About AOA

The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until all the children are in bed.
- Unknown

 

Post-Birth Recovery

Post-Birth Recovery

New mothers must take special care of their bodies after giving birth in order to have the energy and strength to best care for themselves and their babies.

In those first few days after the baby is born, it’s important to rest and recover. Don’t have too many guests, or try to do too much around the house. Pace yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Focus on taking care of yourself and getting to know your new baby.

You will experience some physical changes immediately following the birth. These may include:

  • Vaginal discharge called lochia. Your body is expelling the tissue and blood that lined your uterus during the pregnancy. It will be heavy and bright red at first, then becoming lighter in flow and color until, after a few weeks, it is gone.
  • Swelling in your legs and feet. Elevating your feel can help.
  • Constipation. Eat fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water.
  • Menstrual-like cramping, especially if you are breastfeeding. Your milk should come within a few days after giving birth. Your breast may feel full and very tender.
  • “Baby blues.” After you give birth you may feel sad, weepy and overwhelmed as your body adjusts. Changing hormones and anxiety about caring for your new baby may affect your emotions. These feelings are normal and generally subside quickly. If your sadness lasts more than two weeks, call your AOA doctor and arrange an appointment. Don’t wait for your postpartum visit. You may have postpartum depression, a serious but treatable condition.

You will lose about 10 pounds right away when you give birth, but gradual weight loss for the remaining pounds gained during pregnancy is the safest approach, especially if you are breastfeeding. Talk with your AOA doctor before starting any kind of diet or exercise plan.

In general, take it easy and give your body a chance to get back its mojo. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables and get as much rest as you can. You’ve got a whole new person to learn about and feeling healthy will help you enjoy your new family member.

Learn more about post-birth recovery: