Childbirth is one of the most difficult (but natural) processes that a woman’s body goes through. Many soon-to-be mothers do adequate research and preparation for pregnancy and delivery, but while this is important, it shouldn’t stop there. Knowing what to do (and what not to do), not just before and during, but also after delivery, is equally important.
What to expect after normal delivery • Your uterus will slowly contract back to its pre-pregnancy size during the first 2 to 6 weeks and will be accompanied by menstrual-like cramps. This doesn’t mean that your post-pregnancy tummy will also shrink back. The extra fat around your middle, your abdominal muscles, and the stretched skin will probably require more time and work to go back to its pre-pregnancy size.
• Expect to have 2 to 3 days of vaginal bleeding similar to when you have a heavy period. This should gradually decrease over the next weeks with the color changing from red to pink/brown. There may still be some spotting 4 to 6 weeks after delivery.
• You will experience vaginal soreness whether you had an episiotomy, a natural tear, or even if you did not have both. Expect this soreness to last anywhere from a day to a few weeks.
• Urinating and pooping may be difficult and painful.