• Nikki Roberts

What Should You Expect in the First Two Weeks After Giving Birth?

A lot of women prepare for pregnancy, but not for life after childbirth. But the physical and emotional changes that go through the body after giving birth is just as complex as pregnancy itself, if not more.

This is why it’s very important to know what to expect the first two weeks after childbirth when your body is starting to transition from being pregnant to nurturing a newborn.

You should expect bleeding.

A week or two after giving birth, you should expect some bright red discharges called “lochia.” You may also see some small clots, especially during the first week after childbirth and lochia will continue for up 6 weeks postpartum.

But if you notice bigger and more frequent clots or foul odour in your discharges, talk to your midwife immediately.

You may experience pain.

Childbirth is a long and stressful process, so you should expect some after-birth pains a few days after delivery. Pain could feel like you’re in labour or moderate period pain since your uterus is still contracting back to its pre-pregnancy size.

If you gave birth vaginally, you may also feel some pain on your perineum. If you had a C-section, your wound may also ache, which is why you need to be religious about taking your pain medication.

You won’t produce as much milk right away.

Poor milk production can be a common frustration among new mothers. But when you first breastfeed your baby an hour after childbirth, you won’t be able to produce a large amount of milk right away. But that small amount of colostrum is important because it is packed with nutrients for your baby.

Remember that quantity is not as important since your baby’s tummy is the size of a marble. After 3-5 days, you should expect your milk production to increase significantly.

You would be extra emotional.

You may feel extra emotional three days after giving birth, and that’s completely normal. Midwife Jocelyn Brown explains: “The birth buzz is wearing off, estrogen and progesterone levels are dropping off, and prolactin and oxytocin levels rise and fall throughout the day while the baby suckles.”

Sleep deprivation and the many other changes that your body is going through also contribute to these emotions. This is why it’s very important to have a strong support system from your spouse, family and friends during this time of transition.

You will feel very exhausted.

Of course, you just gave birth to a human being so you can expect exhaustion at some point after giving birth. Aside from the stress that your body just went through, you might also find it hard to adjust to sleeping for less than 4 hours at a time, breastfeeding almost non-stop and adjusting to the hormonal changes in your body.

So, if you feel extra exhausted, try to keep your visitors to a minimum. Some new parents even isolate themselves for the first week after giving birth so they can focus all their energy on their child and not entertaining visitors.

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