Are you excited about the “big day”? You know? The day that you will finally give birth and meet your bundle of joy! There are many things that happens during labor and delivery. As well as many different things that happens in the first 24 hours after giving birth.
I gave birth vaginally with my first born and then had a C-section with the birth of my twins. So, I know exactly what happens right after baby is born from both perspectives. One things I can tell you is that, it all happens fairly quickly. It’s like a blur honestly because once baby is born, you’re so caught up in the magical moment that you forget what you went through in the first place.
In this article I’ll be sharing with you what happens the first 24 hours after birth. From your postpartum body, to your baby and everything else in between. Make sure you also know what not to do after birth! Okay, let’s find out what happens straight after birth!
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How soon can you go home after giving birth?
If you have given birth vaginal without any complications, then you should be going home after 2 days or so.
If you have given birth via C-section without any complications, then you should be able to go home after 4 days or so. (source)
How long do you look pregnant after giving birth?
Oh that post baby belly! Don’t worry mama, you won’t look pregnant forever after giving birth. Your belly should go back to it’s normal size after a few weeks of giving birth. Usually takes about 4 to 8 weeks postpartum.
How do you feel 24 hours after giving birth?
You just gave birth and your body just went through it. You are most likely going to feel exhausted, hungry, dehydrated and just tired. But, you are also feeling excitement, love and gratitude for your baby. Right now you are feeling all the feels and it’s totally normal mama.
How many nights do you stay in the hospital after giving birth?
Moms who gave birth vaginally typically stay around 2 days in the hospital after giving birth. Moms who had a C-section typically stay in the hospital for about 3 to 4 days.
15 things that happens during the first 24 hours after giving birth
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You are going to notice that you still look pregnant after giving birth. Yikes! I know! But, rest assure that your belly is going to go back to it’s normal size in about 4 to 8 weeks! Your uterus needs time to shriek back, cut it some slack 🙂
In the meantime you can totally use this postpartum belly band. It helps speed up recovery, supports your back and posture and it’s amazing if you just had a C-section!
2.Losing water weight
In the 24 hours after giving birth, you are going to lose a few pounds. Like 10 pounds or so, yes girl, let’s drink some wine to that! This is all weight from your placenta, baby and amniotic fluids.
If you just had a C-section, you’re going to notice some swelling and this is do to the IV fluids you receive from the procedure. Don’t worry, the swelling will go away soon!
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3. Feel after-pains
The contractions don’t stop once you give birth, nope! It actually still continues well after. The reason why is because your uterus is tightening up to return to it’s pre-pregnancy size. These after pains may last a couple of weeks.
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4. Postpartum bleeding
Right after giving birth, you’re going to bleed. Now you may confuse them with your period (like I did!) but postpartum bleeding is actually called “lochia”. Which is the leftover blood, mucus, and sloughed-off tissue from the lining of the uterus (source) It’s heavy and can last up to 6 weeks. I think mine lasted for about 2 weeks. But every women is different, so keep that in mind.
5. Breastfeeding journey begins
Your breastfeeding journey begins within the 24 hours of giving birth. I remember with my first born, how painful it was. And that’s because your breast milk does not come in until a couple of days after giving birth. But, it’s a great way to stimulate breast milk production.
You can always speak to a lactation consultant or take this online breastfeeding class to alleviate any future breastfeeding problems or concerns. You are also going to learn how to correctly help your baby to latch on, produce more milk and more useful information.
6. Lack of sleep
You are definitely not going to be able to have a good night sleep for a long time! While in the hospital, the nurses are going to check your vitals multiple times and even through the night. Just to make sure that everything is good and normal. Also, if your hospital allows it, your baby may stay with you through the night.
7. Skin to skin with baby
Many hospitals encourage skin to skin with baby right after giving birth vaginally. Of course, if there are no complications with mom and baby. If you have a C-section, skin to skin may not happen soon after giving birth though. Skin to skin is a great way to bond with your baby and make him/her feel calm.
8. Painful bathroom trips
Well mama, whether you give birth vaginally or via a C-section, one thing is for sure. Bathroom trips will be very uncomfortable! If you had a vaginal tear or an episiotomy, your perineum (area between the rectum and vagina) may be swollen. You can ask your nurse to give you pain medication (like I did) to relief the pain.
You can wear these padscicles also known as Tucks which provide immediate postpartum relief, specially if you have hemorrhoids after birth. Taking a sitz bath and using these sitz bath salt can also help you heal faster.
24 hours after birth, you are going to be given medications. Whether is to help relief the pain from a C-section incision or from tearing during a vaginal birth.
You can use this postpartum peribottle ( better than the one at the hospitals) to help clean down there and heal properly. You can even take it on the go!
10. You feel drained
During the first 24 hours after giving birth, you will definitely feel drained. You just put your body through a lot and now it’s trying to recover from it. Childbirth takes a toll on you and on your body, even if the entire experience was magical! So try to rest and take it easy as much as you can.
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11. Expect Visitors
You should expect family and friends to go visit you in the hospital. So just be prepared for it. My family came to visit me the same day I gave birth and and everyday following. That’s just the way my family is, haha!
Unless you specifically requested no visitors when you’re at the hospital. Then you do not have to worry about this 🙂
Welcome your visitors wearing this cute maternity nursing gown for the hospital! (choose from different styles!) click here!
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12. Nurses coming in and out
During the first 24 hours of having a baby, you are going to notice nurses coming in and out of your hospital room. This is because they are checking your blood pressure and vitals just to make sure that everything is okay with you. They may even come in the middle of the night 🙂
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13. Pediatrician visit
The first or second day in the hospital, you are going to get a visit from the hospitals pediatrician. He or she is going to inform you about your baby’s vitals and how the newborn screening test went.
“There are three parts to newborn screening: the blood test (or heel stick); the hearing screen; and pulse oximetry. ” (source)
14. Feeling in awe of your baby
When I gave birth to my first born and then my twins, I was in awe. I was so happy and felt so blessed to be their mom. I just couldn’t believe it really. When you meet your baby for the first time, it’s such a beautiful experience. All of the pain, contractions, and healing process makes it all worth it. Because you are a mom and nothing can ever compare to that.
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15. Know that it takes time
I want you to know that this postpartum period will eventually fade away. But it will take time. Do not try to rush into things, or try to do the house chores to feel more normal. Because you won’t. Postpartum period should be taken seriously. You need to take this time to care for yourself and make sure you have healed completely. This too shall pass and you’ll be feeling more like yourself soon!
In the meantime, cuddle up with your newborn, enjoy the help of family and friends and live in the moment.
I hope you found this article helpful and have a little bit more knowledge of what’s to come during the first 24 hours after giving birth. I want you to know that your well being is important. Therefor take as much time as possible to heal and feel better . This is not a race.
Always consult with your doctor if you have any concerns or question about your c-section incision or your vaginal tear care. A lot of things happen during the first 24 hours of welcoming baby. I hope this article gave you a glimpse of what to expect!