After nine months of conceiving a life inside your body, you will need some time to adapt after giving birth. Whether you had a C-section or normal delivery, a post-pregnancy period will surely follow after either way.

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Usually, the post-pregnancy period or known as the postpartum period lasts around 6 – 8 weeks.

What Exactly is Postpartum Period?

The postpartum period occurs after giving birth. It is a period where your body starts transitioning back to the non-pregnant state.

The postpartum period is often neglected although it is one of the most critical and defining periods after giving birth. The most prominent effect of the postpartum or postnatal period is the instability of mood and physical conditions.

Your breasts may go through a state where they got larger, firmer, and more painful and is caused by the special clear fluid called colostrum. The colostrum and breast milk will fill your breasts after giving birth.

This state is also known as breast engorgement, and it is the right time to preserve your breast milk for your baby’s nutrition.

What to Expect During Post-pregnancy?

1. Baby Blues

In Addition to physical changes, you will also feel emotional imbalance for the next few months. Baby blues is entirely normal although it is hard not to be frustrated during the postpartum period.

The emotional imbalance and mood instability is caused by the estrogen and progesterone levels that are incredibly high during pregnancy. After giving birth, these hormones plummeted and triggers what we know as baby blues.

Baby blues lasts around two weeks after giving birth. Also, symptoms may include non stop crying, emotionally vulnerable, anxiety, irritability, sadness, lack of focus.

2. Postpartum Depression

Although postpartum depression shares similar symptoms to the Baby Blues, it is a much more severe condition.

Postpartum depression lasts around two to three months, and it interferes with your functioning. In the most extreme cases, the mother with postpartum depression might also develop harmful thoughts towards themselves and the baby.

If you feel that you are currently undergoing a postpartum depression, the best tips to handle it is to consult your doctor or ob-gyn.

3. Hormonal Shifts

The hormonal roller coaster is often indicated by excessive sweating especially at nights. Thyroxine or also known as the primary hormone for thyroid glands in the neck might be affected during this period.

In results, the hormones lose its way to function properly and might cause brief overactive thyroid that causes the mother to sweat and often lose their weight.

Additionally, another important hormone that is affected during the postpartum period is prolactin. The pituitary gland produces prolactin in the brain that works on the breasts for milk production.

4. Vaginal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding and spotting after giving birth are normal. Your body is trying to dispose of the excess blood and tissue that were used to nourish the baby during the pregnancy period.

Vaginal bleeding lasts about ten days after childbirth and continues with light spotting for several weeks after.

5. Postpartum Cramping

The uterus contractions cause the postpartum cramping as it returns to the pre-pregnancy size. Although it sounds scary, the postpartum cramping is generally milder for first-time moms as the uterine muscle tone can stay contracted.

The uterus cramps usually intensify during the first two days after childbirth. However, the uterus might need around six weeks to return to the normal size.

6. Postpartum Preeclampsia

Postpartum preeclampsia does not occur in normal conditions. However, it may indicate danger. The postpartum preeclampsia occurs typically within the first 48 hours to six weeks after childbirth.

Similar to the preeclampsia that happens just before childbirth, this causes the blood vessels to shrink (constrict) due to the high blood pressure. The postpartum preeclampsia can be dangerous as it can distress your internal organs. Symptoms may include a severe headache, sudden weight gain, and swelling of your hands and feet.

If you feel that you are experiencing the postpartum preeclampsia, immediately go to a doctor to get the best medications.

These are the six symptoms of postpartum or post pregnancy period that every mom should expect. For more information about the postpartum period, experienced specialists are available 24/7 online through the Okadoc app.