6 weeks Postnatal

Being sent home after having a baby without understanding how to care for your stitches or what to expect from the next 6 weeks

There is very little information on what to expect in the first 6 weeks after having a baby. If it’s your first baby, this can be a daunting and somewhat overwhelming time. Not only is your body recovering from the effects of labour (be it c-section or vaginal delivery), you’re also learning how to look after your little one, juggling the many stresses and challenges that come with caring for a new baby, including , feeding, changing and an altered sleep schedule. Here are a few things to expect and prepare for.

  1. It’s normal to bleed for 4-6 weeks after giving birth.
    The fluid that is produced from the vagina is called lochia and it’s your body’s way of getting rid of excess blood, mucus and uterine tissue that it no longer needs. Wearing absorbent pads in your underwear and changing them regularly means that the bleeding shouldn’t stop you from going out and about with your baby –which brings us neatly on to our next point.
  2. Every mother’s experience is different. Go for walks if you feel able. Sit at home and rest if you don’t.
    There is a ridiculous amount of pressure placed on new mothers – whether that’s to see family and friends, get back to exercise, attend mother and baby social events, or  to be the perfect mother. Remember that your body is healing, and everyone’s body responds differently during postnatal recovery. You might feel great and want to go out walking with your baby as soon as possible. Or you might feel sore, and your body might need to rest. Listen to your body. It will tell you what you should do. Try and ignore other people’s expectations, you know what’s best for you and your baby.
  3. Resume your pelvic floor exercises within the first few days after giving birth.
    Resuming your pelvic floor exercises is likely to be low on your list of priorities. But it shouldn’t be. If you’ve had an episiotomy or a perineal tear during labour, it’s important and highly beneficial to restart pelvic floor exercises within the first few days as it assists in scar healing, pain management and reduces the incidence of incontinence and constipation. You can do them whilst you’re feeding or whilst your baby is napping. Try and do them at least once a day.
  4. Always, always have a Postnatal MOT
    Postnatal MOTs are recommended by the World Health Organisation and the UK National Institute of Clinical Excellence and are not just for women experiencing incontinence. And for good reason. 1 in 4 women will have a pelvic floor avulsion (trauma to the pelvic floor causing it to partly detach from the pubic bone). The likelihood of this happening increases if you have forceps or a ventouse delivery. 1 in 10 women will have a prolapse, 1 in 3 will have incontinence, and all women will experience pelvic floor and abdominal weakness as a result of pregnancy and delivery. So it’s essential to identify and resolve any issues as quickly as possible to ensure you do not develop symptoms (or worsening symptoms) over time.

To find out more about our Postnatal MOTs or to speak to one of our specialist post natal Physiotherapists, please complete the following enquiry form and we’ll contact you to arrange a convenient time.

Self-paid postnatal consultations can also be booked online.

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