Giving birth can be one of the most exciting and rewarding moments and experiences that will happen throughout the life of any woman. The responsibility and gratification of creating a new life must be accompanied by the monitoring and advice of the suitable professionals.
Changes do occur and may sometimes be unpleasant, but we have an arsenal of solutions to repair or alleviate any discomfort effectively.
Once the woman has given birth a period of approximately forty days known as puerperium or ‘quarantine’ begins. The vital organs will gradually return to normal, as well as the general state of the mother. However, how they develop these first weeks after delivery will depend, to a large extent, on the specific typology of the same. Today we will talk about postpartum after a vaginal delivery.
After a vaginal birth, the perineal area may present swelling and, as a consequence of this, the woman may feel discomfort when sitting or urinating. If it has been necessary to perform an episiotomy or if there have been tears during delivery, the recovery will be slower and the discomfort will be more intense. Therefore, it is not necessary to have sexual relations or to practice sports or immersion baths during this time.
Also, breastfeeding is associated with hormonal changes of different intensity that can lead to genital dryness, making sexual intercourse even more difficult.
There are likely to be intermittent or ‘wrong’ pains due to contractions of the uterus during breastfeeding, which aims to favor its return to normal size and prevent risky bleeding.
Circulatory problems are also very common and result in swelling in the legs. Preventive or palliative treatments will help reduce the risk of venous thrombosis and eliminate varicose veins, edema or hemorrhoids that may have developed during pregnancy.
Both sudden leakage of urine and delays in the emptying of the bladder can occur as a result of the inflammation of the entire region, causing loss of sensitivity. But in most cases, with proper treatment and adequate follow-up are completely reversible.
Little by little some of the digestive discomforts associated with pregnancy, such as constipation, burning and vomiting, will disappear, although they may give way to an increase in gas when intestines returns to former location after the sudden decrease the size of the uterus.
The skeletal and muscular structures that have undergone changes during pregnancy will also gradually recover. It should be noted that, in the specific case of the abdominal area, the tone will be minimal and that, precisely for this reason, it is not recommended to load weights or make efforts in which this musculature or the back are involved. Likewise, the recurrent use of abdominal strips is discouraged, as they reduce the activity of the muscles and can slow down the recovery
Lastly, the hormonal influence of pregnancy modifies in the same way the elastic properties of the ligaments of the pelvis and the spine, which will need a period of adaptation until firmly grasping the bony structures.
Some tips for women after vaginal delivery
The following tips may speed up postpartum recovery:
- Adequate and varied diet, highlighting the consumption of liquids, fruits, vegetables and foods rich in fiber.
- Consume analgesics and apply cold compresses for pains in the perineal area.
- Use lubricants that help with genital dryness.
- To walk increasing the times of progressive form and to realize massages with moisturizing creams to improve the circulation of the legs and to restore the structure and the function of the locomotor apparatus. Here you can apply one of the treatments we mentioned in the previous article on osteoporosis: the benefits of 10,000 steps a day. It could be considered the perfect exercise in the first weeks postpartum, associating the benefits of sun exposure and vitamin D absorption.
The use of compression stockings and / or venotonic drugs is also recommended.
- Frequently empty the bladder or a more specialized pelvic floor rehabilitation treatment if the discomfort in this area persists.
- Once the ‘quarantine’ is over, the most recommendable thing is for the mother to go to a specialized physiotherapy unit to assess the muscular structures and ligaments of the abdominal and pelvic regions. In case of noticing any anomaly, the specialist will design a complete and personalized postpartum recovery program.
- Performing hypopressive and isometric abdominals after the first forty days after delivery will help the recovery of the abdominal and pelvic muscles.