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I Have To Do What After Birth?

Updated: May 6

A Look into the First 24 Hours Postpartum



The climactic part of pregnancy happens as you birth your baby earth side safely and peacefully! You have prepared, anticipated, prayed, meditated, and worked to create the perfect entrance for your baby into the world. All things leading up to this monumental event have been focused around the birth of your baby. Here are some things that you may experience after birth that you may not have known about. 1. You have to birth again! Yep, the placenta has to be birthed after you birth your baby; Contractions continue after your baby is born. As your placenta detaches from the wall of your uterus, the uterus contracts, and those vessels close off, slowing the bleeding as your uterus continues to contract and birth your placenta. Depending on a number of different factors your placenta may birth with ease in a short amount of time or it may require some extra effort on your part and may take a little longer. Your provider and their assistant will focus on making sure you are safe during this time by monitoring your vitals, keeping a check on your bleeding, making sure you do not have any retained pieces of placenta, etc.

  1. Your doula can be helpful in guiding you into a relaxed state using massage or breathing techniques as you work through this 3rd stage.

  2. Your doula can also be helpful in reminding you and your providers of handling instructions if you are choosing to encapsulate your placenta. If you want to learn more about placenta encapsulation click here. 2. Your provider or their assistant will massage or palpate your abdomen for fundal height to make certain your uterus is returning to pre-pregnancy size, and the bigger picture means you are not hemorrhaging. This is not comfortable at all and typically becomes more uncomfortable with each baby. Here are some ways to aid in the process and have also been effective in easing the discomfort that comes along with it;

  3. By placing baby skin to skin and focusing on this new little life it will help release oxytocin, which is the hormone responsible for falling in love, in this case with your baby! Endorphins are also flowing and help alleviate discomfort during this time.

  4. Your doula can be helpful in guiding you into a relaxed state using massage or breathing techniques as you work through this.

  5. Breastfeeding helps to contract the uterus and typically the more you breastfeed the quicker the uterus will return to its pre-pregnancy size. Also resulting in the decreased need for manual massage by a nurse or doctor.

  6. Your Doula should be able to help you with breastfeeding, that can look different for each mom and each baby, be it the first or fifth! Many mothers appreciate assistance with initiating breastfeeding at this time in one way or another! 3. If any area of your vagina or the perineum tore, even slightly or an episiotomy was performed you may need to be stitched up. Some tears are superficial or very minimal and minimal tears can generally heal without needing stitches. A discussion with your provider will help you decide if stitches are best for you. Whether your perineum needs to be stitched up or not, when you pee it will burn. It could be described as uncomfortable or a strong stinging or burning sensation. Here are some ways to aid in the process and have also been effective in easing the discomfort that comes along with it

  7. Most providers should give you an option for local anesthesia to numb the area before beginning to stitch. You can ask for this.

  8. Your doula can be helpful in guiding you into a relaxed state using massage or breathing techniques as you work through this procedure.

  9. Ice packs applied to the area will be helpful in reducing the discomfort and also help with swelling. Your provider likely has some awesome ice pack pads that he/she will hook you up with. Ask for them if they don't offer them.

  10. Once you are stitched and the need to urinate returns be sure you have a peri bottle on hand. A peri bottle is like a little squirt bottle that you can fill with water and or healing herbs approved by your provider. If you will squirt the water from your peri bottle onto your vulva as you urinate it will ease that discomfort and make it a much more relaxing experience all around.

  11. Your provider can give you something for the discomfort after birth for cramping, contracting, and for the discomfort you may feel from swelling, stretching, and stitches if you had them. Don't be afraid to ask. If you are concerned about the drug and the effect it will have on your newborn you can ask your provider and if you are personally wanting to look into the safety Kellymom is great site to check out. 4. That space where you baby once took up residency for about 40 weeks can feel quite strange and empty in the first few days after birth while your organs are shifting back into their place. As you walk shortly after birth and for the first few days it may help to walk just slightly hunched over. I know, I know, sounds crazy, but it helps! These are some common things women experience shortly after birth. There are others, but these are the most common. I hope this list serves as useful snippet of information for you and your friends.

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