We often describe childbirth as nothing short of a miracle. Ask any woman who has given birth and she’ll let you know exactly why. Although its one of the most painful experience for a woman, the thought of having her baby in her arms is what motivates her all along. While we’d like to believe that the worst is over after delivery, there might still be something in store. For starters, a woman’s body does not remain the same after birth. A lot changes inside her and outside as well and might take a new mom completely by surprise. Unless she pays attention to what her body is telling her. Here are 4 ways that your body tells you it is different after childbirth:
1. The Heavy Feeling Between The Legs
This is directly the result of childbirth wear-and-tear as well as the postpartum bleeding that follows. Following delivery, you’ll have a vaginal discharge that contains blood and the superficial mucous membrane which lined your uterus during pregnancy. This discharge is also called lochia. In the beginning, it’ll be a thick red, heavy flow. Thereafter, the flow lessens, is watery in consistency, and changes color to pinkish brown. It turns yellowish-white before completely ceasing (1). The initial heavy flow might give you a heavy feeling between your legs, especially if you are standing for long hours. It’s your body’s way of saying that you need rest. So, when this happens, lie down and rest immediately.
This isn’t usually a cause of worry unless you are soaking a pad every hour. That is when you need to see a doctor.
2. Sitting Will Be Difficult
This usually is a problem faced by women who’ve had a normal delivery with an episiotomy or a tear down there. The stitches leave the area sore for a while. Any pressure to that area might aggravate your pain (2). You might even be asked to sit without putting pressure on that area. Due to this, you might have to adapt to weird sitting positions.
To deal with this, you can use a doughnut pillow to sit. Applying a cool pack to the area or taking over-the-counter pain killers might also help.
3. You’ll Be Afraid To Poop
Your first few poops and peeing might be uncomfortable or even painful. Any pressure to the sore area, especially the episiotomy site, might make you bleed further. You might also get hemorrhoids (3). This might make you afraid of going to the loo for a while or putting on hold your bowel duties. However, avoid doing this as holding back might lead to constipation, which will be more painful than regular poop.
In case you feel you are constipated, check with your doctor and get yourself a good laxative. Consume high-fiber food and keep yourself well-hydrated. If you have hemorrhoids, get yourself a good hemorrhoid cream after consulting your doctor.
4. Excessive Hair Loss
One of the most obvious yet shocking changes after pregnancy would be excessive hair loss. It might shock you because you’d have experienced luxurious hair during your pregnancy. The elevated levels of hormones during pregnancy increase the ratio of the hair in the growing/resting phase compared to falling hair. However, all this changes as soon as you deliver and your hormones go back to the same levels or might even reduce temporarily. This makes all the hair in the extended growing/resting phase to start shedding all at once. You might freak out seeing the excessive number of hair that you’ll lose. You might even fear that you’re probably going bald. However, nothing of this sort might happen. This hair loss is temporary and your hair will go back to normal after 5-6 months (4).
In all, your body will change a lot after delivery. However, do not worry much. Instead, give time to your body to heal and rejuvenate itself. Soon, your body will be back to its normal self and raring to go!