What is normal labour?
Normal Labour is a series of contractions of the uterus, which help the cervix to dilate letting the fetus progress through the birth canal. According to The World Health Organization normal birth has been described as;
“Spontaneous in onset, low-risk at the start of labour and remaining so throughout labour and delivery. The infant is born spontaneously without help in the vertex position (head down) between 37 and 42 completed weeks of pregnancy. After birth mother and baby are in good condition.” (WHO, Care in normal birth: a practical guide, p 4)
Labour generally begins two weeks prior to or after the expected date of childbirth. Signs of labour vary and there are different stages of it too. For some mothers labour needs to be induced in order to stimulate the labour process. There are numerous pain management techniques including breathing, relaxation, meditation etc.
Labour can be the most challenging and unforgettable experience in a woman’s life. Only you can make it unforgettable in a good way by following the right advice and techniques. Good breathing and relaxation techniques can help you handle the situation better.
Recovering from normal labour can differ from each mother. The stages of labour can vary, and the duration can change between ½ hour to even 24 hours or more.
All in all labour and motherhood is a beautiful natural process that can change the life of a woman significantly.
Why is the recovering process so important?
Your body has undergone probably the biggest change it has ever experienced. Your body has worked hard to give birth to your baby naturally and now it needs rest and relaxation. Therefore, the recovering process is essential for every woman’s body after childbirth. You may need to get back on your feet immediately and expect your body to function the way it used to be. This is not possible, as your body needs time to get back on its feet.
Why do I need to urinate all the time?
You may experience unusually different signs during this recovering period. For instance, you may experience frequent weeing. This is because; the extra fluid that was required by your body during childbirth now has to leave your body. This extra fluid will leave your body through frequent weeing and sweating.
Although these signs may feel frustrating, remember that is all a part of your recovering process and gradually your body will start feeling normal again.
How do I get back in shape?
This is one main thing most mothers are concerned about following childbirth. Your muscles, skin, and uterus have all stretched while preparing you for childbirth. So give it some time to shrink and get back to normalcy.
The best advice is to start with some gentle and simple exercises. Do not stress your body too much as it is still t. With some appropriate exercises, your body is sure to get back in shape. Walking is known to be an ideal exercise for new moms.
If you have had a natural vaginal delivery then you can recommence your exercise routine much faster than C-section childbirth.
Is it ok to bind the stomach with a cloth or belly binder?
You might get advice from your elders about binding your stomach to get back your stomachs elasticity, but make sure to ask your doctor before beginning this. Most normal labour patients do not have any reason for concern, but after C-sections it is recommended to wait for the wound to heal before using any binding method around the stomach.
You can get belly binders from most pharmacies, but your mother or grandmother would recommend a simple cotton fabric for the job.
I feel emotionally and physically tired. Why?
This is a very common sign occurred during the recovering period among many mothers. On top of your many physical discomforts, you are worried about your new responsibility in life and you do not get proper sleep. All this can add to your anxiety. Hormonal changes can also be a cause to these sorts of negative feelings.
Love your body and give it the much-needed rest as and when you can. Do not try to handle all responsibilities by yourself. Instead, get the assistance of your family and spouse. Try to avoid getting too involved in housework and get some sleep while your baby is sleeping. This is one way you can accelerate your recovery. Do things you like doing most and that will help you keep your mind, body, and soul relaxed. Enjoy the time with your new bundle of joy and think differently.
However, if the ‘baby blues’ (mood changes) do not disappear and you’re feeling worse by the day, consult your physician and get the necessary advice and medication.
Why are my feet swollen?
This is also due to the extra fluid in your body. As your body gradually sheds this extra fluid through frequent urination and sweating this may ease off.
Is bleeding normal after delivery?
You will continue to have period like bleeding, though a little heavy after labour. In most women this stops after 4-6 weeks, however it can go on for longer in some women. It is important to contact your doctor if you feel it is heavier than usual, and does not stop after a long period of time, or you can feel large blood clots being passed out through the vagina.