The Postpatum Period: What to expect

The Postpatum Period: What to expect

SO what is the postpartum period?

Typically, the postpartum period is classed a "6-weeks", however, in all honesty- postpartum is LIFELONG! Why, you may ask? Well, postpartum is the period after giving birth- the period in which you become a mother. It should also be pointed out, that 6-weeks isn't a very long time for your body to recover & heal. If your pregnancy was 9 months, then it makes sense that just the "recovery" time in your postpartum is 9 months as well. 

postpartum body

  Image credit: Life After Birth Project 

During the first initial period after birth, you are not only adjusting to your new life as mother, but your body is also adjusting and recovering. The postpartum period isn't time for juice cleanses and extreme gym workouts to get your "pre- pregnancy" body back. Recovering from birth takes time, this is why a slow and gentle postpartum period is essential. It is a time for be thankful for your body, a time to be enjoy and time for you to show acceptance of the amazing and beautiful job you have done as a new mother, bringing your little baby into the world. Remember- you, your body & mind, are amazing mamma! 

Here are some things to expect during your postpartum period: 

1. Your belly will be squishy, soft and swollen. You will most likely still look pregnant! It takes time for your uterus to shrink.

2. You will experience a vaginal discharge called lochia, making you bleed for up to 6 weeks after giving birth, like a period. This occurs as the placenta removes itself from your uterus (after birth), leaving a wound with open blood vessels, which requires time to heal. 


Postpartum body

                                                Image credit: @freedomwellness (instagram)

3. You will get after-birth contractions, and yes, they can be painful. As these contractions occur, they will help your uterus shrink back to pre-pregnancy size over 7-10 days

4.Your vagina and perineum will be sensitive and sore if you had a vaginal birth, even more so if you tore or had an episiotomy. Or, if you had a c-section you will still experience post birth bleeding, discharge & cramping. For c-section mammas, you will more than likely need pain killers to help reduce pain and inflammation in the days following. 

5. Constipation is more than likely to occur, with your first bowel movement likely to be delayed up to 3-4 days. It can be quite daunting, but remember to breathe, it will be ok!

6. You may be more sweaty and produce more body odour than normal! This is due to your your hormones re-settling after birth. It may as well help your baby sense you and improve bonding. Who would have thought stinky pits would do that!!?

7.You will most likely experience breast engorgement, making your breasts feel hard and heavy as your milk production comes in. If you choose not to breastfeed, you'll still experience some engorgement as your hormones register not to make milk, this can be up to 3 weeks. 




8. You'll experience a rollercoaster of emotions, these are often termed the "baby blues" and are largely thanks to your hormones re-settling. You may feel happy, sad, angry, anxious, agitated or frustrated to name a few emotions. Typically the baby blues, begin around day 3 so it is important to reach out for that extra support and comfort if you need it. Remember mamma, its ok to ask for help!                                                       

 When it comes to the postpartum period, every mamma is different. No two experiences are the same! SO rest up mamma, you've got this. 

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1 comment

This blog is so helpful for expecting mamma’s!
Thank you Meagan ❤

Kristen Nightingale

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