What happens in the body after birth?
- The uterus slowly rebuilds itself. It contracts and gets smaller again. These contractions , also called afterpains, can be unpleasant. After six to eight weeks, the uterus returns to its former size.
- If you have a cut or tear in the tissue between the vagina and the anus (perineum), the stitches may be uncomfortable when sitting down. Run water over the stitches twice a day to keep them clean. This also helps with the pain.
- Give yourself enough rest.
- You can bleed from the vagina for up to eight weeks after birth. First, the blood is bright red. Then it turns into a brown liquid. Later it can be yellow or white. The amount of blood will decrease. Change the sanitary towels regularly. Do not use tampons.
- You will have your first menstrual period about six weeks after giving birth. If you breastfeed your baby, it will take longer.
- During pregnancy the pelvic floor muscles are stretched. After delivery, these muscles need be trained to make them elastic and strong again. Consult your physician or midwife for advice.
Support from a midwife
After birth, a midwife can look after you and your baby. The midwife comes to your home and examines you and the baby. He or she helps you and offers advice on any problems or questions you may have. If you are insured, the health insurance company pays for this care.