Apart from the heart-melting yawns and melting in a puddle while staring at the near-perfect face of a squishy newborn, what can you expect after the delivery? This is a question that every pregnant woman and new mothers ask to themselves and to people around because as highly discussed pregnancy is, the after birth stories are lesser and not as celebrated. Life changes and it would be an understatement to leave it at that. From fighting baby blues to learning diaper-changing techniques, from staying up all night soothing a colicky baby to taking up new roles in life; this is a roller-coaster ride that you can never be prepared for enough but at the same time so immensely rewarding that it amazes you at every step.
Here Is A List Of What You Can Possibly Expect After The Birth:
1. You Continue To Look 6 Months Pregnant
While packing your hospital bag, we always recommend carrying a gown or dress that used to fit you at around 6 months in pregnancy because even after delivery, you can expect your belly to look as big. The reason behind this is during pregnancy, your uterus expands along with the muscles and skin of your belly, in order to accommodate the growing fetus. It takes time for the uterus to shrink back to its original shape and you can at least expect 4-5 months and even up to a year to feel your original abs again.
2. Your Tummy Might Be Tender And Painful
If you have had a C-section, it is most likely that the site of incision will be painful and tender and you might feel uncomfortable while walking around. However, it has been seen that the earlier you start walking; the better is the recovery after a C-section. You can hold you tummy from below while going to the washroom or to the nursery to feed your baby so that there is some support to it.
3. Your Breasts Might Be Engorged Or Leaky
Soon after delivery, the hormone oxytocin is at work and serves two purposes. When the pituitary gland1 secretes oxytocin, it helps in the contraction of milk sacs in your breasts, thus helping in milk production and it is then that you feel the ‘letdown’. Your breasts might feel engorged because the baby is yet to establish a proper latch. If at any time you feel pain or have a fever, do inform your doctor about it and start breastfeeding as early as possible so that the engorgement does not lead to mastitis. Your breasts might also leak which is a good sign and you should make the most of it. The oxytocin2 released also serves the purpose of helping to shrink the uterus to its normal shape which can explain the mild cramping you feel in the lower abdomen after birth.
4. Bonding And Breastfeeding
It might take a while to adjust yourself to a newborn and the innumerable things associated with it. Expect yourself to feel distant and puzzled, angry and sad at the same time because all your hormones will go for a sudden dip and it is normal to feel like a bundle of contradictions. Breastfeeding right after birth helps with this bonding so it should be started at the earliest.
Taking one day at a time helps to come to terms with life-changing experiences after birth and reaching out for support if you have been feeling beyond the usual ‘baby blues’ is essential to rule out postpartum depression.