Women’s health after having a baby

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The first few weeks after childbirth can be challenging as new parents learn to take care of a newborn baby. Sometimes new moms become so focused on the needs of the baby that they forget about their own needs. During the first six weeks after you’ve had a baby, referred to as the postpartum period, you will go through many physical and emotional changes as your body recovers from childbirth.

After you take your baby home from the hospital, many new moms feel overwhelmed as they adjust to their baby’s schedule and as their body changes. You may no longer get a consecutive eight hours of sleep a night, but taking short naps while your baby is sleeping can reduce stress and help you regain your strength. Physically, your body will start returning to your normal, non-pregnancy state, but it can take almost two months. During that time, you may experience swelling, cramping, vaginal soreness, or postpartum bleeding and discharge.

If you are concerned about losing weight, talk to your doctor about what exercises would be safe for you to practice during your postpartum period.

A certain amount of insomnia, irritability, overwhelmed feelings and mood swings are normal during the first few days after childbirth, which is commonly referred to as the "baby blues." However, when symptoms of the baby blues continue past two weeks and begin to increase in severity, the condition may be developing into postpartum depression. At your follow-up appointment with your OB/GYN, it’s important to discuss any physical changes or symptoms of baby blues you are experiencing so they can monitor your recovery.

Physician Background:

Dr. Walda Pinn is an OBGYN at Green Valley OBGYN. Dr. Pinn received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Columbia University in 1996. She earned her medical degree at Georgetown University School of Medicine in 2006 and completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at the New York Medical College of Brooklyn and Queens. Dr. Pinn also served as an OBGYN for the U.S. Army for six years.