During pregnancy, Physical body changes after giving birth-Breast milk leakage. You have closely observed your body and informed yourself in detail about the birth process. But what happens when everything is “done” and the postpartum period begins? We explain what to expect in the event of postpartum and postpartum flow, how perineal and cesarean section scars heal best, and how to alleviate breastfeeding problems such as milk leakage and sore nipples.
The puerperium: the first period after birth
After all that you and your body have accomplished during pregnancy and birth, the most important thing now is to rest – the six to eight-week period of the postpartum period begins. In the puerperium, physical recovery, healing, and regression of the uterus go hand in hand with the production of milk and the beginning of the breastfeeding relationship with the baby. Hormones largely control these physical changes. A completely normal side effect of the hormonal change is an up and down of the emotions, which can also be stressful for the mother. The aftercare midwife will look after you during this time and will be there to help you with advice and support regarding breastfeeding or the baby’s first bath.
Physical body changes after giving birth-Breast milk leakage.
The physical changes in the postpartum period are essentially the same for all women. They differ, however, in the extent and duration. Whether a woman has childbirth injuries and, if so, which ones, naturally depends on the type of birth and how it went.
After pains: The uterus regresses
During pregnancy, the uterus has spread throughout the abdomen, displacing organs, muscles, and other tissues. Due to sometimes painful after pains, the uterus contracts back to its normal size within four days after birth. The midwife in particular keeps an eye on the process of regression: During the aftercare examinations, she palpates the size and position of the uterus.
In multi-birth women, Physical body changes after giving birth-Breast milk leakage. The afterpains are usually felt to be more painful because the uterus has to expend more force to regain its original shape due to the earlier “pre-stretching” of the muscles. Women who have had a Caesarean section also often experience the after pains more painful.
Postpartum flow: The wound area in the uterus heals
The postpartum flow consists mainly of wound secretion and blood from the wound left in the uterus by the detached placenta. In the first few days, bleeding is heavy and women also find lumps in the postpartum. Over time, the lochia becomes lighter, until it stops completely after six to eight weeks. The menstrual flow must be allowed to drain off – so never use tampons, but large pads that you change frequently so that germs cannot thrive in the warm, humid climate. Showering instead of bathing and regular vaginal rinsing with warm water at the beginning are simple but important hygiene measures.
Perineal tear, episiotomy or cesarean section: Healing birth injuries
When the baby pushes itself through the birth canal, the mother often suffers minor or major injuries. In the perineum or wider vaginal area, cuts or fine tears are common. The necessary stretching in the vagina can also lead to bruising in the surrounding tissue. Cooling compresses or special cooling gels often provide relief. Besides, homeopathic remedies can accelerate the healing process and allow the swelling to subside in the case of bruising after birth. In case of severe pain, painkillers that are not harmful to your baby can be taken after consultation with the doctor.
To avoid infections and support the healing process, the stitches should be kept clean and rinsed with water after each visit to the toilet. Bruises normally heal themselves, and an episiotomy or rupture of the perineum usually heals on its own within six weeks of delivery.
Physical body changes after giving birth-Breast milk leakage.
After a cesarean section, the impairments are understandably greater – the scar is also likely to hurt when getting up and walking. However, there are medications for this as well that will not harm your baby. At the hospital, you will also be shown how to care for the scar. And your midwife will observe during the follow-up examinations whether the wound is healing well during an episiotomy, rupture, or cesarean section.
Breast milk leakage and sore nipples
Two to three days after the birth the milk is injected. Your breasts swell and become heavy. This can sometimes be painful. Try to make sure that the milk can drain continuously from the beginning. Otherwise, milk congestion will form, which in the worst case can lead to breast inflammation. So give yourself and your baby plenty of time for breastfeeding – especially if it doesn’t go smoothly right from the start. The first few moments of breastfeeding almost always feel uncomfortable. Your nipples may also react sensitively to the unusual strain and become sore. If possible, let a little breast milk dry on the nipples. A special, breastfeeding-compatible nipple ointment can also bring relief. Your midwife can also give you tips on how to put on the baby’s nipples as gently as possible when breastfeeding.
Water deposits disappear and excess pounds melt away
After birth, the pounds fall off – you lose around 11 kilograms almost by themselves: The weight of the amniotic fluid, placenta, and baby disappears immediately. In the first few days after birth, the body excretes the water deposits that had accumulated throughout the body. Also, the larger amount of blood during pregnancy, which was also heavy, normalizes. When the tissue fluid and the larger amount of blood are gone, the process of losing weight is slower. The fastest way to melt excess fat is by breastfeeding. You will consume about 530 calories more a day – an energy requirement that is about twice as high as during pregnancy. It is therefore not only unnecessary but also makes no sense to stick to a diet while breastfeeding. You and your baby may miss out on important nutrients. Besides, toxins stored in the fatty tissue can be released which can harm the baby through breast milk.
Hair falls out
The so-called postpartum effluvium, the increased hair loss after birth, affects all mothers. The cause is the change in the estrogen level. This is because the estrogen level first rises significantly from the eighth week of pregnancy onwards. This prolongs the life phase of the individual hair. As a result, a woman’s hair volume increases by about ten percent on average during pregnancy. In the first three months after giving birth, the estrogen level drops to normal levels and your hair initially falls out more. Women perceive this to varying degrees depending on the structure and fullness of their hair. Even if it looks like a lot at first, there is no need to worry. Not all hair is lost. As soon as the estrogen level has settled down again, the hair loss stops. For most women, this takes about six months, i.e. until the ninth month after giving birth. After that, they have the same amount of hair as before pregnancy.
Extremely sensitive, seemingly without reason sad, and very exhausted: A hormonally caused low mood around the third to fifth day after birth, also called baby blues or crying days, is completely normal. The cause is, once again, hormones: estrogen and progesterone suddenly drop after birth. At the same time, the hormone prolactin, which is responsible for milk production, is produced after birth. The hormonal change in combination with the physical exertion that lies behind the mother and the complaints that currently plague her – all this can (but need not) cause the mood to sink into the basement and tears to flow. After a week, however, your psychological state will usually have returned to normal. However, if you notice that your mood is permanently in the basement and you are unable to accept your baby properly, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help. It could be a case of postpartum depression.
Muscle training again only after the postpartum period
Abdominal muscles? Used to be. I’m sure you’ve noticed that yourself. Pregnancy and birth have stretched and strained your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles. While the pelvic floor should be spared as much as possible during the postpartum period, you can start with appropriate exercises to strengthen the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles eight to ten weeks after giving birth. The rule here is: Do not rush anything! Give your body time to get back into shape. In recovery courses offered by midwives, you can kill two birds with one stone: you will get fit again in a nice atmosphere with women who have just become mothers.
Physical body changes after giving birth-Breast milk leakage In brief
The maximum eight-week postpartum period is used for recovery and recovery after birth. During this time, the uterus begins its greatest regression processes, birth injuries heal, the pelvic floor recovers, body weight begins to normalize, as does the mother’s hair growth and nervous system. But the process of change and regression also continues after the puerperium. Physical body changes after giving birth-Breast milk leakage.Usually, it takes nine months until the body is back in the same condition as before the pregnancy.