Your New Body
The first few minutes after birth may leave you in awe of everything that is going on. Your body has just amazingly given birth to this little creature. Now your breasts are primed and ready to make milk to continue its nurturing process. This is a special bonding time for the whole family.
After you have taken a while to notice the many changes about you, your focus may turn inward. The nurses or assistants help you learn how to take care of your postpartum body as it goes through many changes. You start to explore your new body. You might even be relieved at how light you feel.
The Physical Changes
One of the first physical differences you may notice is your breathing. After having spent many months in tight quarters, your lungs and diaphragm can now expand. You may have spent much of the last few months dreaming about the ability to breathe deeply again.
While it may physically be possible now, it is not as comfortable as you might think. Many women report that breathing deeply can cause a sore feeling as the organs shift back. Thankfully, this feeling usually lasts no more than a few hours. Deep breathing is recommended to help alleviate this pain.
Stretch marks earned during pregnancy have not gone away, but they will be much less noticeable. The further you get from your pregnancy, the less noticeable they are. The first thing to go will be the bright red, angry color. Over time these badges of motherhood will fade to barely visible silver lines.
You might also be anxious to explore your now-deflated abdomen. The good news is that the baby is now residing on the outside. The surprising news is that your abdomen is not flat. The skin has been stretched, over the period of months. It will take time to get it back to any shape or previous tone. Some exercises can help speed this process, but not by much time.
When you first get out of bed, you may find that you are shaky on your feet. Be sure to get up with some help and take your time. You should not try to carry your baby. This can be due to many factors. If you haven't eaten for a long period of time, your shakiness may be helped by a meal. If you are experiencing the shakes, which are very normal and occur no matter how you gave birth, try warm blankets to ease this discomfort.
Your breasts are not much different. That is because they have been preparing for this day for many months. Your breasts have been ready to produce breast milk since about the sixteenth week of pregnancy. The birth of your baby does signal your breasts to start the transition from colostrum, your first milk, to mature milk. It will take three to seven days for your milk to come in.