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Your Body After Pregnancy


mom hugging newborn baby to her chest

Having a baby not only changes your life - it can transform your body, too.

You will experience many physical changes following the birth of your baby and if you have any concerns, it's important to address them with your health care provider as soon as possible.

Remember there are two people to be cared for - your baby and you.

Each day ask yourself, have I:

  • eaten at least three meals today? Had a healthy snack if I'm still hungry? 
  • enjoyed some physical activity, such as walking with my baby in a stroller?
  • taken a short break? Done something nice for myself? When your baby is asleep or your partner can help, take a nap, read a book, have a bath, or sit in the garden.
  • talked with my partner, friends or family about my feelings?
  • met with a support group of people who understand my feelings? Your public health nurse can tell you about postpartum support groups.
  • shared the responsibilities of baby care with my partner?

After birth, your uterus continues to contract and cramping is most noticeable during the first few days. This is often called after pains. Cramps may be more painful if you have given birth before and are often felt most strongly while you breastfeed because breastfeeding helps your uterus contract and get smaller. Cramps usually disappear after the first week, however if they are severe, ask your health care provider about taking medication for pain.

Call your health care provider if:

  • Your flow gets heavier rather than lighter.
  • Your flow has a foul smell.
  • You have flu like symptoms or an unexplained fever over 38°C.
  • The stitches on your perineum open up, drain, or become infected.
  • You have pain, swelling, and redness near your caesarean incision.
  • The stitches on your caesarean incision open up, drain, or become infected.
  • You have redness or pain in the calf of your leg.
  • You have a tender, reddened area on your breast that is not relieved by more frequent breastfeeding.
  • You have to pee often and it hurts when you pee.
  • You have constipation that is not relieved with diet, lots of fluids, physical activity, and stool softeners


Last Updated: August 14, 2013