HOW DOES YOUR BODY CHANGE WITHIN WEEKS OF GIVING BIRTH? Many things are happening in your body right after you have a baby. During pregnancy, your body changed a lot. It worked hard to keep your baby safe and healthy. Now that your baby is here, your body is changing again. Some of these changes are physical, like your breasts getting full of milk. Others are emotional, like feeling extra stress. Many discomforts and body changes after giving birth are normal. But sometimes they’re signs or symptoms of a health problem that needs treatment. Go to all of your postpartum checkups, even if you’re feeling fine. These are medical checkups you get after having a baby to make sure you’re recovering well from labor and birth. At your checkups, your health care provider can help spot and treat health conditions. Postpartum care is important because new moms are at risk of serious and sometimes life-threatening health complications in the days and weeks after giving birth. WHAT IS PERINUEM SORENESS? The perineum is the area between your vagina and rectum. It stretches and may tear during labor and vaginal birth. It’s often sore after giving birth, and it may be more sore if you have an episiotomy. This is a cut made at the opening of the vagina to help let your baby out. WHAT YOU CAN DO: • Do Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen the muscles in the pelvic area. To do Kegel exercises, squeeze the muscles that you use to stop yourself from passing urine (peeing). Hold the muscles tight for 10 seconds and then release. Try to do this at least 10 times in a row, three times a day. • Put a cold pack on your perineum. Use ice wrapped in a towel. Or you can buy cold packs that you freeze in your freezer. • Sit on a pillow or a donut-shaped cushion. • Soak in a warm bath. • Wipe from front to back after going to the bathroom. This can help prevent infection as your episiotomy heals. • Ask your provider about pain medicine. WHAT ARE AFTERBIRTH PAINS? Afterbirth pains are belly cramps you feel as your uterus (womb) shrinks back to its regular size after pregnancy. The cramps should go away in a few days. Right after you give birth, your uterus is round and hard and weighs about 2½ pounds. By about 6 weeks after birth, it weighs only 2 ounces. WHAT YOU CAN DO: Ask your provider about over-the-counter medicine you can take for pain. Over-the-counter medicine is medicine you can buy without a prescription from your provider. WHAT ARE HEMORRHOIDS? Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins in and around the anus that may hurt or bleed. Hemorrhoids are common during and after pregnancy. WHAT YOU CAN DO: • Soak in a warm bath. • Ask your provider about using an over-the-counter spray or cream for pain. • Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and whole-grain breads and cereals. • Drink lots of water. • Try not to strain when you’re having a bowel movement (pooping).


Hi, I'm Dr. Aimee Nguyen, also known as Dr. Rejuvenation. Today we're going to talk about three things that no one ever tells you happens to your body after you have a baby. Now granted, some of us have really easy childbirths. That wasn't the case for my first one. I think it's the curse of being a physician. I pushed for three to four hours, was in labor for 24 hours. It was not easy. But what I did not realize, the worst thing I thought about having the post-care afterwards was how painful it was down below just from the tearing. It is so incredibly tender, and I remember it hurt for six to eight weeks before that area healed. I was probably sitting like this for awhile just because it was so uncomfortable.

Number two is constipation and hemorrhoids are a real thing. I felt what helped me most was probably those ice packs that almost look like a maxi pad that has ice in was helpful, but I think what was even more helpful was that spray. There's a numbing spray. It feels really good. You stick in the refrigerator, and it would just numb the area down below.

Number three is it's not uncommon for us to leak a little bit of pee pee when we cough, or sneeze, or laugh. It's not uncommon during pregnancy, but oftentimes it can happen and stay even after pregnancy. Sometimes that can resolve six months after pregnancy. You can do Kegel exercises to help strengthen up the vaginal muscles down below. That type of leakage is because of muscle weakness. So we can tighten and tone those vaginal muscles, and it can help resolve that mild urinary leakage that you have.

Those were my common takeaways that I took away from my first delivery. Second baby was much easier, but I thought I would share that with all of you guys.