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> What to Expect 24 Hours After Delivery

Once your bundle of joy is born, the toughest part of pregnancy is over. However, you’ll still have to go through the process of recovery and adjusting to the new role as a mom. Here's a quick snapshot of what you can expect immediately after giving birth, and it’s not going to be pretty. Good news though; these conditions are temporary, and when you look at that tiny face, you’ll know it’s all worth it.


Pregnancy Belly

That round pregnancy belly isn’t going to magically disappear overnight, as much as we’d like it to! During the months leading up to labor, your stomach, uterus, and skin are stretched a whole lot, so it’s no wonder that it’ll take up to weeks or months for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy state. If you have gone through a C-section, you will experience some pain in the area of surgery, overall weakness in the abdominal muscles and swelling due to incision.


Postpartum bleeding

Mothers who underwent a C-section will experience heavier postpartum bleeding as compared those who underwent natural birth. Mothers will experience a vaginal discharge called lochia, which consists of leftover blood, mucus, and sloughed-off tissue from the lining of the uterus. Bleeding is heaviest during the first 10 days postpartum, so stock up on those sanitary pads.


Perineum Soreness

For moms who went through natural birth, soreness around the perineum area is a common ailment. During delivery, your perineum (the area between the anus and vagina) will be stretched, swollen, bruised and torn. The area may be particularly painful for mothers who underwent an episiotomy. Apply a cloth covered ice pack on the area to reduced swelling, and clean the area after peeing with lukewarm water. Incontinence may be experienced due to the temporary weakening of the nerves and muscles in your pelvic floor area, but it won’t last.

Abdominal Cramps

As your uterus contracts to its pre-pregnancy size, you’ll likely experience muscle cramps in the abdominal area. This contractions may become worse during breastfeeding, as oxytocin is released which causes uterine contractions. Most noticeable contractions subside within a week, with the most subtle ones disappearing within six weeks.


Baby Blues / Mood Swings

Majority of mothers suffer from baby blues after delivery – a normal, short lived period of feeling sad, weepy, or moody, that is caused by hormonal fluctuations in the body. There is a societal pressure for women to feel happy of blissful upon having a baby, so most women don’t openly express their down feelings.

Baby blues are characterized by irritability, mood swings, sadness, anxiety, feelings of dependency, and a lack of concentration. These will typically last for two weeks. If the symptoms persist, or you suffer from more severe symptoms such as guilt, helplessness, or have thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby, you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Make sure you let you loved ones know about this, and seek help from health professionals and health care providers.


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