At pregnancy week 38, you might be wondering what symptoms should you expect after delivery and how soon things will take to get back to normal. Well, the simple answer to that is that it will take approximately 6 weeks for most of your pregnancy-related changes to return to its pre-pregnancy state.

Water retention

The "water retention" in your ankles, wrists and the rest of the body will take about 4 to 6 weeks to resolve. Till then you will find yourself visiting the toilet more frequently.

Uterus

The uterus will also take 6 weeks to shrink to its original size and return to its original location.

Bleeding

After a vaginal delivery, it is likely that you will experience some bleeding. Usually it becomes progressively lighter towards the end of weeks 4 to 6 post-delivery. Also, the colour of the bloody discharge should change from bright red to pink or brown before disappearing completely. 

Pain

Pain from your wound sites will last for a varying amount of time:

  • 6 to 8 weeks for caesarean wound site
  • 1 week for episiotomy site (on average).

Keep the wound areas clean and dry and change the dressings when required.

Six weeks after delivery, your obstetrician will review you and ensure that things are going well.

First ten days: How to take care of your newborn

Here are some tips with regards to general newborn care.

First poo: The passing of the first stool or urine is something to take note of. Usually, its first urine is passed within 24 hours of birth while the first stool is made within the next 1 to 2 days.

Umbilical cord hygiene: The umbilical cord will usually shrivel and drop off within 10 days. Before then, keep it dry and clean and above the nappy.

Jaundice: It is very common for babies to have jaundice after birth. It is due to the breakdown of primitive red blood cells. This usually develops on the 3rd day of life. Most infants have mild jaundice and it is harmless. If your baby has jaundice, get him/her assessed by your doctor to see if further treatment is warranted.

That just about sums up the important things you need to know in terms of newborn care!

Ref: M19