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Post-pregnancy Body

Body talk

Preparing yourself for post-birth changes

Being pregnant and giving birth can both have a huge impact on you physically and emotionally. It can take time for you to get your energy back and feel ‘normal’ again. To help you be more prepared, find out about some of the things you may experience.

Your breasts

Your breasts will feel soft to begin with because, during the first few days, your newborn only needs a little colostrum (the nutritious milk that’s full of important protective antibodies). Once your milk comes in, after three or four days, your breasts will feel firmer and may be hot and tender as they adjust to the new supply.

“During the first week or two, I was sore, tired and having trouble breastfeeding. Luckily, my husband and mum took care of all the chores and gave me time to rest.”

Your nether regions

Unsurprisingly, you may feel sore, bruised or swollen around your vagina after giving birth.

If you have had stitches, healing time can vary depending on the type of stitches. Perineal stitches can take between two and four weeks to heal, whereas caesarean stitches generally take around six weeks.

There will also be some discharge called lochia. It may start off blood-coloured, but becomes lighter and browner, slowly changing to pale pink over the following two to six weeks.

You may experience a weaker bladder too, so tone up your internal muscles with regular pelvic floor exercises.

Your emotions

Postnatal depression (PND) is thought to affect around 1 in 10 mums and it can take several months for symptoms to appear. It can be triggered by a traumatic birth, sleep deprivation or the sometimes overwhelming responsibilities of motherhood. Symptoms vary widely but include feeling very low, anxiety, panic attacks, irrational thoughts or feeling numb and empty. Talking therapy is usually the first form of treatment offered, but if you are given medication, you should still be able to breastfeed safely. If you have symptoms, seek support as soon as possible. Speak to your midwife. You are not alone and there’s plenty of help available.

Next Steps

If you do have any concerns or question, please consult your doctor for proper advice.

Stock up on paracetamol and ibuprofen

Cook and freeze a few days’ worth of nutritious meals

Get a ‘doughnut’ cushion, to help you sit more comfortably

Practice pelvic floor exercises

Buy comfortable sanitary towels

Further Reading

Your first trimester pregnancy is often spent getting used to the idea that you’re expecting a baby and reading up on all the changes that your body is going through and are yet to come.

Essential for healthy blood, iron is a vital nutrient during pregnancy. It has a key role in transporting oxygen to your baby and contributes to their healthy brain development.

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Important notice

By clicking on the "Continue" button, you can learn more about infant nutrition. If you choose to continue, you agree that Danone is supplying this information at your individual request for information purposes.

Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants: it is best adapted to their specific needs. A healthy and balanced diet of the mother is important for the preparation and continuation of breastfeeding. Mixed breastfeeding can interfere with breastfeeding and reduce milk production. It’s hard to reverse the choice of not breastfeeding. If an infant formula is used for a non-breastfed baby, it is important to carefully observe the instructions for preparation and use and to follow the advice of the medical profession. Incorrect use could pose a risk to the child’s health. Socio-economic implications must be considered in the use of infant formula. After 6 months, in addition to breastmilk, water is the only essential drink. Do not hesitate to consult your health care professional if you need advice on feeding your baby.