10 Things Women Should Know About Postpartum – Pregnancy

4. Your uterus will contract. By the time you go into labor, your uterus is 15 times heavier than its pre-pregnancy size. And what goes up (in size) must come down. Your uterus will begin to contract after delivery (breastfeeding can help quicken the process) and sometimes, it can be painful (similar to heavy period pain). Use warm packs to ease discomfort and ask your midwife about painkillers that are safe for breastfeeding (if you’re nursing). You may still look like you are five or six months pregnant for a while after giving birth – go easy on yourself and give your body time to adjust, after all, it took your body nine months to grow! If you are breastfeeding those extra fat stores you put down will come in handy nourishing your baby.

5. You’ll experience bleeding, whether you had a vaginal delivery or a C-section. After the birth, you’ll bleed quite heavily for about a week. This is your body’s way of shedding the lining of the uterus and any excess blood – in other words, entirely normal. It’s a good idea to pack some organic sanitary pads when you go to the hospital as the bleeding will be intense for the first few days. Don’t use tampons until you get the go-ahead from your doctor (at your six-week check-up, usually) – they can cause infections. For the first week or so, the bleeding will be frequent and heavy, and bright red in color. After that, it’ll fade to a rusty brown color and become less heavy. If you notice any large clots (bigger than a quarter), call your doctor as you may be at risk of postpartum hemorrhage.

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