Your body will have seen some significant changes over the past few days.
Your breasts will be larger at first and while you’re breastfeeding regularly. If you don’t intend to breastfeed from the start, you needn’t do anything. But on the third or fourth day, your breasts may be tender because the milk is still being produced. Wearing a firm, supportive bra may help. Your breasts will get smaller again in a week or so. Speak to your doctor if you’re very uncomfortable.
Your abdomen will probably be quite baggy after delivery. Despite delivering your baby, plus the placenta and a lot of fluid, you’ll still be quite a lot bigger than you were before pregnancy. This is partly because your muscles have stretched. If you eat a balanced diet and get some exercise, your shape should soon return to normal. Find out about .
Breastfeeding helps because it makes the womb (uterus) contract. Because of this, you may sometimes feel quite a painful twinge in your stomach or period-type pain while you are feeding.
It’s quite common after having a baby to leak urine accidentally if you laugh, cough or move suddenly. Pelvic floor exercises can help prevent this – you can find out more about pelvic floor exercises in. If the problem persists after three months, see your doctor, who may refer you to a physiotherapist.
Piles (haemorrhoids) are very common after giving birth but they usually disappear within a few days. Eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, salad, brown bread and wholegrain cereals and drink plenty of water. This should make it easier and less painful when you pass a stool. Try not to push or strain as this will make the piles worse. Let the doctor know if you feel very uncomfortable, as they will be able to give you an ointment to soothe the piles.
Postnatal exercises will help to tone up the muscles of your pelvic floor and tummy, and help you to regain your waist. They will also get you moving and feeling generally fitter. You may be able to attend a postnatal exercise class at your hospital. Ask your doctor or physiotherapist. Find out more about doing postnatal exercises.