After a vaginal delivery, the perineum will be swollen, stretched or torn and stitched, causing discomfort to the mother. To lessen this:
- Sit on a warm bath for 4-6 minutes daily. It relieves the soreness.
- While going on a short call, use a squeeze bottle to pour warm water on your perineum. This ensures that no infection occurs.
- Take prescribed pain relievers.
If the delivery was through caesarean, the mother will normally be exhausted and nauseated from the anaesthesia that was used during the surgery. In addition, she might experience soreness around the abdomen where the incision was made. The mother is advised to remain in the hospital for 2-3 days for observation and guidance on how to take care of the wound when finally discharged. Once home, if she observes swelling or bleeding around the incision, the doctor should be notified immediately.
A few minutes after birth, the breast will start producing colostrum, which is a thick yellowish liquid. This is the first meal the baby will take, and is normally a precursor to breast milk. Breast discomfort occurs when the nipples become tender, sore and even cracked due to the frequent latching by the baby. You can talk to a lactation specialist on the various methods of latching.
As a result of breastfeeding, the body produces oxytocin, which helps in contracting the uterus. This process can sometimes be uncomfortable but the good news is that contractions associated with pregnancy are at their worst on the first day after pregnancy and should taper off by the third day.
During pregnancy, abdominal muscles and uterus were stretched beyond their limit, and this normally takes time to regain their original size. The mother should carry the ‘potty’ with pride, as it is a sign of what they went through.
Experiencing mixed emotions after birth is normal. When the emotions last a few days then disappear, it is called baby blues. But when the same emotions last over a month, then it is a sign of postpartum depression.
Traces of superficial mucous membrane and heavy blood (lochia) will be visible in the first few days but later change later to normal. Contact your doctor if the heavy bleeding persists.
At the end of the day, smile, it was all worth it!
Please note that development varies from one baby to another.
Content is intended for educational purposes only, and not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.
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Last reviewed March 2019