What to Expect after Delivery
Immediately after delivery, most likely your baby will be placed on your chest. A doctor or a nurse will evaluate your baby’s transition. Transition refers to the process of your baby’s body adjusting to being outside the womb. Some babies need oxygen or extra nursing care to transition normally. During this time, you and your baby will stay in the same room where you had your baby. You should hold your baby and attempt skin-to-skin contact in the first hours after delivery. This will promote bonding and help your baby transition smoothly. During this time, a nurse will check and monitor your blood pressure and heart rate.
After you deliver your baby, heavy contractions will stop, but small contractions occur. These contractions may give you some pain, but they are important. They help your uterus shrink back to its normal size and prevent heavy bleeding. A nurse will check to make sure your uterus is shrinking and becoming firmer. Breastfeeding also helps the uterus contract. The bleeding decreases as your uterus shrinks and becomes firmer and smaller. Bleeding decreases gradually during the first day itself.
Swelling And Pain
The space between your vagina and rectum is called the perineum. The vaginal and perineal area may have a tear or an episiotomy. Even without a tear the area may be swollen and tender after the birth of your baby. To alleviate the pain and swelling:
- Your nurses may apply ice packs right after you give birth to help decrease the swelling and relieve pain. Ask them to do it if they don’t do it.
- You may be given medicine like ibuprofen to relieve pain.
- If you have problems with bowel movement, you may be given stool softeners.
- If you have problems or discomfort with urination, this discomfort goes away in a day or so.
- Take warm baths 24 hours after the delivery of your baby. Ensure the bathtub is clean and use clean linens and towels.
Newborn Baby Care
Many women forget the long journey of pregnancy and the pain and discomfort of labor after holding her baby. Holding and caring for your new infant is exciting. If your baby is kept in the room with you, take the opportunity to bond with your newborn. If you baby is kept in the nursery for health reasons, use this time to rest as much as you can.
If you plan to breastfeed, help your baby to latch on properly if he/she tries to latch on. Seek help from the hospital if you have problem with breastfeeding.
Be physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared to take care of your baby in the best possible way. Note that taking care of a newborn is a full-time job and can be tiring.
After delivering your baby you may feel sad, weepy, and overwhelmed for a few days. These feelings are called “baby blues”. Many new mothers experience baby blues after delivering the baby. Factors like changing hormones, anxiety about caring for the baby, and lack of sleep affect your emotions. You need not worry too much about them. These feelings are normal and usually go away quickly.