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Postpartum "Down There": From Bodily Changes to Postpartum Pads

Bodily Postpartum

How will my body change postpartum? 

After childbirth, it is completely normal for your body to undergo rapid changes as you heal from the physical stress and your hormones readjust. You may feel very fatigued, and it is important to take lots of rest as you heal. You should also ensure to get a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, and engage in light to moderate exercise only after you have had a chance to heal. In preparing your postpartum care kit, you should prepare for your postpartum period with postpartum pads, as well as potential urinary incontinence and constipation, which are relatively common experiences postpartum.

How long will postpartum bleeding last?

You are likely to experience heavy bleeding in the first few days after childbirth, as your body sheds the endometrial lining that had allowed your baby to grow. The flow is expected to be deep, red, and heavy for the first few days, and will gradually get lighter and more pinkish within a couple of weeks. Blood clots the size of a plum are normal, and so are uterine cramps. However, if your postpartum period remains heavy and dark red, if your cramps are intensely painful, or if you see blood clots larger than a quarter, you should contact your doctor. These could be signs of complications such as postpartum hemorrhaging, which require urgent treatment.

What supplies should I use to manage my postpartum period?

Postpartum pads are an essential part of your postpartum care kit as you manage your heavy bleeding. Depending on your flow and absorbency needs, you can also purchase briefs and liners. This product guide can help you select the right items for you. These pads, liners, and briefs also serve as incontinence products, and can be used to manage your bladder leaks. Be sure to change your pads every couple of hours at first in order to stay clean and avoid infection, and stay away from artificial ingredients and synthetic fragrances in your products to protect your sensitive skin.

What are signs of postpartum depression?

While your body will go through a number of physical changes, it is important to also monitor potential effects on your mental health. Postpartum blues are very common, but postpartum depression is a more severe mental health condition that will require treatment from a professional. Symptoms may include extreme sadness, mood swings, worthlessness, or panic attacks. If you find that these symptoms are worsening or persisting after a couple of weeks, you should call your doctor. Postpartum depression is relatively common and a very treatable condition, but requires the attention of a mental health professional.

How can I speed up my recovery?

With your body going through so many changes, the best way to accelerate recovery is to allow your body to rest. By hydrating well, eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, and exercising when you are able, your body will receive the care it needs to heal. Aside from this, you may want to seek out the help of a pelvic floor specialist. After childbirth, weakened pelvic floor muscles may cause urinary incontinence, discomfort, or cramps. A professional can guide you on the proper technique for pelvic floor therapy exercises, or suggest other lifestyle changes you can make to strengthen your muscles.


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