The first 6 weeks following your delivery is still part of the childbearing cycle. Called the postpartum period, it brings many changes as your body adjusts to a non-pregnant state.
Lochia is the bloody vaginal flow during the first few weeks after delivery. Lochia usually disappears or is just a slight, brownish discharge at about three weeks after delivery. It should not have an offensive odor. Notify your provider if:
Following the birth of your baby, your uterus returns to a size close to its pre-pregnancy size through the process of involution. This process takes about six weeks to complete. In the beginning you may experience cramping, or "after birth pains". These are usually more severe if you had twins or triplets, if it is your second or third baby, or if you are breast feeding. For relief:
If you experience excess perspiration, which is common in the postpartum period:
To relieve perineal discomfort and vulvar / vaginal hematoma (blood filled tissue):
For relief of itching and soreness of hemorrhoids:
For vaginal discharge:
For relief and prevention of edema (swelling):
To prevent or relieve constipation:
Stretch marks (striae) may never go away completely, but they usually change to fine silvery white lines.
Women lose an average of 12 pounds at the time of delivery, representing the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid. You may return to your pre-pregnancy weight by the end of your postpartum period or soon thereafter. Appropriate exercise and a healthy diet will play a large part in your weight loss. Do not become overly concerned if it takes you longer to lose the weight gained during your pregnancy.
To avoid fatigue:
Exercise and other activity
Daily activities and household chores can be resumed gradually. For a vaginal delivery perform only very light household chores during the first two weeks, and avoid lifting heavy objects for about six weeks. Talk with your provider about activity levels after a Cesarean birth. If you attempt to do too much too early, you may experience an increase in vaginal discharge.