As a new mom, or a potential new mom, you are probably wondering how long your body will take to recover post birth and pregnancy. The postpartum period is generally regarded as the first six weeks after childbirth.
This is an important time for both you and your baby, as you there are lots of emotional and physical adjustments that happen in this period. Recovering from having a baby can be a long process, especially considering that you now have a new baby to look after as well.
What can I expect postpartum?
Postpartum recovery will differ between moms and pregnancies. If you have opted for a vaginal birth, your vagina will hurt postpartum, and recovery can take 3 to 6 weeks depending on if you had an episiotomy or your perineum tore.
C-section incisions can be painful and you can expect a recovery period of 4 to 6 weeks. Initially you may find moving difficult, but it’s important to move a little bit to avoid blood clots.
Some new moms can experience difficulty urinating, perineal discomfort or soreness, vaginal bleeding, contractions, constipation and breast tenderness post birth. During the postpartum period you may also feel irritable, anxious or have sudden mood swings, this is also known as the ‘baby blues’ and is caused by hormonal changes in the first few weeks. However, if this period is extended you could be suffering from postpartum depression, and should speak to your doctor about this.
How can I help my postpartum recovery?
Be aware of pushing yourself to return to ‘normal’ as soon as possible, even if you have had an easy pregnancy and birth, your body has still been through an ordeal and you will need time to recover.
Avoid over exercising (even if it’s tempting to get straight back into it!) and trying to socialise too much with friends and family eager to meet the new baby. Don’t be afraid to ask people for space and to limit your baby’s visitors.