What Happens to My Body After Delivery?
Last updated: September 2022
One of the big questions I have had while being pregnant has been what happens to my body after I give birth.
Spoiler alert: I don’t know and I’m currently 39 weeks pregnant.
Montoring with fertility treatments and while pregnant
Ever since my husband and I started fertility treatments about 14 months ago, my body has been under intense monitoring. First, the fertility doctor was keeping a close eye on my cycle, how I responded to the fertility medication and the outcome of each treatment.
There were doctor appointments, blood work, and ultrasounds. Once I had a confirmed pregnancy, I was under the watchful eye of the OB.
This meant more doctor’s appointments, physical exams, bloodwork, and urinalysis. And then of course because of my age (42 years old), I’m considered high risk, so I also became a frequent flyer at Maternal-Fetal Medicine for advanced monitoring.
I remain incredibly grateful to have such a caring team that has watched over my baby and me to ultimately bring us through a healthy and uneventful nine months. That is a blessing that I do not take lightly or for granted.
Now as I’m days away from delivery, the conversations are all around delivery and then the baby’s pediatrician. While I’m feeling a bit anxious about the delivery, I do have a birth plan and an amazing pediatrician to oversee the needs of my newborn daughter.
My question then becomes, what happens next for my body?
While I’m relieved to not have some many appointments on the schedule for me, I’m wondering what’s my recovery plan and does anyone offer guidance aside from “time will heal and call us if there’s any cause for concern in the process.” I want to have just as an intentional plan to heal as I did to conceive and bring this baby to full term.
I have a lot of questions about what that looks like. For example, how long will I likely bleed after delivery?
Is there anything specific I can do to help my body recover from the loss of blood during delivery? What will it look like when my body does restore its monthly cycle?
I’ll be completely honest, I’m nervous about experiencing postpartum depression. Who can guide me through that process and is there anyone who can offer steps that I can take to reduce my chances of experiencing it?
I know that some of the answers are dependent upon my unique body and my delivery experience. Which only time will tell.
However, the postpartum care feels like a bit of a cliff that drops off suddenly. Am I on my own to figure this one out?
Sprinkle in a culture that doesn’t really pass wisdom down from generation to generation the way it used to and it feels like we’re left with Dr. Google. I don’t know if I’m alone in feeling this way, but something tells me I’m not.
So, I am happy to bring you along in this journey as I discover firsthand what this experience actually is. In the meantime, I would love to hear from you, what’s your postpartum experience?
Or if you’re in the process of experiencing it for the first time like me, what questions do you have?
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):