Every woman who experiences vaginal birth will find these postpartum recovery tips useful, as she goes through this period.
Perhaps, we won’t complain so much about the process of childbirth if it all ended in the morning sickness, loss of appetite and weird cravings, discolouration, swollen feet, etc.
Pregnancy changes your body in more ways than you can expect and it doesn’t stop when the baby is born. There are postpartum recovery processes that a women goes through after vaginal birth.
If your little angel came into the world via vaginal birth, you’re looking at irregular discharge, soreness, contractions, and so on.
Here are exclusive postpartum tips for maximum recovery after vaginal birth.
1. Recovery tips for vaginal soreness
If your doctor made an incision or you had a vaginal tear during delivery, be rest assured down there will be sore and you’d hurt for a few weeks, depending on the depth of the cut. A pro-recovery tip after vaginal birth to aid soreness include:
- Soothe the pain with an ice pack, which should be placed to also reach the place the area between your vaginal opening and anus, (known as the perineum).
- Sit on a pillow until the pain becomes minimal.
- Use a squeeze bottle to pour warm water over the perineum immediately after urinating.
- Sit in a warm bath just deep enough to cover your buttocks and hips for five minutes. Use cold water if you find it more soothing.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Ask your health care provider about a numbing spray or cream, if needed.
- Talk to your doctor about using a stool softener or laxative to prevent further injury due to constipation.
- See a doctor if you’re experiencing severe, persistent or increasing pain, which could be a sign of infection.
Pregnancy, labour, and a vaginal delivery can stretch or injure your pelvic floor muscles, which support the uterus, bladder, and rectum. As a result, you might find yourself incontinent—leaking a few drops of urine while sneezing, laughing, or coughing. This isn’t uncommon especially for mums who have vaginal delivery. It’s a situation that usually improves within the first few weeks post-delivery. A good time to consult a doctor would be 6 weeks after delivery and the condition still persists.
In the meantime, wear sanitary pads and do pelvic floor muscle exercises, say twice in a day to help tone your pelvic floor muscles and control your bladder.
3. Recovery tips for vaginal discharge
Soon after delivery, you’ll begin to shed the superficial mucous membrane that lined your uterus during pregnancy. And so, you’ll have vaginal discharge made up of this tissue and blood for weeks. The discharge will be bright red and heavy for the first few days, then it will taper, become increasingly watery and change from pinkish brown to cottage cheese colour.
Reach out to your health care provider if you experience unusually heavy vaginal bleeding, for instance, soaking up a pad in less than an hour, especially if it’s accompanied by pelvic pain, a fever, or tenderness.
4. Recovery tips for Hemorrhoids and bowel movements
If after your vaginal birth, you notice pain during bowel movements and feel swelling near your anus, it could be an indication that you might have swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum, a condition known as hemorrhoids. To ease discomfort while the hemorrhoids heal:
- Use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream, as approved by your doctor, of course.
- Use pads containing a numbing agent or witch hazel
- massage your anal area in plain warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day.
Also, it will help to eat foods high in fiber, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and drink plenty of water.
5. Postpartum Recovery Tips For Contractions
You might feel occasional contractions, also known as after-pains, during the first few days post-vaginal delivery.
These contractions — which often resemble menstrual cramps — are said to help prevent excessive bleeding by compressing the blood vessels in the uterus.
You may also find our article on Your Top 9 Pregnancy Questions, Complaints Answered resourceful
Also, after pains are common during breastfeeding, due to the release of the hormone oxytocin.
Have your doctor recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever if you feel you need one.
6. Tips for weight loss after vaginal birth
After you give birth, you might look like you’re still pregnant; this is normal. Most women lose about 6 kilograms (13 pounds) during birth—from the relief of the weight of the baby, placenta, and amniotic fluid. In the days after delivery, you’ll lose additional weight from more fluids. There’s really no cause for alarm. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you gradually return to your normal weight.
You made it, mama, congratulations!
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