After birth, your body will experience various symptoms during recovery. You might be relieved that the nine months of pregnancy are over, but the postpartum period can bring about its own unexpected symptoms – hence why it’s often referred to as the “fourth trimester.”
Although doctors suggest it takes around six weeks for a woman to recover from birth, every delivery (and indeed, everybody) is different, and there are some side effects of pregnancy that will inevitably last longer. Here’s what to expect in those first few weeks and beyond.
After you give birth, vaginal bleeding will occur on and off for around six weeks as the womb recovers from your pregnancy and the lining is renewed: this is called postpartum bleeding. Although it can be annoying, postpartum bleeding is perfectly normal and usually painless. It’s also something every women experiences, even those who’ve had a C-section. For the first six weeks, however, you should only use pads to manage your flow and try to limit your activity as much as possible. If you’re concerned about the amount of bleeding or you see large clots, you should contact your practitioner immediately.
During pregnancy, you were probably thrilled with the thick and lustrous condition of your hair, but your post-delivery appearance might be telling a different story. Rest assured that postpartum hair loss is perfectly normal due to the body’s falling estrogen levels. Although it’s annoying, it is usually a temporary phase. Occasionally, however, lost hair fails to grow back completely, which is when you should consider a hair transplant. If you’re wondering how does a hair transplant work, you can find more information here.
In what seems like a cruel trick of nature, postpartum night sweats are incredibly common, and they can be quite disruptive to your much-needed rest. This happens because your hormones are trying to get rid your body of excess fluids that supported your body and baby during pregnancy. You may also notice that you’re urinating more frequently, which is another way your body flushes out all the extra water weight. To keep the night sweats under control, drink plenty of water and wear loose, cool pajamas – natural cotton fibers are better than synthetic materials for letting your body breathe. Night sweats shouldn’t last longer than a few weeks, but if they persist, then you should consult your doctor in case of an underlying infection.
If you’re breastfeeding, it will come to no surprise to you that breast soreness occurs after delivery, but this happens in women who bottle-feed too. If your breasts are engorged and painful, it usually means they are too full of milk, so you will need to use a breast pump or feed your baby to stop the swelling and make sure you’re wearing a well-fitted nursing bra. You can also wet a warm washcloth and place it on your breasts or massage them using ice packs to ease the discomfort.