You’re always reading loads of articles about what happens before, during and after a pregnancy. Have you ever wondered what happens immediately after you’ve given birth, though? What changes happen in your body, how you feel and exactly what goes on 24 hours after you’ve given birth? Read on to know more!
What Happens Immediately After?
Well, your baby, as soon as it’s born, is brought up to your chest for skin-to-skin contact. Your vagina might be checked to see if you have any tears that need repairing. Soon, you might have to breastfeed your baby for the first time.
What Happens To My Body and How Will I Feel?
– Depending on how your delivery has gone, you might feel a range of emotions washing over you. Your feelings might range from happy, jubilant, exhausted, sad, exhausted, drained or maybe all of them at once!
– You might bleed from your vagina. This is known as ‘lochia’ and is perfectly normal. For the first 24 hours, this blood flow is similar to that during a heavy period, meaning you’ll have a heavy flow and might pass some clots. But this is normal, as you might bleed for the next 4 to 6 weeks. There is nothing to worry about.
– Some women might experience pain in the uterus as the uterus might try to shrink to its original size prior to pregnancy. The pain might range from labour pain to mild-to-moderate period pain. If this is your second or third pregnancy, this pain might be slightly more for you. You can ease your pain by placing a warm pack on your back or belly. You can even ask for pain relief.
– Your perineum might even be swollen. To help this you can do the following – rest, lie down, apply an ice pack for 20 minutes every 2-4 hours, wear firm underwear and 2-3 maternity pads for extra support, and exercise as soon as you comfortably can. If your perineum is still painful, then you can ask your doctor for pain relief medication. The stitches will dissolve within 1-2 weeks. Wash the area normally and gently pat it dry. Drink a lot of water and eat plenty of fibre so your stools can easily pass through and are soft. Avoid straining on the toilet. Ask for laxatives if you become constipated.
– Your breast will start producing colostrum in order to feed your baby. Usually, it will only be in small amounts, as your tummy would also be small in size.
When Do I Go Home?
If you’ve had a normal delivery in a government or public hospital, then you might go home within 24 hours. A private hospital usually allows you to stay for longer.
If you have had a Cesarean delivery, then you might have to stay back in the hospital for longer.
Consult your doctor in case you need medical attention. We have written this with an average in mind. As every mom is different, every mom’s reaction and response to a delivery will be different, so do ensure you consult your doctor for every move of yours.