From books to blogs to classes about pregnancy and raising babies, there is quite a bit of information available. But how much do you know about the postpartum period directly after delivering a baby or what to expect in the first 30 days after childbirth
Probably not as much. Don’t worry, though! You are not alone!
Doctors and mothers alike can be so caught up in monitoring the pregnancy and preparing for the arrival of a newborn, that new mothers end up being unaware or misinformed about what will happen with their bodies right after delivering and during the month to follow.
That’s why today, in this casual yet highly informative discussion, I am chit chatting with labor and delivery nurse, Mama Coach Kaci Dyson, about all things postpartum. We are talking about the time from delivery through the first 30 days when a lot of changes occur within the female body!
Some of the fun things we discuss:
What kind of changes occur in the female body after delivering?
First and foremost, after a baby is delivered, there will be bleeding. I know this isn’t the most pleasant topic, but it is a reality of giving birth. Bleeding will occur immediately after delivering, regardless of whether it’s a vaginal delivery or C-section, and although it decreases over time, vaginal bleeding can last for up to 4-6 weeks after delivery.
Here are some of the items you’ll want to have on hand once you’re home from the hospital to help with the bleeding:
Don’t be surprised when you are in the hospital if your nurse rubs on your belly area where the uterus is to help stop the bleeding. This is not comfortable, but it is essential to help the uterus contract and decrease bleeding.
When will contractions stop?
Contractions will taper off during the first couple days after delivery, but you will continue to feel contractions here and there within the first several weeks after delivery. If you are breastfeeding, you will likely feel contractions when you are nursing. These contractions are part of the process of your uterus returning back to its normal, non-pregnant state.
Something like a belly band can help alleviate some of the pain and discomfort in your abdomen and help support your lower back and pelvis as you recover from carrying a baby for several months.
You might want to consider using a Postpartum Support Belly Band like this one (with Ice/Heat Therapy for C-Section recovery) or this one which is a bit more basic.
What will happen to C-section scars?
Be sure to watch at the 14:00 minute mark in the video above where we discuss care of cesarean section scars.
What postpartum discussion would be complete without talking about pooping?
At the 19:55 minute mark in the video, we review some of the reasons passing a bowel movement can be difficult after delivering and methods to help alleviate constipation.
Some of the items I recommend to help ease constipation and make having a bowel movement more comfortable after delivery are the following:
Additionally, if you have a vaginal tear and/or hemorrhoids, which can flare as a result of pushing, you can fold a Tucks wipe and place it right on the affected area. A Sitz bath (where you sit in just a couple inches of water) can also help heal and reduce itching of vaginal stitches.
Be sure to watch the discussion and visit the curated Babies After 35 Amazon shop to get stocked up on your postpartum essentials.
It can be easy to forget to purchase all the items you’ll need when you are caught up preparing for the baby! I’ve put all the postpartum necessities in one easy to shop spot to save you time and energy.
Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS is a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and founder of Babies After 35. In her roles as a clinician, educator and researcher at UTMB-Galveston, she focuses on the care of people with maternal and/or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark has taken a special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35, which according to age alone, is considered a high-risk pregnancy.
Follow Shannon on TikTok @tiktokbabydoc, Facebook @babiesafter35, and Instagram @babiesafter35.
Check out the products for TTC through parenthood in the Babies After 35 Amazon shop, online courses and other services that come "Dr. Clark-approved"!Check out my favorite things