Body After Baby: What to Expect

For soon-to-be mothers, knowing what your body can anticipate after your baby’s arrival can help you prepare for the physical changes to come. From sore nipples and breasts to vaginal and abdominal pain, your body will need time to adjust and heal from childbirth. Here’s what to expect for your post-birth body.

Normal Body Changes After Childbirth

Every woman’s recovery from birth will be different based on her delivery experience and health. Here are some common issues women face in the days and weeks following delivery.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Contractions
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Urination problems
  • Hormonal shifts
  • Sore nipples and breasts
  • Healing around stitches
  • Fluid retention (known as postpartum edema)
  • Gradual weight loss
  • Perineum pain
  • Vaginal soreness
  • Vaginal discharge

Postpartum Care

If you’re planning to give birth at a St. Luke's Health Family Birthing Center, you’ll work with a team of professionals who can give you personalized recommendations on postpartum care.

Within the first six weeks after birth, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends all women undergo a comprehensive postpartum visit. Schedule an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group OB/GYN to get a full assessment of your physical, social, and psychological well-being.

Talk With Your Doctor

No matter what you experience, it’s important to speak with your doctor about your post-birth body changes. He or she will be able to evaluate whether your symptoms are normal or a sign of something more serious, like an infection. If the pain intensifies or something doesn’t feel right, contact your doctor right away.

Give Your Body Time to Heal

During recovery from childbirth, the discomfort will slowly improve. Be kind to yourself and rest when you can. As your body heals, take care of your mental health and learn about the difference between “baby blues” and postpartum depression.

Our OB/GYNs walk with each patient through every step of a woman’s journey–from her first well-woman exam to menopause. Establish a relationship with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group OB/GYN today.

ACOG | Optimizing Postpartum Care
Women’s Health | Recovering from Childbirth
Postpartum Care

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