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Congratulations! You have given birth to a beautiful new baby and are now in the midst of your first month after giving birth; a period referred to as the postpartum recovery period. Well past the grueling physical and emotional pregnancy journey and its many associated symptoms, you can now begin to focus on your recovery.
Don’t fret if some of your pregnancy symptoms persist after giving birth. Your body is still in the process of adapting back to its original state and will take time to become reacclimated to its non-pregnant status.
Many women are especially surprised to find out that they may still appear pregnant despite having given birth. Your postpartum tummy may very well remain in a swollen, rounded state that gives you the appearance of looking approximately six to seven months pregnant.
Be patient; it takes time for your body to recover from the arduous pregnancy journey that you recently experienced. Your belly will decrease in size slowly and steadily as you go through the recovery process. It’s important to note that there are many things you can do to facilitate the recovery process, in addition to speeding up the “deflating” of your belly.
Read on below to learn more about how to manage month one of the postpartum experience!
Your body will go through the most changes in the first month after giving birth. Many women find that they are extremely sore, with much of the soreness localized to their jaw, arms, and neck areas. It’s also not unusual to experience postpartum cramping, as your uterus is still contracting as a result of ongoing hormonal changes.
Common Postpartum Symptoms In The First Month
|Sore nipples||Vaginal bleeding|
|Backaches||Pain in the perineum area due to perineal tears|
|Postpartum depression and anxiety||Uterine contractions|
|Abdominal pains||Pain in C-section incision area (if applicable)|
|Difficulty when urinating||Constipation|
|Night Sweats||Presence of Linea Nigra line (may take up to a year to fade)|
|Eye issues such as puffiness or redness||Stretch marks|
|Fatigue||Cracked nipples (from breastfeeding)|
|Vaginal discomfort and discharge||Engorged and leaking breasts|
The immense swelling of innumerable cells within your body during pregnancy are now beginning to release the excess fluid you were holding on to during your term.
This fluid is eliminated through urination, sweat, and even vaginal secretions.
Meanwhile, the copious amount of fat that you gained in order to nourish your little baby will now start to slowly burn off in the coming weeks. You can fast-track the fat burning and weight loss process by regularly exercising.
Pregnant women who exercise in their postpartum months can dramatically change the overall shape and tone of their body and belly by incorporating strategic muscle building moves such as those listed below:
Note: Use an exercise ball to help perform exercises if you are experiencing difficulties with mobility
|Kegels (pelvic floor strengthening)||Tighten vaginal muscles and count to ten and then release. Do four sets of ten repetitions each day|
|Push-ups (gain upper body strength)||Opt for traditional pushup or kneeling-style push-ups and aim for three sets of ten repetitions per day|
|Head raises (tone abdominal area)||Lie on your back. Bend your knees with your hands laced behind your head. Breathe in and while exhaling, tighten and clench your abdominal muscles as you flatten your back flush against the floor
Aim for three sets of ten repetitions per day
|Pelvic tilt (strengthen abdominal muscles)||Lie on your back. With your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees and inhale while expanding your abdominal area. Upon exhaling, lift your tailbone high into the air. When you reach the highest point of your “tilt” squeeze your butt and then release
Aim for three sets of ten repetitions per day
Tips And Essential Information
One Month Postpartum
- Studies show that it can take up to an entire year for women to feel completely recovered after giving birth
- Alleviate pain from cracked nipples by applying purified lanolin (make sure that the product you choose is not petroleum based) or chamomile tea bags to the surface for instant soothing relief
- Your uterus will take some time (six to eight weeks) to revert back to its pre-pregnancy size. Sometimes taking up to six to eight weeks
- Relieve hemorrhoids or other pain in the perineum area by using chilling sprays, creams, and ointments which can soothe any painful burning feelings. Also, wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothing to let the area adequately breathe
- It’s generally recommended for women in their first months after giving birth to avoid heavy lifting and very strenuous exercise
- Constipation issues can be improved by incorporating fiber-rich foods into your diet (try whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and legumes) in conjunction with keeping active and practicing Kegel exercises
- Acetaminophen is a safe option to use to help with pains from nursing, body aches, and perineal or vaginal fissures
To-Do List And Reminders
One Month Postpartum
- Schedule your six-week postpartum checkup. At this visit, your healthcare practitioner will examine your vagina, uterus, cervix, and perineal area for tears and fissures. Your breasts will also be examined, along with basic stats such as weight, blood pressure and more.
- If you had a C-section, your doctor will also examine the incision area to ensure that it is healing optimally
- Take advantage of this appointment to ask any pressing questions you may have about concerns such as sex, weight gain or weight loss, breastfeeding, emotional health and more.
Lochia: Lochia is postpartum discharge that may initially appear bright red with a thick consistency. Eventually, the color fades to a lighter white, yellow, pink, or brown color and exhibits a watery consistency
Diastasis Recti: A common problem for many women in the postpartum phase, this condition occurs when the oppositional left and right sides of the belly’s surface muscles separate
Perineal laceration: Refers to a tear in the perineal area from strains experienced during vaginal childbirth, and results in a separation of the vagina from the anus
Episiotomy: An episiotomy, also referred to as a perineotomy, is an incision made in the perineal and posterior vaginal area during labor to swiftly land effectively create an enlarged opening for baby to pass through. The healing of this incision (along with incisions such as those from a c-section) will need to be monitored by your healthcare provider in your postpartum months
Cool Things To Know
- Many of your postpartum symptoms and their associated degree of severity are reliant upon the type of delivery you had (c-section versus vaginal) in conjunction with factors such as the amount of weight you put on during your pregnancy term and the level of fitness you achieved while pregnant
- Within twenty-four hours after giving birth, women will lose up to an average of twelve pounds! A combination of a losing the weight of the fetus, along with the loss of amniotic fluids, blood, and excessive fluid that your cells were holding on to results in an instantaneously dramatic weight loss.