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July 27, 2016

The first few days and weeks after you give birth will likely be an overwhelming time. Many mums describe feeling elated one minute, as they revel in the achievement of bringing a new life into the world, and panic-stricken the next by the enormity of the responsibility ahead.

Don't worry, this is perfectly normal and al part of the crazy ride of parenthood you've just embarked on. This third day after birth can be particularly tough as your hormones change dramatically, leaving you feeling out of control and often weepy, but this should only last a day or two. If you do find these feelings linger or the overpowering love you though you'd have for your baby doesn't seem to have kicked in, talking about with someone you trust is really important. You aren't the first new mum to have felt this way and you LMC will be able to advise you on ways to cope or places to get help

Here are some other things you might need to tackle after the birth:

  • Heavy Bleeding

Many new mothers are shocked at how much they bleed after birth, and for how long. The blood comes from the site where the placenta was attached to the uterus. The bleeding should taper off within four weeks although some women are still bleeding at eight or nine weeks. Your LMC will keep tabs o this with you but if the bleeding appears to be lightening, then suddenly becomes heavier and fresher, with closet, let them know. If you're worried, see your midwife or doctor.

  • If you tear

Tears occur at the entrance to the vagina and across the perineum (the skin between the vagina and anus). They make sitting and walking uncomfortable for up to a week. It's helpful to apply ice packs for 10-15 minutes every few hours for the first two days. Keeping some pads in the freezer is a good solution! After going to the toilet use a squeeze bottle or shower head to wash the area and then dab dry. Take an anti-inflammatory for two to four days, and paracetamol for up to a week. If the pain gets worse over time and the area feels hot and looks red it could be infected and you may need antibiotics.

  • Returning to Regular

The though of a bowel movement can be daunting when you've just given birth! Drink lost and eat plenty of fruit and fibre. If your bowels haven't moved by day three, you may be given a stool softener to get things going.

  • The six-week check-up

Your LMC will continue to visit or check on you for the first six weeks after the birth, so they can check how you're recovering. They will first ask about your general wellbeing, how breastfeeding is going, how you are sleeping and what sort of support you have at home. They'll then check how you're doing physically. This is also a good time to have a debrief about the birth and when you should bring up any concerns you may have about future pregnancies.

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