Post Birth - Everything you need to know

Post Birth - Everything you need to know

Becoming a mum is an exciting, life-changing experience, but it's not without its challenges. Already you have to adjust to a new routine and the demands of caring for a newborn, plus there are many physical and emotional changes you might experience after giving birth....

Becoming a mum is an exciting, life-changing experience, but it's not without its challenges. Already you have to adjust to a new routine and the demands of caring for a newborn, plus there are many physical and emotional changes you might experience after giving birth. But don’t worry we have you covered, here’s everything you need to know about post-birth, from recovery to caring for your new bundle of joy.

Postpartum Recovery

After giving birth, your body needs time to heal and recover. If you had a vaginal birth, you may experience soreness, swelling, and discomfort in the perineal area. To ease these symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend using a stool softener to make bowel movements easier, sitting in a warm water bath, and using a cold compress to reduce swelling. You can also do pelvic floor exercises to help strengthen your muscles and promote healing.

If you had a caesarean section, it's important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions for caring for your caesarean scar. You will need to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for several weeks after surgery. Your healthcare provider may also recommend pain medication to manage any discomfort.

You can expect to bleed for a few weeks after birth, this is totally normal. It will gradually turn a brownish colour and then stop. For those bottle feeding baby, you can expect your periods to return 5-6 weeks after birth. For those who are exclusively breastfeeding you can expect your period to return once you start to decrease breastfeeding. But as you discovered during pregnancy every person has a different experience.

Going to the toilet post-birth is a scary thought for new mums, especially if you had to have stitches. Try to eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies and don’t let yourself get constipated. Going for a wee can really sting in those early days, so try to drink lots of water to dilute your urine so it stings less. You may find using a jug of lukewarm water or a perineal spray bottle vs toilet paper a more gentle way to clean yourself.   

Breastfeeding Tips

Breastfeeding is the ideal way to nourish your newborn and provides numerous health benefits for both of you, but it doesn’t come naturally to mum or baby at first and not every circumstance allows mum to breastfeed. All babies need to learn how to latch on and for first-time mums it can be tricky to know how to get baby to latch too. Often in those first few weeks you may suffer with sore, bleeding and cracked nipples. Make sure to have nipple shields and nipple balm to hand as well as flannels to make cold and warm compresses. While you’re in the hospital post-birth make the most of the midwife’s expertise on getting baby to latch and breastfeeding positions. If you do need more support once you and baby are home you can call the National Breastfeeding Helpline 9.30am to 9.30pm every day of the year: 0300 100 0212. 

If you experience any difficulties with breastfeeding, don't hesitate to seek help. Your healthcare provider, a lactation consultant, or a breastfeeding support group can provide advice and support to help you overcome any challenges. Head to the NHS website to search for breastfeeding support groups in your local area.

Check out our top 10 breastfeeding positions to try.

Bonding with Your Baby

Contact with your baby is essential for bonding and promoting healthy development. This includes eye contact, skin-to-skin contact, and feeding your baby. As you spend more time with your baby you will start to learn their cues and will be able to pre-empt their needs. Holding them, smiling at them and talking to them will bring them comfort and help to build a strong bond. Remember babies can only focus at about 20cm and they much prefer your face over a toy. Your baby will be able to recognise your voice and your smell.

Some new parents do struggle to bond with their baby, especially if they have to go back to work fairly soon after the birth or have other children to look after. Some women may also experience postnatal depression which can cause feelings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your health visitor or GP. They can provide resources and support to help you manage your mental health and adjust to the demands of parenthood. You could also reach out to family and friends for support, a few hours of rest or some help with cleaning/ cooking.

Caring for Your Baby

As you may discover once baby comes along, there is a lot of contrasting advice out there. Caring for a newborn can be overwhelming, but there are many official resources available to help. The NHS has plenty of guidelines and articles with information on breastfeeding, sleep issues, how to formula feed and health issues that may arise. They are the most reliable source of information for you to follow. Otherwise you can speak to your GP or health visitor. 

Check out our baby sleep guide from baby sleep expert Cara Treadwell.

As your baby grows, they will reach various milestones, from rolling over to crawling and eventually walking. Keep track of these milestones and discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance on promoting healthy development and addressing any issues that may arise. You can also check out our blog article here all about growth and development for babies 0-12 months.

Post-birth can be a challenging and overwhelming time, but with the right resources and support, you can navigate this new chapter in your life. Remember to take care of your physical and mental health, seek help when you need it, and enjoy the precious moments with your new baby. 

related articles

15 Apr 2024

How to navigate the newborn phase

Whether you're a first-time parent or a seasoned pro looking for a refresher, join us as we journey through the newborn phase together, focusing...

read now

05 Apr 2024

Caesarean section recovery; everything you need to know!

For most expectant mums,one of the most worrying thoughts behind having a caesarean section is the recovery! Don’t worry, as we’re going...

read now

02 Apr 2024

Tips for flying with a baby

From takeoff to landing we’ve got all the tips you need to navigate baby’s first flight experience. In this blog...

read now

21 Mar 2024

Introducing new follow-on formula to baby:Tips for a smooth formula transition!

From understanding how to switch baby from one follow-on formula to another, to helpful strategies for a smooth...

read now

15 Mar 2024

Tips for feeding baby while travelling

Travelling with a young baby can feel daunting but with a lot of preparation and some tried and tested parenting hacks you’ll be wondering...

read now

27 Feb 2024

First Mother's Day Gift Ideas

For all new mums celebrating Mother’s Day this year we’ve carefully selected a range of special gifts that they’ll love!...

read now

23 Feb 2024

Body After Baby: A Guide to Postpartum Fitness

Your body has been through some major changes during pregnancy and childbirth, and it needs time to heal. You may be keen to get...

read now

16 Feb 2024

Empowered Birth: Navigating Choices for an Optimal Birthing Experience

Hey soon-to-be parents! Welcome to the rollercoaster of emotions, excitement, and a bit of nervous anticipation that is the journey...

read now

06 Feb 2024

Rekindling romance after having a baby

As soon as baby comes along, the romantic side of your relationship with your partner tends to take a back...

read now

04 Jan 2024

New Parents: A Step-by-Step Guide to Well-Being

Bringing a new life into the world is an amazing experience, but let's be real – parenthood can be tough...

read now