Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby!
Your body has just achieved the most amazing wonder, and you are probably feeling exhausted, drained, excited and anxious (or all four!)
If you have given birth vaginally then you could have came back home yesterday or today. If you have had a caesarean section then you could still be in hospital. Wherever you currently are, use the below to guide you through your first day as a mother.
Changes to your body
- After-birth pain – You may be experiencing some after-birth pains which feel similar to period pain or labour pain (if you are not a first-time Mum then these can feel stronger than they did after your first baby). If the pain is severe talk to your doctor or midwife. If the pain is bearable, try placing a hot water bottle on your stomach to ease the pain.
- Sore Perineum – Your perineum may feel sore or swollen. Try our Pure Bliss or Bottoms Up spray to promote healing and easy any discomfort you may be experiencing.
- Caesarian Section Wound – If you had a caesarian section your midwife will remove your wound dressing today (24 hours after surgery) to check for signs of infection.
- Lochia – Lochia is bleeding that you are most likely experiencing right now. It may seem like a heavy period (you can wear a sanitary towel to absorb the blood) and it will last from two to six weeks.
- Heavy Breasts – Your breasts may feel fuller and heavier ready for your milk to come through (which takes a few days). If you have decided to bottle feed your baby, you may experience engorgement of the breasts which can cause some discomfort. This full feeling will peak within the next few days before starting to taper off.
- Toilet Habits – You may notice that you have lost the feeling of knowing when you need a week, or you may be leaking wee (or both). This is caused by your pelvic floor muscles being stretched during birth, and it will go away! You may also notice that you are experiencing some constipation. If this is the case, ensure you are eating a fibre rich diet.
How you may be feeling
- Hormone Levels – Your hormone levels will be fluctuating after birth which can make you feel down. Remember, you have just done something amazing and it’s therefore completely normal to feel emotional. However, please do speak to your midwife if you are concerned. ‘Baby blues’ should naturally lift within the next few days, but if you are still experiencing this next week then speak to a healthcare professional as you could be experiencing postnatal depression.
- Overwhelmed – It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed due to everything that your body has just been through, and caring for a new baby (especially if this is your firstborn). You may also have the realisation that your house that you left before giving birth is now your family home. This is a very exciting time, and you have so many things to look forward to with life as a new mum.
- Worry – A lot of new mums feel worry after giving birth. It is completely normal to worry about how your newborn is doing, checking their breathing, and watching them in awe for hours. Being a mum is a round-the-clock job right now, with regular feeds and nappy changes.
Taking your baby home
Taking your baby home is an excitable time. Your house is now a family home, but this doesn’t mean that you will adapt to this change straight away. It can take a few months to fully get your head around this massive change and your new routine, and this is completely normal. If you are finding yourself navigating through this new adjustment, try and just enjoy how things are in the present moment. Remember, you may have had ideas in your mind about how your early life as a new mum would be, but babies are unpredictable, and no-one can prepare you for how the first few weeks will be.
You may be happy for family members and friends to come and visit you and the baby, but you may also want to spend some time alone with your baby. Both options are fine while you adapt to motherhood.