How you’ll feel in the first days after labour

Our midwife gives her advice on how to recover after the birth of your newborn


Day 3

By now your milk’s coming in and your breasts will feel rock hard. This is only for a couple of days and they’ll soon return to their normal state. You might leak milk (even if you’re not breastfeeding) and your blood loss will be heavy so you’ll have to change maternity pads throughout the day. Keep at those pelvic floor exercises, too, as you might have a bit of bladder weakness initially.


Unfortunately, this is also the day when your hormones go wacky and the baby blues can hit, so it might be an idea to avoid too many visitors, unless you thrive on having lots of company.

Two weeks

Your health visitor should contact you now as she’ll be taking over your care. You may only have had a couple of meetings, depending on your needs, but you should always have a phone number so you can contact her if you need to.

By now your blood loss will be very light, and your stitches should be feeling comfortable. It’ll be the tiredness that’s hitting home, so try to nap in the day when your baby sleeps.

Ways to make it easier:

  • Pelvic floor exercises can improve the circulation to the pelvic floor and aid your recovery.
  • Have a good soak in the bath at least once a day to make your stitches feel more comfortable.
  • Support your stitches by holding a sanitary towel against them if you’re nervous when opening your bowels for the first time.
  • Ask for support with breastfeeding to help your baby latch on properly and avoid painful nipples.
  • Don’t be ashamed of doing nothing but feeding and getting to know your baby. It’s the most important job in the world!

Mums’ stories:

“I was pleasantly surprised that my stitches didn’t hurt when I got up to go and have my bath. But I hadn’t realised that the anaesthetic hadn’t worn off, so it was a bit of a shock a couple of hours later when they really started to throb!”

Sally Richardson, 31, from Staines, mum to Jacob, 2 weeks

“Once I had Isabelle, I was really tired and a little bit out of it because I hadn’t slept for nearly two days, but the first time that you feel your baby on your skin is just the most amazing thing ever.”


Natalie Broomhead, from Leeds, mum to Isabelle, 12 weeks

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