Many things happen after giving birth to your bundle of joy. Some of them are physical and others are emotional. However, there are a few things that happen after pregnancy that some new mums and dads might not be aware of.
During pregnancy, your body changes a lot. That’s a given. But did you know that after childbirth, your body goes through a lot of changes, too?
Things like racing hormones, hair loss, and even some pain are to be expected after giving birth. Here are a few things that happen after pregnancy.
No matter which method you decide on to give birth — natural or c-section — you will have postpartum bleeding known as lochia. It can last from two to six weeks after birth.
After nine months of no periods this can be quite a shock. But’s it’s a perfectly natural way for your body to shed mucous, tissue and blood from your womb as it replaces its lining after giving birth. You may notice that the bleeding gets heavier when you’re breastfeeding and you may even get stomach cramps during this time. Again this is a perfectly normal experience so don’t let it worry you. Just make sure you stock up on ultra-absorbent sanitary towels – tampons are a no no, as they can introduce bacteria to your healing uterus.
If you’re bleeding is heavier than expected, doesn’t ease up after time, smells or you’re finding you have severe stomach cramps and a fever make sure you see your doctor to check you haven’t got an infection.
Bleeding isn’t the only thing that happens after pregnancy. There are also cramps to deal with. Cramps occur because your womb is shrinking back to its normal size. Unlike postpartum bleeding, these belly cramps should only last a few days and can be treated with over-the-counter medicines. Make sure you get advice on which medicines are safe to take if you’re breastfeeding!
Be prepared to sweat
Sweating often happens to new mothers at night. This is because of changing hormones.
Luckily, there are some simple techniques to remedy excessive sweating. One way is to wear light clothes. Don’t opt for layers while sleeping. Also give up blankets if you can. Using cooling sprays or gels can also help and make sure you drink plenty of cold water to stay hydrated. Keeping your fluids up is especially important if you’re breastfeeding.
Hormones still race:
Whilst not all women are affected by this after giving birth, racing hormones are still something to be prepared for.
The ‘baby blues’ really do exist. Some women feel sad, cry a lot, or act cranky because of the hormonal imbalance. Others feel they aren’t doing a good job looking after their new baby.
This is postpartum depression and a problem many women have to deal with after pregnancy. If this sounds like you, or if these thoughts become potentially harmful to you or your baby then immediately talk to your GP.
However, there are a few things that may be able to help you before things get that advanced. Get as much sleep as you can and always ask those around you for help and tell them exactly what you need. Most importantly, be honest about your feelings – to yourself and those around you.
During pregnancy, your hair can seem thicker and stronger. It’s part of the pregnancy glow, which is due to your high hormone levels.
After your baby is born, your hair may start to thin and fall out so you may want to avoid wearing your hair in ponytails or tight braids. It would be best to avoid heat styling and you should use a cool setting on your hairdryer. Hair loss usually stops six months after you’ve given birth. It should also go back to its normal fullness in a year.
While all of these things that happen after pregnancy seem frightening, it’s all part of the process of having a little bundle of joy.
The best way to deal with all of these things that happen to you after the birth of your baby is to be open and honest, and ask for help when you need it.
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