Mother and her baby face close up - Advice on common Postpartum Issues

What to Expect After Baby Arrives: 8 Common Postpartum Conditions

Having a baby is a BIG change! But it’s important to know what kind of things might happen with your body after bringing that little one into the world and what are some of the most common postpartum conditions. I’m your friend Barbara, a psychologist here to help new moms. Let me tell you about some common stuff lots of women deal with after giving birth.

1. Vaginal Bleeding

For a few weeks after delivery, you’ll have bleeding from your vagina called lochia. Right away it looks like a period. Then it gets lighter to pink and pale colors over days, according to nursing experts. Your period will come back in a few months if you don’t breastfeed, or after weaning if you do.

2. Shrinking Uterus

Your uterus stretches huge during pregnancy. After birth, it starts getting smaller each day. Right away you can feel the top under your belly button – ask your nurse to show you. You want it going down a finger width per day. Takes about 6 weeks to get back to normal size.

3. Perineum Pain

Postpartum Perineum Pain - after giving birth guide

The skin between your vagina and butthole is called the perineum. It can swell or tear during delivery. Expect discomfort there for a couple of weeks. If you had an episiotomy to help the baby out, healing takes up to 3 weeks. Keep it clean and use any spray or ointment your doc says for pain.

4. Fluctuating Blood Sugar Levels

If you had gestational diabetes or diabetes before, your blood sugar levels may act up after birth. Check them a lot and follow your doctor’s diet and medication plan. Don’t stress – gestational diabetes often goes away on its own with the right changes.

5. Leaky Bladder

Almost 1 in 4 women have issues holding their pee after delivery, especially if the birth was vaginal or forceps were used. It’s also more common if you breastfeed for a long time.

6. Postpartum Thyroid Problems

The thyroid gland in your neck can get inflamed after birth. You may feel anxious, tired, or irritable at first, then tired and gaining weight later on. Most moms go back to normal with the doctor’s help.

7. Low Sex Drive

Decreased interest in sex is normal at first as estrogen levels take time to bounce back – maybe a year! Body changes, fatigue, and pregnancy worries also play a role.

8. Baby Blues & Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression and baby care - Mother mental health

A lot of new moms get a little sad or moody in the first couple weeks after delivery. This is called “baby blues” and it’s totally normal due to your hormones regulating. But for some women, the sad feelings are stronger or don’t go away after a couple weeks. That’s why peer support is important after giving birth!

This could be postpartum depression. Some signs to watch for include:

  • Crying a lot of the time
  • Feeling down, angry or worthless
  • Worrying a lot
  • Trouble bonding with your baby
  • Not wanting to take care of the baby or yourself
  • Thoughts about hurting yourself or the baby

If you have had several of these feelings for more than two weeks, give me a call. Postpartum depression is very treatable with therapy or medication. And it doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom – your brain chemistry just needs a little help right now.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. When should I call the doctor?

Give me a call if you have heavy bleeding (soaking more than one pad per hour), severe pain, fever, dizziness, or anything else worrying you. Better safe than sorry!

2. How can I feel more like myself again?

Be patient – it takes time as your hormones settle down. Take breaks when you can, eat healthy foods, stay hydrated, and don’t try to do it all alone. Reach out if you need help or someone to talk to.

3. Will sex still feel good?

Your body went through a big change, so it may take a little while. Go slow, use lubricant, and communicate with your partner. In time you’ll find what feels comfortable again.

4. Is it normal to cry a lot?

Totally normal! Your emotions may be all over as hormones fluctuate. Let it out when you need to – that’s what friends like me are here for!


I hope this overview helped explain what you might experience in your body after bringing that precious baby into the world. Remember – every woman is different, so don’t worry if you don’t have all these things happen or they take longer to go away. The most important thing is listening to YOUR body and talking to me or your doctor if something doesn’t feel right.

You’ve got this – motherhood is amazing and I’m here anytime you need support. Go give your baby a kiss!