Your body after the birth

28 Sep 2018

After-pains, bloody discharge and constipation are a few symptoms that you may experience after giving follow birth and they definitely aren't fun, but here are some explanations that will hopefully help to reassure you regarding your body after birth.

It takes about six to eight weeks for your lower abdomen to heal and for the uterus to contract back to its normal size. The uterus starts to contract soon after the baby has been born and this process can be aided by breastfeeding.


After-pains are often more severe for mothers who have had several children than for first-time moms. If you need it, you can ask your nurse of doctor to give you pain relief medication, but sometimes a wheat bag or hot water bottle will provide the same relief.


Birth is a painful experience and one cannot forget that it hurts the body. The wound in the wall of the uterus, where the placenta was attached, oozes a fluid known as lochia for the three to four weeks after the birth. On the first day, and for up to a week after the birth, the lochia will be mixed with blood, but after this time period it turns into a more brownish discharge. Remember that the amount of discharge may increase if you strain yourself and that this makes you susceptible to infection. To prevent this, make sure you don't lift anything that's too heavy and be cautious of taking baths or swimming.


If you've had stitches, it's common to experience pain in the lower abdomen for a few days. Pelvic floor exercises – Kegels – reduce the swelling and increase the flow of blood, which helps ease haemorrhoids. Holding a little crushed ice in a tea towel against the wound can ease the pain and discomfort. Remember, your body has been through a lot and is sensitive, so always sit on a soft cushion.

Toilet matters

Going to the toilet after giving birth might seem like a bit of an impossibility, particularly the first few times. It might feel as if ‘everything is falling out’ but try ‘holding everything up’ by holding a clean sanitary towel against the wound. Pouring water on your genitals at the same time can also help to ease discomfort.

Getting back to your regular toilet habits after giving birth is a priority, so it's okay to let someone else look after baby so that you can take your time and not have to stress while you're sitting on the toilet.

At times you might feel as though your body will never be the same again, but it will over time. A little exercise and a few hundred Kegels and you’ll be as good as new!

Please consult a doctor, should you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about the changes your body is going through.