Postpartum Symptoms

As blissful as a new momma glow may be at times, there are some symptoms you may experience that feel downright strange!

Here are a few symptoms that are totally normal, but you may not have been aware of.

1. Sweating:

Remember that lovely glow during pregnancy? Well some of it was due to medication, extra blood flow and lymphatic fluid that support and protects you and baby. After baby is born, your body no longer needs it. The sudden drop in estrogen will cause a release of extra fluid during the day, and the rest soaks the sheets at night (yay) It can last about a month, and a bit longer if you are breastfeeding. Drink lots of water and have cooler showers.

2. Muscle ache:

It's tough work birthing a baby!

Whether it was a fast or slow birth, your body recruited many muscles and hormones to make it all happen. Massage, Epsom salt bath, gentle stretches ( once your care provider has given you the go ahead) all help immensely. 

3. Vaginal bleeding AKA Lochia:

Basically, it's like having your period for weeks. This is a normal process of discharge of tissue from the uterus after childbirth; It's starts off quite heavy, then changes over the subsequent weeks to a lighter colour and flow. Speak to your healthcare provider about exactly what to look out for.

4. Breast tenderness and engorgement:

When the body begins to provide milk to baby on day 5-7, the breasts can feel heavy, full and extremely firm. This can feel quite tender!

In the months leading up the childbirth, the milk ducts in the breast are producing milk. The first substance that is produces is called colostrum; it is a thick yellowish "liquid gold" that is rich in immune-boosting ingredients, that nourishes baby in the first 5-7 days.

5. Hemorrhoids:

Yep, I said it! It can happen anytime in the last trimester, and sometimes during the pushing phase of birthing. The veins around the anus bulge from the increased internal pressure. Witch Hazel pads, or a perineum bath, or even"padsicles" ease the discomfort. As you sit, use a donut-shaped pillow to reduce the ache.

Abnormal Postpartum Symptoms

Here are some warning signs you need to watch out for. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your practitioner immediately.

  • Pus-like discharge from your episiotomy and the wound has become hot, extremely painful and red.

  • A soaked sanitary pad every hour at rest/while lying down.

  • Passing clots of blood that are larger than a lemon.

  • A foul odor from your discharge.

  • You develop a fever that is 100.4 degrees F/38 degrees C or higher.

  • An urge to urinate very frequently.

  • You are not completely emptying your bladder.

  • Abdomen is tender to the touch.

  • Developing flu-like symptoms.

Source: Mayo Clinic Foundation