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8 Surprising Things About Your Body After Child Birth

8 Surprising Things About Your Body After Child Birth

8 Surprising Things About Your Body After Child Birth
When you are pregnant it is hard to imagine what it feels like to not be growing a baby any more. When your baby is born your body will do some pretty amazing things as it adjusts to the new hormone levels and changes that have just occurred. 
 
You might be wondering about what you should expect from your body after you have given birth. How will it feel? What will it look like? In many ways, it is difficult to say because every pregnant body, birth experience and baby is completely different. 
 
There are however a number of things that happen to the majority of women after childbirth. Here are some surprising things about your body after you have given birth. 
  • You lose a whole organ. The placenta is an organ in itself. Amazingly it generates when you are pregnant and it’s sole purpose is to keep your baby happily growing and thriving while it is in your womb. It provides oxygen and nutrients to your baby as well as removing waste. After you have given birth your body will also expel the placenta as it is no longer required by your body. In some cases this will happen naturally and in other cases, you may need an injection to encourage its release. In the case of a caesarean, the placenta will be removed during the procedure.
  • You will still look pregnant. Despite the fact that your baby, the amniotic fluid and the placenta have left the body it will be sometime before your uterus returns to it’s former size. Looking pregnant for a number of weeks or months is completely normal.
  • Your body may begin shivering. This can happen during the final stages of labour or for a number of hours after you have given birth. You may notice your mouth shivering, your knees shaking and a feeling of being very cold. 
  • Your body might be given “homework” in the form of... ahem, a poo. In some cases, the hospital will not be happy to discharge you until you have done a number two after you have given birth. Many women experience post-partum haemorrhoids and or constipation that can make it difficult to go to the toilet.
  • After birth pains are a thing. As your Uterus begins to shrink to its regular size you may experience cramps in your belly. These should subside after a couple of days and can range from barely noticeable to quite uncomfortable.
  • Vaginal discharge is expected if you have had a vaginal birth or a caesarean section. This is your body’s way of shedding the lining of your uterus following the birth of your baby. It will be red and heavy in the beginning and will taper off after a couple of days or weeks.
  • Your scar/incision point may feel very itchy. This can be the case for an abdominal scar after a caesarean or the point where you may have received sutures after a perineal tear or incision during birth. This is usually a sign of healing and you should abstain from touching the site due to the risk of interfering with the healing process and causing infection.
  • Your body will naturally produce breast milk. Offering your baby the breast as soon as possible and feeding regularly will encourage a larger milk supply but breast milk is likely to “come in” regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or not. For some women, it may involve a couple of days of discomfort and a need for paracetamol.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie.