Getting Back to Your New Normal
Even if you’re in great shape and well prepared to give birth, you’re going to feel sore afterward. Labor is the ultimate workout and your muscles will be stretched and aching. If you had a vaginal delivery, you’ll be extremely tender. And if you had stitches, they will take time to heal.
Your stitches may make it difficult to move without pain. After the birth, you will have a pink-brown discharge, and you will need to wear sanitary pads to stop it from staining your clothes. This is not a period — the discharge is called lochia, and it’s totally normal.
It usually ends after about four weeks. After birth, you might feel something similar to menstrual cramps — it’s not. During pregnancy, your uterus was stretched way beyond its normal size. After childbirth it shrinks back to about the size of your fist. This shrinking is what can cause the cramping. This kind of discomfort is most common in women who breastfeed and who have already had one or more babies.
When Your Period Returns
Your periods will begin again a few months after delivery. If you breastfeed, it might not come back until after your baby is weaned. There’s a good chance your period could take on a slightly different pattern — it could be more regular, lighter or even heavier. Most women wait until their second period after childbirth before they decide to use tampons after pregnancy. If your period has changed, you may need to use different absorbency tampons than the ones you used before.
To find out which absorbency is best for your new flow, check out our article all about Understanding Absorbency.