Now that you’ve put the long months of pregnancy behind you and you’ve given birth, you’re probably breathing a sigh of relief at the thought of waving goodbye to those frustrating pregnancy symptoms.
But just as you get used to seeing your feet again, you’re likely to be hit by some postpartum side effects – some of them as weird as the pregnancy symptoms you just left behind.
Your first six weeks of recovery
Your first six weeks after birth are what’s known as a postpartum recovery period – when your body recoups from the monumental task of making and then pushing a baby into the world.
Most, if not all, symptoms will be temporary, gradually easing up within a week. Some symptoms (like backaches, sore nipples and possibly pain in the perineum) continue for weeks, while others (like leaky breasts or your achy back) may not get better until your baby is older.
The important thing to remember: While you’re focusing your care and attention on your new baby, remember that it’s essential to care for your own health. If you’re not well in mind and body, it’s that much harder to care for the little person you’ve brought into the world.
Common postpartum symptoms and solutions
Your postpartum symptoms will depend on the type of delivery you had (easy or difficult, vaginal or cesarean) and other individual factors, such as the shape you were in when you were pregnant and whether this is your first baby.
Below are 15 of the most common symptoms that you may experience as well as solutions for dealing with them.
Solution: Be prepared with a pile of pads (not tampons) to absorb the flow, which may continue on and off for up to six weeks.
Abdominal cramps as your uterus contracts
Solution: Your uterus can take up to six weeks to shrink back to its normal size as well; in the meantime, try taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) for relief.