Your Body Postpartum
From the moment your child slides out of your body, a transformation as dramatic as that of pregnancy begins. Right at delivery you will drop around 10 to 15 pounds of baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, and lochia.
By the tenth day postpartum, your uterus will have contracted to one-twentieth of its prelabor size and the cervix will be closed once again. Afterpains similar to menstrual cramps and a steady discharge of lochia indicate that the uterus is returning to normal. The lochia flow will continue up to 6 weeks, but the afterpains will probably stop several days after delivery (although nursing may continue to stimulate them periodically). Your perineal area may continue to be sore for a few weeks. Some things you can use to ease pain and swelling are:
A hot water bottle
The peribottle you may have received at the hospital
Occasional cold packs
A foam “donut” from a medical supply store for your chair (if sitting is uncomfortable)
As your body drops tissue, fluids, and decreases its cardiovascular volume, your metabolism may seem out of whack. In addition, you may find the following:
Vaginally, things may seem a little “looser.” Vaginal skin is elastic, and may be stretched out from the birth. Exercise and time will help it return to a firmer state.
Constipation is another common postpartum problem. Plenty of water, movement, and high-fiber foods may help.
Your breasts will be tender as you deal with engorgement. If you breastfeed, sore nipples and other discomforts may be plaguing you as you adjust to this new routine.