Get exclusive member benefits & effect social change. Join Today
The transition from pregnancy to parenthood is a big adjustment. Not only is there an infant to care for, there’s a whole new set of physical and emotional symptoms to deal with. Depending on the length and type of delivery you had, your body will be going through extreme changes.
Some of the symptoms you might experience after childbirth include:
Complications after childbirth are rare. But it’s important to be aware of your symptoms and to call your doctor if you experience anything unusual. Some symptoms that may indicate a problem include:
You and your doctor will decide what is best for you and make sure that it works with your insurance. If there is a medical reason for you to stay in the hospital, your health insurance should allow it. Many insurance companies encourage women to leave the hospital 24 hours after delivery. For some women, this is safe and appropriate. You may need to stay in the hospital for longer if you’ve had a C-section or if you’ve had a particularly difficult labor and delivery.
After a baby is born, an APGAR test is done and the score is used to quickly determine the health of a newborn. Things that will be assessed include:
Doctors recommend that you breastfeed your baby for the first year of life. Women are encouraged to start feeding as soon as possible after delivery. Breast milk is the optimal food for your baby.
Some of the many benefits of breast milk include:
If you are breastfeeding, you will need to increase your intake of calories and get plenty of calcium.
Postpartum depression is a form of clinical depression that usually affects women within the first few months after childbirth. While the fluctuations in hormone levels may be to blame for changes in mood and behavior after giving birth, there are also a set of non-hormonal factors that may contribute to depression.
Triggers may include:
If you are suffering from postpartum depression, talk to your doctor so that you can get the help you need.
Sex can typically be safely resumed about four to six weeks after childbirth. If healing is taking a bit more time, your doctor may recommend waiting longer. Sex can sometimes be painful the first time after delivering a baby, particularly if you’ve had an episiotomy or a tear.
Women who are breastfeeding have lower estrogen levels, which may affect lubrication and make the vagina feel dry and raw. Be sure to use a lubricant when you restart sexual activity. If the lubrication does not alleviate the pain, then check with your doctor to make sure you are healing as expected.
Written by: Kathryn Watson
Published on: Mar 27, 2017
Medically reviewed on: Mar 27, 2017: Michael Weber, MD
Enter your symptoms in our Symptom Checker to find out possible causes of your symptoms. Go.
Enter any list of prescription drugs and see how they interact with each other and with other substances. Go.
Enter its color and shape information, and this tool helps you identify it. Go.
Find information on drug interactions, side effects, and more. Go.
From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.
Members save 10% on the monthly service charge of qualified AT&T wireless plans.
Members pay $9.50 for Regal ePremiere Tickets purchased online.
Members earn points on select Walgreens-brand health and wellness products.
Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.