- Women's Health»
After labor and delivery - Not so fun surprises!
You would think after having three children, one would remember all the little details of the after birth recovery. Obviously this is not so, because I was very surprised by what awaited me..
Why do I still look pregnant?!? Surprisingly enough, this occurred as a big shocker to me. Though is shouldn't have, seeing as this was baby number three and the little guy was rather large. Every pregnancy is different, usually four to six weeks go by before alot of the swelling and water weight is reduced. If you're a nursing mother, your recovery time may be quicker. When your baby nurses your uterus contracts more, so you actually shrink back down to size faster, as well as burn more calories from the milk produced in feeding your child.
One word: Constipation - Yep, totally forgot about this happy friend. Your digestive system is still slowed from pregnancy, factor in not eating while in labor and any sort of pain medicine that you had while in labor. BAM! Constipation. Your doctor should prescribe a stool softener for the few days you are in the hospital, as well as wen you leave. If you've had to be stitched up, or developed hemorrhoids from labor, then having a bowel movement may bring a small wave of terror. However do not put off going to the bathroom once you have the urge, the first few times may be uncomfortable, but it will get worse the longer you put it off. Drink plenty of water or have some fruit juice to get things going.
Modesty, what modesty? Be prepared! The poking, prodding and checking doesn't stop after labor. The nurses will monitor you for as along as you're in the hospital, checking your bleeding, vital signs and asking about your pain levels. Just trying to remember that it's important for them to know that you are on the right track to recovery especially with the bleeding. After the baby comes and you deliver the placenta, all the blood vessels where the placenta attached have ruptured. So it's important to know that the bleeding is being managed and that your uterus is contracting well to cut off that blood flow and allow you to recover. Don't worry, it won't last forever.