The First Week

Dec 27, 2010 No Comments by
Congratulation! The moment you’ve awaited for 40 (or so) weeks has finally arrived. You’ve put months of pregnancy and long hours of childbirth behind you, and you’re officially a mother, with a new bundle of joy in your arms instead of in your belly.But the transition from pregnancy to postpartum comes with more than just a baby. It also comes with a variety of new symptoms (good-bye pregnancy aches, pains, and discomforts, hello postpartum ones) and a variety of new question (Why am I sweating so much? Why am I having contractions if I’ve already delivered? Will i ever be able to sit again? Why do I still look six month pregnant? Whose breast are these anyway?). Hopefully, you’ll have a chance to read up on these and many more pertinent postpartum topics in advance. Once you’re on full-time mom duty, finding the time to read anything (never mind use the toilet) won’t be easy.
What You May Be Feeling
During the first week postpartum, depending on the type of delivery you had (easy of difficult, vaginal or cesarean) and other individual factors, you may experience all, or only some, of the following:
  • Vaginal bleeding (lochia) similar to your period
  • Abdominal cramps (afterpains) as your uterus contract
  • Exhaustion
  • Perineal discomfort, pain, numbness, if you had a vaginal delivery (especially if you had stitches)
  • Some perineal discomfort if you had a C-section
  • Pain around the incision and, later, numbness in the area, if you had a C-section (especially a first one)
  • Discomfort sitting and walking if you had an episiotomy, a repair of a tear, or a ceserean delivery
  • Difficulty urinating for a day or two
  • Constipation; discomfort with bowel movements for the first few days
  • Hemorrhoids, continued from pregnancy, or new from pushing
  • All-over achiness, especially if you did a lot of pushing
  • Bloodshot eyes; black-and-blue marks around eyes, on cheeks, elsewhere, from too-vigorous pushing
  • Sweating, and lots of it, particularly at night.
  • Breast discomfort and engorgement beginning around the third or fourth day postpartum.
  • Sore or cracked nipples, if you’re breast feeding

  • Elation, blues, or swings between  the two
  • New-mom jitter; trepidation about caring for your new baby, especially if you’re a first timer
  • Frustration, if you’re  having a hard time getting started breastfeeding
  • A feeling of being overwhelmed by the physical, emotional, and logistical challenges facing you
  • Excitement about starting your new life with your new baby

After The Baby Is Born, Postpartum:The First Week
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