1. Perineum Soreness
You may experience soreness in your perineum. Some ways to help manage the soreness is a towel wrapped ice pack on the perineum. Sitting on a pillow can also help relieve pressure and discomfort. Some women also find relief in an herbal sits bath. In the hospital women are given a squeeze bottle to help relieve soreness when they tinkle. This squeeze bottle was my very best friend and it will be yours too.
2. Perineum Tone
After the soreness subsides, doing Kegal exercises are important to strengthen the pelvic floor. Mimic the squeezing you do when you stop your tinkle flow midstream. Hold your muscles for 10 seconds and release 10 times in a row 3 times a day. (I bet your doing it now, huh? J) These are important exercises to do for your vaginal health and can counteract urinary incontinence. The “sneeze and tinkle” can become a thing if we don’t exercise. So squeeze ladies, SQUEEZE.
3. After Pains
Your uterus goes through a process called involution. That means it contracts to shrink from the post partum size of 2.5 lbs to 2 ounces within 6 weeks. Don’t worry there is good news! The contractions are not like labor pains and they can be managed with an over the counter medication and they usually wane within 7-10 days. Often times your provider will prescribe ibuprofen at discharge. After pains can be more pronounced when baby starts to breastfeed because this process helps your uterus to gain tone and return to its regular size.
4. Relaxed Ligaments
I’ma tell you! Cuz no one told me this! I felt like my uterus was going to fall out! Yes, that’s right! I said, I thought it was going to fall out! Thank God it is still with me as I type and it is fully intact. Unbeknownst to me, my ligaments were relaxed and going through their own ‘involution’ process where they had to shrink down to size. Just imagine the space your body now has to fill and firm back up. The transition of it all is not really the focus of your visits and often is not mentioned. So, I decided to mention it so you would be prepared.
These are just a few of the changes your body is going through during the post partum period. Remember to sleep when your baby sleeps, ask for help and be gentle with yourself.