What to Expect After a Vaginal Delivery
Vaginal delivery is the most common around the world for baby delivery. This is because it is the most inexpensive and natural way to deliver a baby. As opposed to a c-section delivery, a natural birth requires less recovery time and is much easier for the body to get back to its best shape.
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But, it isn’t as straight forward as you might think. After giving birth to your newborn baby, it is important also to be mindful of your own health. After a natural birth, you may notice a couple of changes and discomforts in your vaginal area as well as your health.
Common Issues After Vaginal Delivery
To avoid the worry and shock of surprises, here are a couple of things you can expect after a vaginal delivery.
1. Vaginal Soreness
Vaginal soreness only happens if you had an episiotomy or vaginal tear during delivery. This may lead to soreness in the weeks following. The severity of the tear, the worse the pain or, the longer it may last.
However, it is temporary and should be gone after a couple of weeks. You can use over the counter pain relief, an ice pack over the painful area or seek advice from your healthcare provider.
2. Vaginal Discharge
After you have delivered your newborn baby, your body will naturally begin to shed the superficial mucous membrane that lined your uterus while you were pregnant.
It comes out of your body through vaginal discharge along with blood and can be quite heavy during the first few days. It will then begin to thin out over time and change to a brown and eventually yellow color.
During the first few days after delivery, you may get random and very occasional contractions. They often resemble menstrual cramps. The purpose of these contractions is to prevent excessive bleeding by compressing the blood cells in the uterus.
Though it may be painful, it is completely normal, and you can get over the counter pain relief to treat the discomfort.
You would have noticed this even while you were pregnant. Because your pelvic floor muscles have been stretched, you may pass a bit of urine when you cough, laugh or sneeze. It is because the pelvic muscles support the uterus, bladder, and rectum.
After a few weeks when your body begins to adjust to normal, this shouldn’t happen anymore. To save yourself any embarrassment, you can wear sanitary pads as well as ask your doctor for exercise routines to prevent it.
Hemorrhoids often happen after delivery. It is a swollen vein inside your anus. To prevent this from happening or to treat its discomfort, you can apply a hemorrhoid cream that can bring you relief as well as wearing pads that contain witch hazel or a numbing agent.
Eating high fiber fruits and vegetables may also help to soften your stool, so it doesn’t cause too much discomfort when you have hemorrhoids.
6. Tenders and Sensitive Breasts
A few days after you give birth, you’ll notice your breasts may become fuller, heavier and firm. It will also feel sensitive to touch and also very tender. It may also cause discomfort over time. To ease the pain, wear a supportive bra that is also comfortable and soft. Apply a hot towel over your breasts or have a warm shower before breastfeeding. It can also help you to relieve the pain.
7. Hair Loss
During pregnancy, your hormone levels will rise and affect the growth levels of your hair. You’ll notice your hair growing at a quicker rate. Well, now that you’ve already delivered your newborn baby, the opposite effect will begin.
As your hormone levels start to drop back to normal, so will the rate of your hair growth. You may also notice your hair will begin to lose. This will likely only happens for around 5 months after delivering. After that, your hair growth will be back to normal.
Check up With the Doctor
Stay in contact with your doctor within three weeks after giving birth. You can assess the immediate changes in your health and address them. It is advised that you do a full postpartum checkup with your doctor 12 weeks after giving birth. This way, you and your doctor can identify that you are recovering well and can address any serious issues or anything out of the normal. After that period, your body should be recovering just fine.
If you notice any of the following symptoms, you will need to speak with your medical practitioner immediately.
- Chills or a fever
- Dizziness or fainting
- Passing large clots
- Heart palpitations or heart burns
- Severe abdominal pain
- Changes in your vision and severe headaches
- Painful urination
- Severe pain in your legs
- Severe pain in your breasts
Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.
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