Page 86 - Stormont-Vail GOM baby friendly ebook

This is a SEO version of Stormont-Vail GOM baby friendly ebook. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

CHANGES AFTER B I RTH

The New Beginning

The weeks following the birth of your baby are important ones as your body returns to normal after labor and birth. At the same time, you are welcoming a new life into your world. Knowing what to expect and relying on continuing support of your healthcare team will help you relax through the postpartum experience with as much confidence and comfort as possible.

If this is your first child, your healthcare team wants you to be aware of the transitions in which you find yourself, your baby and your family. If you already have children, your healthcare team can provide supportive reminders and information about the days after your new baby arrives.

After you leave the hospital, please do not hesitate to call your healthcare provider if you have questions or problems. Being aware of your own physical and emotional well-being as you take your new infant home can be very helpful at this special time of your life.

Normal Changes

In the 4 to 6 weeks following the birth of your baby, the changes of pregnancy are gradually reversed as the body begins to return to its non-pregnant state. The amount of time required for this process varies, depending on the type of birth you had and other associated medical conditions. The first 6 weeks following the birth of your baby is called the postpartum period.

The Uterus

The normal changes of the pregnant uterus to accommodate a developing baby are not reversed overnight. During pregnancy, the uterus increases approximately 11 times its non-pregnant weight, weighing more than 2 pounds immediately after the birth and is about the size of a grapefruit. It can be felt just below the umbilicus. In about 6 weeks, the uterus will return to its normal weight, a mere 2 ounces.

Afterbirth Pain

As the uterus shrinks, its muscle fibers contract, causing afterbirth pains. These contractions are much less painful than labor contractions because there is no associated pain from the cervical dilation or a stretching birth canal. Afterbirth pains are most noticeable the first 3 to 4 days postpartum, particularly for women who have had previous deliveries. These contractions are also pronounced during breastfeeding. However, they help shrink the uterus to its pre-pregnant state and reduce blood loss following birth.

Pre-Pregnancy Postpartum

The Gift of Motherhood – your personal journey through prepared childbirth 84

Page 86 - Stormont-Vail GOM baby friendly ebook

This is a SEO version of Stormont-Vail GOM baby friendly ebook. Click here to view full version

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »