It’s now been three months and the so-called immediate healing phase is over. You might feel like your old self and any complications and healing are done, but the body needs more time to fully recover.
We typically say that the body is fully recovered within one year after a pregnancy. Regardless of whether you tore or not, the muscles, ligaments and other supporting vaginal tissues have stretched and need time to regain their position and function. Tissue structures in the vaginal walls take up to six months to heal, regardless of what type of tear you had. The muscles need about 12 months before they’re at the same level as before the pregnancy.
Breastfeeding affects the size of the uterus and the hormonal balance of the mucous membranes. If you breastfeed, these transitions may be milder but still there. You probably feel that your body is recovering more and more.
The uterus is back in its place and mucous membranes will gradually regain their normal balance. While it’s normal if you don’t feel exactly the way you did before giving birth, you should not be experiencing complications such as feelings of heaviness, leakage or pain during intercourse. If such complications do not improve over time, we recommend you contact an OB-GYN clinic.
The size of the uterus and hormonal balance of the mucous membranes may still be affected, but they are starting to return to normal. If you breastfeed, these transitions may last slightly longer but become less noticeable with each passing day. You probably feel that your body is starting to recover more and more.
If you have any weakness in the vaginal walls or muscles, we recommend three to six months of daily pelvic floor exercises. If this does not help, you may need more targeted care, and surgery may be necessary. Try to do your pelvic floor exercises daily for three months to improve strength, and then two to three times a week to maintain strength. When it comes to muscle strength, you either use it or you lose it. If muscles are not maintained, they lose their tonus. Our pelvic floor needs to be strong for life.
If you had a Cesarean delivery, we recommend you put off another pregnancy for at least one year after delivery so that your body can heal and to reduce risks during the next pregnancy.
Don't be afraid to talk about symptoms
If you have any complications, talk about them. Many women share similar experiences, but embarrassment can take over so that we don’t dare to talk about it, or we don’t know who to turn to. There are midwife clinics all over the country where a midwife can help you or refer you to a specialist if necessary. Your family doctor or healthcare clinic can also help with a referral to a gynecologist or pelvic floor center. You can also call many clinics directly and book an appointment. Don’t be afraid to talk about it; make demands on the healthcare system. It’s your right.
It’s been three months since you had your baby. We want to wrap up these weekly texts with the hope that they have provided guidance and support in the overwhelming time that is the beginning of parenthood. The most important thing now is that you have the confidence to trust your instinct. Listen to advice that suits you. Find time to recharge and dare to ask for and receive help. Most importantly. Trust in the fact that you are fantastic.
In the app, you will find more information about the period after pregnancy and birth, as well as information about your baby’s development from 0 to 24 months.
Source: - Janson, P.O. & Landgren, B. (red.) (2010). Gynekologi. (1. uppl.) Lund: Studentlitteratur. - Kaplan, A. (red.) (2009). Lärobok för barnmorskor. (3., omarb. uppl.) Lund: Studentlitteratur. - Myles, M.F., Marshall, J.E. & Raynor, M.D. (red.) (2014). Myles textbook for midwives. (16th edition). Edinburgh: Elsevier. - Savage S. J. (2020). A Fourth Trimetser Action Plan for Wellness. The Journal of Perinatal Education. Apr 1;29(2):103-112. DOI: 10.1891/J-PE-D-18-00034