What happens to my body after delivery?
A quick biology lesson. After delivery, your body will gradually change back to the non-pregnant state:
- Your uterus gradually decreases in size over the first six weeks postpartum.
- The loose skin and muscles of your abdomen will gradually tighten to some degree, although later on you will likely want to help this process along by exercising and watching your calories.
- Breastfeeding women especially should make sure that they drink enough liquids and maintain a good diet.
- You will continue to have a small amount of bloody vaginal discharge (called “lochia”) for 4 to 6 weeks.
- When to expect your period depends on whether you are breastfeeding, or using a hormonal form of birth control. Women who are not breastfeeding generally have their first period 4 to 8 weeks after delivery.
- A vaginal tear or episiotomy is usually healed in 2 to 4 weeks, but the tissue continues to change and remodel for up to a year.
- A cesarean (“C-section”) scar, which includes the strong fascia layer underneath the skin, takes about 6 weeks to heal completely, so until then you should avoid heavy lifting.