Although the miracle of childbirth is amazing in itself, giving birth isn’t all butterflies, rainbows and unicorns, and those who deny the grueling part of labor and delivery are either in denial or have encountered a magical fairy that takes away all the pain. Luckily, there are things that new moms can do to alleviate discomfort and help them get a speedier recovery after giving birth.
Things to Expect After Delivery
Vagina Discharge (Lochia)
Don’t be alarmed if after giving birth you find some discharge in your underwear. It’s called lochia, and it is the body’s way of getting rid of the excess lining in the uterus. Initially, it will first look like a very heavy period which could contain blood clots and as the days pass by, it gradually fades to white, then yellow and will eventually stop after several weeks.
Hot and Cold Flashes
While you are pregnant, your body will produce very high amounts of estrogen, and as you give birth, the body will also decrease the amount of estrogen it makes. This sudden change in hormones will cause a shock to your system, causing hot and cold flashes after childbirth.
Expect having sore breasts for the first several days when the production of milk comes in and engorges the breasts.
Giving birth via natural vaginal delivery is no joke. When you are giving birth, the vagina stretches like it has never stretched before; imagine a rubber band that has been stretched to its limits.
The vaginal canal, including the skin and surrounding muscles, are stretched to its max to give way to your baby. This causes a weakening in the muscles, hence, vaginal loosening.
If you just gave birth to your first or second child via natural vaginal delivery, expect a procedure called an episiotomy from your doctor. This is when the area of skin between your vagina and anus is cut by the doctor. Without the episiotomy, there could be serious tearing from your vagina to the anus. The stitches may make it uncomfortable to walk or sit. There could also be pain in that area during coughing or sneezing as it heals.
Pushing the baby takes a huge toll on the body and sometimes it can even cause hemorrhoids.
So, during childbirth when the nipples are stimulated, the body releases oxytocin, the hormone responsible for contracting the uterus and “spitting out” the baby. After giving birth, it is normal for the uterus to still continue to have contractions for a few days. This is a natural coping mechanism of the body to ensure that no foreign object (like blood clots or placenta parts) remain in the body. Since the nipples stimulate the contraction of the uterus, there could still be some twitching and contraction in your uterine area when nursing the baby.
Baby Blues and Post-Partum Depression
Feeling down or blue after giving birth is normal. New moms are usually easily irritated, sad and anxious right after delivery and up to a few days post-partum. This is very common and is due to hormonal imbalance as well as the exhaustion that new moms go through.
If baby blues last longer than 1 to 2 weeks, it is classified as Post-Partum Depression (PPD) and is experienced by at least 10-15% of new moms. It is often manifested as extreme sadness, mood swings, anxiety and guilt. In very extreme cases, PPD could push a woman to insanity and suicide.
How to Recover Faster After Giving Birth
Warm Sitz Bath
A sitz bath is a shallow warm bath that targets the area in between where you urinate and defecate. You can do this by either using your bath tub or by using a plastic kit that fits your toilet.
It promotes circulation in the perianal area, which in turn promotes faster healing of your episiotomy wound and eases the pain in that area. A warm sitz bath not only alleviates the discomfort in your private parts, it also helps shrink any hemorrhoids caused by the delivery.
Just be very meticulous in cleaning your sitz bath kit or your bath tub before and after having a sitz bath so you can be sure there’s no bacteria or dirt left in your sitz bath that could cause you harm in your next session. You should also make sure that the water is not scalding hot or else you’ll end up with a burned bottom.
If you are not planning on breastfeeding your child, you can take herbal supplements that have high quality Kacip Fatimah and Morinda Citrifolia to help with a speedier recovery. Both herbs have been used to promote faster healing of the body. Kacip Fatimah and Morinda Citrifolia are also great for repairing perineal muscles (area between urinary meatus and anus). They help restore the vaginal cavity back to its pre-pregnancy state using its high-quality Phytoestrogen (plant estrogen) and anti-oxidants.
Vaginal looseness after childbirth is not a laughing matter. It’s embarrassing when every time you sneeze, you pee a little, just because you brought that beautiful baby into this world. Having a new baby can also diminish the romance in a relationship. Some women feel embarrassed in being intimate with their partner after giving birth because they know that they are not the same and a bit looser down there.
Luckily, new moms can take Kacip Fatimah to restore not only their vaginal tightness but also their confidence in rekindling the romance in their lives.
Kegel exercises strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and are exercises that target the perineal area, the area between your urinary meatus and anus.
Here are the steps on how to do them:
Find the right muscles. The muscles you use to stop urination midstream are your pelvic muscles.
Tighten the pelvic muscles. Hold each contraction for five seconds and relax for five seconds. Do it four to five times in a row.
Repeat three times a day. Repeat at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.
The problem with doing kegels is that it takes a long time before you can feel improvement and it does not guarantee a permanent fix. Kegels alone are not enough to repair the damage caused by childbirth. By taking high-quality herbal supplements, you are fueling the body with what it needs to safely restore it back to its pre-pregnancy state, especially your reproductive organs.
Throughout the duration of your pregnancy, the body has been through a lot after making a whole new human being. So don’t be afraid to ask for help from your family. You could also hire outside help while you are healing. That way you could enjoy the arrival of your baby more and steer clear from the post-partum blues and depression.
Delivering a baby into this world is a wonderful thing, so it should not be a traumatic experience for new mothers. With the right kind of care, exercise and diet, new moms could easily bounce back to their pre-pregnancy selves.