Having a baby is a beautiful experience. But the birthing experience is typically anything but lovely. There is a lot that goes on when a woman gives birth. And once she has delivered her baby, it is not over. There are quite a few things that will happen the first day after giving birth.
Your body changed dramatically to accommodate your growing baby, and then changed even more during the birthing process. The first day after giving birth, your body will continue to change to start the process of going back to your pre-baby body. But not all those changes are going to make you feel wonderful. In fact, some may even shock you!
The first day after giving birth is also your very first full day with your brand new sweet baby. There are things you will learn on this first day as a mom, and while you may have tried to prepare yourself for being a new parent, once you are one, you never know exactly how it will go!
Read on for some real and raw things that happen the first day after giving birth. It is important to know what you may expect after having your adorable newborn.
14 You May Have An Adrenaline High
The expectation of having a baby is usually that it is an exhausting experience. Especially with your first baby, labor can last hours or days, and delivery can last hours as well. While everyone’s birth experience is different, there is no denying it is a tiring and physical experience to have a baby.
After you give birth, many moms are expected to rest and sleep. The thing is, that is not always an easy task for a brand new mom to complete, even though she went through a marathon birthing session. Your adrenaline kicks in after having a baby and can last into that first day after you gave birth. You may even feel like you are on some sort of high. Many new moms report this feeling the first day after having their baby. They will be excited to hold their baby (of course!), call up friends and relatives, and more, when the rest of us think they should be taking a much needed nap!
13 Detoxing The Meds
If you have medication during labor and delivery, such as an epidural, the drugs in your system do not magically go away once baby is born, unfortunately. You may feel dizzy or dazed after having a baby due to these drugs still being in your system.
It will take time for the medication to leave your system completely, and those drugs can remain in your body the first day after giving birth. That first day, your nurses will likely continue to help you to use the bathroom or advise you take it easy, as you are likely at risk to fall until the medication, specifically the epidural, leaves your system completely. It is important to know that when being provided medication to assist with pain while giving birth, that medication can remain inside your system until the first day following delivery of your newborn baby.
12 Everything Will Hurt
This probably does not surprise most. Having a baby is a very physically straining experience, and it likely does not come as a shock that you will remain in pain the whole first day after giving birth. What most of us are not aware of, is that the pain is really like nothing you have ever experienced.
You will hurt basically all over. You may have strained from pushing, which can even give you a lasting headache. Pushing out a baby could have caused you to tear and that pain is like no other. C-section pain is a whole other ballgame. Basically, no matter how you give birth, it will be days, or even weeks, of everything hurting until you can feel like your normal self again. But eventually, it will all stop hurting!
11 Residue May Be Heavy And Unexpected
You don’t have your period while pregnant, so your body seems to want to make up for lost time once you have your baby! Joking, of course, but the truth is, you will be bleeding quite a bit the first day following the delivery of your little one. You may even be shocked at how much blood and other stuff is coming out of you.
Not only will you be bleeding the first day after giving birth, but it can be heavy and even worrisome. This is why you will have consistent checkups. With this bleeding comes giant pads and even mesh underwear. Everything down there will hurt so much, that you will gladly put on those mesh undies with the biggest pads you have ever seen (and yes, you’ll even want to take some home!).
10 Regular Checkups Will Be Annoying
Modesty is out the window when you have a baby. The most shy mom-to-be no longer will feel that way once she has given birth. Things are crazy when you give birth, and of course, your doctor needs to ensure that you are healing properly and that the bleeding is starting to gradually decrease.
Throughout your stay in the maternity ward, you will be checked down there more often than you may realize. Nurses and doctors will ask to see how you are bleeding, and if you had stitches, how those are doing as well. The first day after giving birth is important because your doctor needs to make sure you are not bleeding too much, so you will be checked on quite a bit. You may even be woken up to be checked!
9 The Uterus Starts To Shrink Back To Normal Size
We have all seen the photos of Kate Middleton stepping out of the hospital after giving birth, sporting a still looking pregnant belly. That is reality. Once you give birth, your uterus needs time to get back to normal size. And it begins right away, the first day after giving birth.
We have said that the first day after giving birth brings lots of hurt - everywhere. That is very true, and it includes your uterus. Your uterus had nine months of growing to accommodate your growing baby. Once baby is born, your uterus needs time to shrink back to normal size. You may experience cramps and some mild pain starting the first day after giving birth, as your uterus works itself back to regular size.
8 You May Have Trouble Using The Bathroom
You just pushed out a baby, that first day after giving birth it will be difficult to push anything else out. It can last a few days, as well. This is an area of post delivery that many new moms are totally unaware of - that they will have difficulty using the bathroom once they have their baby.
With all the bleeding and pain, it can be hard to urinate, sometimes it is even a little painful. Luckily, most new moms have wonderful nurses to walk them through that first go experience. But having to go number two? That can be quite a bit of trouble. Many hospitals actually require new moms to make a bowel movement before leaving the hospital. It is likely their way to ensure all is healing properly.
7 Being Introduced To The Perineum Bottle
Once you have given birth, your nurse will introduce you to some new mom bathroom essentials. These include those giant pads, mesh undies, and the perineum bottle. The first day following delivery, that perineum bottle may become your very best friend!
So what is it? A perineum bottle is kind of like a squirt bottle for down there. Yep, that’s right. The following day after giving birth, when you use the bathroom, you cannot wipe. The perineum bottle will step in and clean up any mess. You fill it with warm bottle and then squirt away whatever needs to be cleaned. The warmness can help with any pain and stitches, as well, and make you feel good down there. You will definitely want to take a perineum bottle home with you, too!
6 Learning How To Care For Baby’s Stump
While your body is going through pain and hurting and trying to heal, you also have a new baby to take care of! That first day after giving birth can be a learning process, and one particular thing you have to learn is how to care for your baby’s umbilical cord stump.
We are not magically born with belly buttons. Our belly buttons are what is left of the umbilical cord that attached us to our mother. After birth, that cord is cut, and there is a kind of nasty stump that remain, until it heals up and falls off. You will learn how to properly care for baby’s umbilical cord stump, including how to put on those tiny newborn diapers. No need to worry though, caring for your baby will become second nature.
5 Learning To Care For Little Boys And Little Girls
If you have a little boy and plan to have him circumcised in the hospital after delivery, you will also learn how to care for this. The first day after giving birth may even be the day your baby boy gets circumcised if you choose to do so, which will be the first day you learn how to care for his little guy. It can be difficult to see your baby boy in pain down there, but whatever you choose, proper care is essential.
As for baby girls, what many parents-to-be do not realize is that little girls can be born a little swollen down under. It can make new parents nervous, but the nurses will guide you through cleaning and caring for a little girl as well. Basically, no matter if you have a boy or girl, there will be some hygiene learning to go through that first day after giving birth.
4 Changes To The Girls And Breastfeeding
The first day after giving birth, whether you plan to breastfeed or not, your breasts will go through changes. What is known as colostrum comes in first. This is an antibody rich nutrient that your body prepares to feed to your newborn baby. You may wonder why your milk has not come in, yet. Your milk may take a few days before coming in, as colostrum is what your baby needs first.
The first day after giving birth you may find you have a some breast tenderness. It is as if your body knows it is time for baby to eat! If you choose to breastfeed, you will go through trials and tribulations until you, and your baby, get comfortable with breastfeeding. You will likely be visited by a lactation consultant the first day following delivery, as well.
3 Learning About Skin To Skin Contact
The first day after giving birth is filled with opportunities for you to bond with your baby. You will hold her, change her, feed her, but one important, perhaps extremely important to bonding element, is having skin to skin contact.
Amazing things occur when a baby is placed naked (with a diaper is fine) on his mother’s bare chest. They form a bond that is remarkable. During this time, baby will be happy, and will have a temperature and heart rate that is stable. Another incredible thing that occurs is that during skin to skin contact, baby will actually be colonized with the same bacteria as his mother. Clearly, skin to skin contact is important, and your nurses and doctors will greatly encourage it during that first day after giving birth.
2 You May Notice Mood Changes
Having a baby is a happy experience, right? While that is very true, you will be overjoyed to be able to have and hold your sweet newborn, you may begin to notice mood changes or swings the first day after giving birth.
Many moms start to notice mood changes that go from high to low, back and forth, starting that first day after giving birth. This is normal. Your hormones are trying to regulate, you are likely hurting all over, and you are suddenly caring for a newborn, and probably not getting a lot of sleep. These can all cause mood changes. However, if you find that your mood change is very down and you feel extraordinarily depressed, even that first day after delivery, it is important to bring that to the attention of your doctor.
1 Baby Will Go Through Lots Of Tests
Cuddling your baby is a huge perk of giving birth and that first day after delivery is filled with chances to just hold and look at your newborn baby in awe. You created that beautiful creature! What thing to be aware of though, is that baby is going to be whisked from your arms quite a bit that first day of life!
Your baby will go through a series of tests in the nursery. Your baby will be screened for diseases, given blood tests, hearing tests, all just to make sure everything is okay with your little one. This is all very routine after having a baby. After they take blood from your little one’s heel (yes, they use the heel of the foot), they may then bring him back to you, so you can comfort him and feed him.
Sources: Parents.com, Bundoo, What To Expect