What to expect after giving birth
Labour is over and your gorgeous new baby is in your arms. But what now? Here’s what to expect for the first 48 hours (or so) with your new baby .
Straight after the birth:
You’ll be wheeled back to the postnatal ward so that you can rest, recover and get to know your baby. She’ll probably be in a cot, like a little plastic fish tank, right beside your bed. She may look like a purple, wrinkly little alien, but she’s all yours, and chances are it’ll be love at first sight. Her head may look a little bruised and misshapen from the delivery but this is common and will soon settle down.
Your first bath:
If you have a bath or shower straight after labour, take your partner with you in case you feel faint. If you had a C-section, a nurse will help you freshen up in bed until you can walk to the shower, usually within 24 hours
First trip to the loo:
The prospect may be daunting, but don’t put if off, as holding things in can make matters worse. Some women don’t poo for several days because everything slows down in that area. Drink lots of water and eat lots of fruit, veg and fibre. If you haven’t gone by day five, tell your midwife – you may need laxatives.
After the birth you’ll have a heavy bleed, called lochia. It will get lighter, disappearing completely by four to six weeks. You’ll need a good supply of maternity pads – not tampons, as they could cause an infection. Clots are quite common, but if you’re passing large ones, tell your midwife.