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Old Aug 24th, 2017, 12:23 PM   1
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What is recovery like?

First time mom here, and I'm scared about labour, delivery, and recovery. No one really tells you what it's like!

I've been imagining it's very painful, and hard to walk/sit. Basically, I'm a big wimp when it comes to pain, and I'm worried I won't be able to care for my baby properly when she gets here. I have no idea what to expect.

What was it like for you?

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Old Aug 24th, 2017, 18:54 PM   2
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Honestly, everyone will have a different answer to this. There's no way you can know how it's going to be for you until you get there.

My first I was induced at 9 days over, long story short it didn't work and ended in an emcs. I found it incredibly painful and I ended up needing an epidural. I found the recovery from the caesarean absolutely horrible -it's major surgery and is absolutely no joke.

My second I went into labour naturally at 8 days over, I was in labour for over a day so he was born 9 days over, the pain built much more slowly than being induced, so I dealt with it much better, but I ended up having another epidural because it went on so long I needed to rest. I also needed help from a hormone drip so I'd progress to 10cm. I pushed for over 2 hours before he was out with the help of forceps. I had an episiotomy and a third degree tear, which took an hour and a half to stitch up in theatre. Despite this, I found the recovery easier than the c-section. At least it was only my vag and not a cut through all of my stomach muscles.

The good thing about labour is that the pain stops as soon as the baby is out. And most women find it goes absolutely fine for them - I have had a hard time, but my experience is not typical.

Don't be scared - the thing is you HAVE to do it, and when it comes to do it, you just get on with it. You will get through it, don't over think it. Labour is a day of your life, looking after a baby is the real work and that lasts the next 20 years.

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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 02:31 AM   3
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If you have a natural birth, labour and delivery is easy depending on your thresh hold for pain - that's if all goes to plan and nothing unexpected happens of course. Getting up and showering for the first time after birth can be tender and can leave you a little wobbly on your feet so don't be afraid to ask someone to help you to the shower, bath and get dressed afterwards. Take it slowly. And don't be embarrassed about the blood you will drip on the way - they have seen it before many a times and they are usually really discrete about cleaning it up. The worst part is your first bowel movement. It hurts!! But a warm, damp cloth with some gentle pressure over your perineum can really give you that relief too when you open your bowels. I'm generally pretty good with pain and can labour and give birth without needing anything but that first bowel movement is a killer. That leaves me in tears. Walking is okay as long as you pace yourself and don't do too much but keep your paracetamol on hand just in case you need it.

If you have a section, TAKE the services of others. I made the mistake of thinking I didn't need it as I wasn't in any pain for the week I was in hospital and declined pain relief. Coughing was the only downside as it feels like your abdomen is on fire but hey, you have just delivered a baby via that route. And getting up after delivery can be difficult so again, feel free to ring the bell and have someone pass you your baby. Me being me, after I came home, I did everything I would normally do (including taking a walk down to the local DVD store) and I was in so much pain hubby had to ring my midwife. When someone tells you that a section is MAJOR surgery, they ain't kidding.

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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 07:25 AM   4
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I've had both a medicated birth and a 100% natural, non-medicated birth.

Suffice it to say that when you medicate with things like pain meds, epidural, etc., you eliminate a lot of the pain during labour, but experience it afterward. Whereas when you have no pain relief during, the pain is gone as soon as the baby comes out. I was with midwives in hospital second time around and left 3 hours afterward. I could have walked out but sat in the chair with baby on my lap.

100% preferred my natural birth. No question. I liked being able to feel every part of the process and knowing definitively what was happening each moment. My son was 8lbs, 1oz, so 1.5 lbs bigger than our daughter. I had a minor tear that healed without a stitch.

The recovery was fine for me both times; yes there are after pains and achiness, but nothing unbearable. If you need to take it easy, just do so, listen to your body. If you need to take a pain reliever, do so. I did not personally need that, but at least the option is there.

I loved the iced pads with calendula tincture as they were very soothing the first 2-3 days postpartum.

We live in a world that teaches women to be terrified of labour, when women have been doing it naturally for centuries. You're stronger than you think. One quote that helped me was "the pain is not stronger than me, as it is of me." I was determined to go natural, and I did it.

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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 09:33 AM   5
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I found the recovery was definitely the hardest bit. My birth was lovely and I really didn't find it that painful even though I used no pain relief. I expected, especially having had a relatively straightforward natural birth and being fit and healthy, that I'd bounce back pretty quickly. But I was sore and anaemic and literally all my muscles hurt. So I had some vaginal pain and soreness (had a relatively minor 2nd degree tear) that lasted about 7-10 days, but I also like literally couldn't walk easily because it felt like I'd pulled by back and stomach muscles. I felt very hunched over and weak and just worn out. Rest but also gentle movement every day for the first few days after really helped with that. I didn't feel like I had trouble caring for my daughter, but my husband was home for most of the first month, so he did most of the changing and dressing and fetching things I needed. I was up and moving around a bit more after the first few days.

The vaginal soreness was really helped by warm soaking baths twice a day for the first week or so. It didn't sound appealing to me at first because I never take a bath and I was doubtful I'd even be able to get in and out of the bath without being in pain. But the baths really did help. I added epsom salts (to help with fluid retention as I had a bit for the first few days) and lavender oil. I also got a vaginal spray (Earth Mama Angel Baby) that was very soothing and I used that every time I went to the toilet. Making padsicles is a good idea too.

I would also just make sure you stock up on things you might need. Get some iron tablets or other iron supplements. You may not need them, but lots of women become anaemic after birth and I had no idea and wasn't prepared. It made me feel so weak and I really struggled just to walk for the first few days because of it. Next time around I plan to start taking iron whether I feel ill at first or not just as extra insurance. I have a gentle kind that's non-constipating and doesn't bother my stomach.

Plan for food and snacks the first few days. Get lots of snacks that are non-perishable that you can easily bring with you (dried fruit, nuts, energy bars, peanut butter, etc.). And freeze or buy easy meals you can make after you get home if you're having a hospital birth. I had a home birth, so literally the midwives left like 2 hours after and we were on our own to fend for ourselves and cook. So I had purchased 3 days of ingredients for easy meals my husband could make quickly for us so I was eating healthy and without much fuss. It definitely helped me with recovery and getting my energy back.

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Old Aug 25th, 2017, 14:51 PM   6
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With my first I could have ran a marathon i was actually out shopping most of the day the day after I gave birth (that probably isn't advisable &#128514 sitting was a tiny bit tender, the only thing I found was the more I did the more id bleed. After my second I felt fine too just too tired to do much, I had a walk out when baby was 2 days old but struggled to keep up with the pace of my partner. Some rather painful cramping when breastfeeding with both but thats about it. I took pregnacare all through pregnancy and after so maybe all the vitamins worked wonders for me.

You'll be fine, just go at your own pace, good luck!

Old Aug 27th, 2017, 19:57 PM   7
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I'm a two time section mom and recovery wasn't horrible but I'm really an independent person so i just went at my own pace and did fine...

I used Depends undies during first few weeks for the Bleeding and took showers everyday or every other day and just anything to feel normal And not nasty and icky lol...

I had staples with first section and stitches with second and did fine with both other than the inevitable itchiness

Bending over and holding pillow is a DEFINITE for sneezing laughing coughing etc...a few bad words help too

Just do it all at urs and baby's pace and let people help you do whatever they will but also make sure you do stuff to keep sane and feel Normal ..I came home 2 days after my section with the twins and 2 days later was at Olive Garden with them and shopping with my mom because I just had to get out of house lol maybe a smaller outting would be better but like I said I needed to get out lol

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Old Aug 28th, 2017, 00:43 AM   8
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My recovery from my first was reletively quick. I had a terrible labour and expected to be off my feet for ages but I wasn't. I was in hospital for about a week after birth as I was anemic and needed transfusions but physically despite being sore downstairs I wasn't too bad. I did however have a catheter for 6 weeks following birth but that was because I had a prior unknown allergy to latex and the gloves they used when delivering my son and stitching me ect made me swell so bad I couldn't pee.

Long story short, horrific labour but the recovery wasn't too bad. I'm in for a C-section this time so we shall see how that goes!

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Old Aug 29th, 2017, 13:20 PM   9
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My first labour and birth was 36 hrs long, I had an epidural after 30 hrs of labour so I could sleep, then pushed for an hour before my baby girl popped out. I got a very complicated second degree tear, not sure how many stitches but it took them over an hour to stitch me up. However, recovery was totally fine. The tear healed without issue, I was out for daily walks quite quickly and all was good.

Second labour and delivery was completely unmedicated and 4.5 hrs from start to finish. I pushed for 20 min and got a second degree tear when baby's shoulder got a little bit stuck and the midwife had to stick her hand up to help get him out. I was home 3 hours after he was born. I found recovery from this labour much more difficult. For 3-4 days after baby was born I had this horrible visceral pain in my abdomen when I would move from trapped gas and my organs shifting back to their normal places. It was very painful and I was worried I had something else going on like appendicitis or something, but it started to get better after 2 days postpartum and was completely gone after 4 days. I also got a first degree prolapse of my pelvic organs so I am currently seeing a physiotherapist to get those organs back to where they are supposed to be. So I guess I am still recovering at almost 8 weeks postpartum, I am really looking forward to feeling whole and healed!

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Old Aug 30th, 2017, 04:06 AM   10
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With my first I got very lucky. Labor was pretty faat, had no tearing and I was honestly totally fine after.
Sure I had some after pains and cramps, but I was honestly surprised they wanted to walk me to the shower etc afterwards. They even told me to push the button if I wanted out of the shower. I didn't, just got dressed etc and ready to cuddle more with baby (being tested as he was a 36 weeker, but he was fine).

I do wonder how this labour is going to go. I do expect tearing this time, I don't imagine myself being that lucky twice. Add to that that this is my second baby within a year (Irish twins) so I imagine recovery to be much harder as well!

You'll be fine, listen to your body and eat well that first week after labour. Make an effort to nourish your body (not just healthy food, I do mean more than enough calories!). Your body will need the extra energy to heal quicker

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