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After the Birth

Do you remember the day you found out you were pregnant? As soon as you started to share the news you were most likely flooded with information- the common “What to expect when you are expecting.” All the information is incredibly useful and at the same time I think as a society we often forget to share and inform one another on what may happen after giving birth.

The journey that you went through during pregnancy is truly only yours and only you know your experience. You have met your child or children that you literally brought into this world! I think it’s important that we work towards recognizing that as a mom you are still a person, and you matter.

Among the many changes your body experienced during pregnancy, the changes do not end after giving birth. These changes can be scary, so my hope is that this blog can provide information and comfort in being aware of what your body is going through after the delivery.

As you may already know your hormones have been and continue to change- this may have an impact on your hair. The hormone called as oestrogen is a sex hormone that is responsible for the female reproductive system and sex characteristics. During your pregnancy this hormone may extend the hair’s growth process so during postpartum the excess hair sheds and returns to the state it was before giving birth. So, if you are feeling like you are shedding more than usual, it’s okay and part of the process.  

You just gave birth, what’s your body’s reaction?     

After you’ve delivered your child or children your body is going to have some immediate reactions. Some of the things you may experience include being physically and mentally exhausted- rightfully so! It’s also expected that your pulse rate may be elevated due to pain, excitement, or both. Your uterus also immediately starts to change and is working towards returning to its regular state. 

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) the lining of the uterus is shed as lochia. What does this mean for you? For the first week or so after giving birth there will be discharge that will look red- maybe reminiscent to blood flow during the menstruation cycle.  By the second week after giving birth the discharge will change color to a yellow or pale brown, and then will change to a white discharge. According to NCBI this usually lasts for three-six weeks.

Experiencing constipation?  

You are not alone! Statistics from the book titled Nutrition in the Childbearing Years written by Emma Derbyshire, statistics show that 20% of first-time mothers experience symptoms of constipation after delivery. During pregnancy your baby (or babies) have been putting pressure on your intestines- which I am very sure you have been aware of! The good news is that there are ways to help with constipation including: drinking water, resting, and warm liquids in the morning.

 Your Breasts continue to React  

Your breasts have had a lot going on during your pregnancy! You have probably noticed the changes and felt them. That’s because your hormones have been promoting and developing milk producing tissues throughout your pregnancy. So now you’ve given birth and may be experiencing an abundance of changes related to your breasts.

Whether you choose to breastfeed or not, your body will react during the postpartum period. The hormones will start making milk within 2-5 days after delivery based off information from the NCBI. If you do choose to breastfeed, you may experience uterine cramping in the beginning of your experience. When I think about this experience for mothers my heart goes out to you!

As your body is naturally reacting to the postpartum experience, your nipples may feel sore and cracked, they could feel hard and uncomfortable. For those who choose not to breastfeed, it will take time for your body to stop milk production.  Either way, this can be a painful and frustrating experience for you- reach out to your doctor for tips on how to ease the experience. 

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Your hair may feel and look different! 

As you may already know your hormones have been and continue to change- this may have an impact on your hair. The hormone called as oestrogen is a sex hormone that is responsible for the female reproductive system and sex characteristics. During your pregnancy this hormone may extend the hair’s growth process so during postpartum the excess hair sheds and returns to the state it was before giving birth. So, if you are feeling like you are shedding more than usual, it’s okay and part of the process.

Reconnecting with your Body 

I know I’ve shared some information with you above that may seem daunting and scary especially after the experience of giving birth. Your birth process, how long labor was, your experience during labor, how many pregnancies you have had, the stresses of returning to life are all unique to you. I recently read a book titled The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson (highly suggest) that provides some techniques on ways to reconnect with your body. Totally understand if you do not want to read the book- so I would like to share some of the tips that are provided. 

  • Gentle Breathing: Twice a day for at least two minutes close your eyes and focus on your bodies experience- focus on how your breath is impacting you. 
  • Constructive Rest: Lay down on your back with your feet flat in a way that they are a set a bit wider than your hips, then let your knees fall together to rest against each other. 
  • Yoga: Do some research and find what yoga would fit and work best for you and your body. 

I have the utmost respect and admiration for all those who have given birth and experience postpartum. I also cannot imagine how scary and alone one may feel during this process. With that said, I hope this blog can bring you some comfort in knowing and preparing for what your body may experience and that there are people here for you! 

How can we support you?

Postpartum changes do not have to rule your life, or effect you sexually longterm. You deserve to enjoy your new stage of life without the burden of longterm postpartum effects like depression or anxiety. Let us know how you care for yourself, and how we can help support you! 

1. Contact Emma Schmidt and Associates to request a free Counseling consultation.

2. Meet with a skilled therapist for Counseling through our HIPAA compliant platform.

3. Begin online Counseling and begin your journey towards mental wellness, health, and happiness.

Other Services Offered at Emma Schmidt and Associates:

More to check out…

The therapists at Emma Schmidt and Associates are skilled relationship and sex therapists. However, that’s not the only mental health service they offer. Our therapists treat general mental health and relationship concerns. We offer anxiety treatment, depression treatment, trauma and PTSD treatment, EMDR, and relationship and couples therapy. In addition to offering online therapy in Ohio, we also offer online therapy in Kentucky, and online therapy in Indiana. Contact our office to learn more about the many ways our team of skilled clinicians can help you thrive.

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Counseling Psychologist

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