Things to Expect after Labour and Delivery

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 11, 2015

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Quick Bites

  • Heaviness in the breast will occur.
  • First bowel movement after delivery will be painful.
  • Vaginal discharge will take place for up to six weeks.
  • Problems while urinating will occur.

A host of emotional as well as physical changes await you in addition to meeting the demands of your new born baby post childbirth. Read this article to know more about what you must expect after labour and delivery.

After Pregnancy and Labor

Physical Front

  • Sore breasts: You might feel a lot of heaviness in your breasts as they get engorged with milk. The nipples become sore and tender.
  • Constipation: Normally, the first bowel movement may be a few days after delivery and can be accompanied with some pain and haemorrhoids. Eat a lot of fibre rich food to alleviate the problem.
  • Vaginal discharge: You’ll have a vaginal discharge (lochia) for up to six weeks after delivery. It is heavy initially and often contains clots. Fades to a yellow or white discharge gradually.
  • Episiotomy: In case of an Episiotomy, your stitches might make it difficult for you to sit or walk for some time till they heal. They may also pain when you cough or sneeze. Regular cleaning of the stitches with an antiseptic is very important.
  • Hot or cold flashes: Due to your body’s adjustment to new hormones or blood flow levels, you might experience hot or cold flashes in the first few weeks.
  • Contractions: These are also called ‘after pains’ and generally accompany breast-feeding sessions. They occur as the uterus continues to contract for a few days after the labour and delivery.
  • Problems while urinating: Sometimes, the tissues surrounding the bladder or the urethra burst during delivery, making it painful to urinate. You can use hot or cold packs on these tissues for relief till they heal.
  • Weight: Though you would have lost about 13 pounds (weight of the baby, placenta and amniotic fluid), additional water weight will drop off only within the first few weeks.

After Pregnancy and Labor

Emotional Front

  • Baby Blues: A fairly large percentage of new moms experience bouts of sadness, crying or anxiety in the beginning. These are due to hormonal changes as well as the increased exhaustion levels.
  • Depression: This is more serious than the ‘baby blues’. A few women have persistent sadness and crying bouts and in such a case, you must consult the doctor.
  • Lack of interest in sex: You may feel a total lack of interest in sex as you are bound to be both physically and emotionally exhausted. A talk with your partner should help him understand you better.

Though nothing prepares you for what to expect after labour and delivery, it is safer to be prepared for some amount of physical and emotional trauma. If the pain becomes very intense or the signs of depression set in, it is advisable to seek medical help.

Image courtesy: Getty Images

Read more articles on Childbirth (Delivery)


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