. The principle is that when the body exercises and reaches a certain intensity, fat will be burned into heat and discharged through sweat. With the help of the waist trimmer, it can be a great help to your daily workout.
After 6-8 weeks, the uterus has returned to its original size and your belly has decreased in size a bit, but it may not be as tight as it used to be anymore as the belly skin is stretched and stretched.
Before you even think about doing ab exercises, take a simple self-test to see if your straight abdominal separation is back.
You can measure the width with your finger: one to two-finger widths is normal.
If it's three or more, you need to exercise to encourage your abdominal muscles to engage again.
After 6-8 weeks, most C-section mothers are usually able to move and the body has begun to heal itself and work to regain strength.
Once you've recovered from your C-section, the incision should be pain-free and approved by your doctor. You can return to exercises to rebuild your core abs and shape.
Waist trimmer with 10 spiral steel ribs that can be easily bent and accelerate perspiration in your core to burning fat.
Postpartum Sculpt Waist Trainer will accelerate perspiration in your core during exercise,burning fat and lose weight fast
Upgraded blue heat-trapping polymer fabric helps produce more sweat to help abdomen and thighs accelerate fat burning
A Word From Sheinshaper
There's no clear consensus among experts on when postpartum recovery is truly complete. Many people use a full year or more as a baseline, but this varies from person to person. Also, while many women are ready (and successfully conceived) for another child up to a year after giving birth, some doctors recommend waiting at least 18 months before trying to have another child to give your body the best time to recover.
However, please keep in mind that these schedules are estimates and include a wide range of normal conditions. You are the best expert on your physical recovery process - how much time to give your body. The exact time it will take your body to recover depends on many factors, including how difficult your pregnancy and delivery were, your general physical and mental health, any health complications you have (pregnancy-related or not), your health (and sleep modalities) your newborn, your access to community and family support, and your general lifestyle.
Your postpartum journey is unique, and it's best not to compare yourself to others. Remember, too, that you may never feel quite like your pre-pregnancy self again - and that's okay. Changes in body shape, from more curves to stretch marks, are a sign of motherhood and, ultimately, a celebration with your new baby.