What to expect, pain/mobility-wise, immediately after delivery? - Mothering Forums
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Birth and Beyond > What to expect, pain/mobility-wise, immediately after delivery?
Smokering's Avatar Smokering 12:33 AM 12-12-2007
I haven't read any info on this... I know it will vary from woman to woman, but how sore/unable to move/weak am I likely to be after delivering the baby and placenta? Is a mother usually able to climb out of the birth pool unaided? Does she usually feel OK to talk, or does she just want to flop in bed and moan? What about walking around?

Sorry, I know this is kind of vague... I guess I've built up a picture in my mind of being in EXTREME, agonising pain after the birth, and unable to concentrate on DH or the baby, or talk to the midwife. It'd be nice to hear it ain't like that.

thefreckledmama's Avatar thefreckledmama 01:00 AM 12-12-2007
I never had very much pain after birth. There was always a little pain in my perineum, but nothing at all like you're describing. Not to mention the fact that once the baby is born, there's usually the rush of endorphins that comes after giving birth, which (for me at least) pretty much made any pain I had insignificant. I never had any problem getting up walking around (to the bathroom and such) afterwards either.
alegna's Avatar alegna 01:06 AM 12-12-2007
Well I was going to come post and say take it easy... but I easily got out of the birth tub. Walked to the bathroom (laid on the floor with DD and nursed while they ran an herbal bath)

then walked upstairs with a little help (31 hours of labor... 48 hours no sleep... I was a wee bit tired )

I talked quite a bit. No moaning at all

prothyraia's Avatar prothyraia 01:07 AM 12-12-2007
Right afterwards, I was fine.

The day afterwards, I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.

Three days afterwards, I felt waaaay better than I did while I was still pregnant and huge.
balancedmama's Avatar balancedmama 01:08 AM 12-12-2007
Oh gosh, nearly all women feel a big sense of relief after birth and aren't in pain. Of course like you said, it is different for everyone. I have been to a few hundred births and of the natural, vaginal births I have seen (or medicated vaginal births even), I would say that nearly all are really alert, blissed out, and not complaining of too much pain. Sometimes they are uncomfortable with the few cramps for birthing the placenta but generally it is just a blip on the radar compared to labor.

As for me, I felt really pretty good. I didn't feel like walking around for awhile though - I pushed for many hours and lost some blood so I just felt a little weak and shaky. But not BAD. After a few hours I started to feel that my bum was sore. But it took awhile for me to notice that. Mostly afterwards I was just in awe and teary over having a baby and proud of myself and amazed at my DD and talking to her, the MWs, doula and DH about it. The hormones after birth are just so powerful - they really make you feel good.
bobandjess99's Avatar bobandjess99 01:09 AM 12-12-2007
I think you hit the nail on the head when you said it varies so much there really is no way to know.
I know many, many women who can walk easily, talk, eat, shower, etc.
I know women who are very tired and just sleep for a while...

Personally, after a REALLY tough birth and a borderline hemorrhage?, I was unable to do anything but lay on the floor in a pool of blood for some time, and then dh lifted me into the shower to clean me off some then I was carried/crawled to bed, where I stayed for 12+ hours before being able to so much as move. It was days before I could walk unassisted, and over a month before I could stand up quickly without passing out.
georgia's Avatar georgia 01:21 AM 12-12-2007
With my drugged hospital/interventive/episiotomy/etc birth, I was in tremendous pain and felt like I'd been hit and run over by a truck for weeks It hurt to move, and I didn't go out for months.

With my (drug-free) home waterbirths, I felt ecstatic and oddly awesome right after. Immediately after, I felt a bit tired physically, but totally "buzzed" emotionally. I may have needed a helping hand out of the water, but I just felt so happy, relieved and good. But like I'd just been through hard work...but not in a negative way. I went to the grocery store the next day :

IME, just doing what my body needed to do when it needed to do it, without outside interference, was critical to my feeling of well-being afterwards.

Best wishes on a beautiful birth
Kabes's Avatar Kabes 01:34 AM 12-12-2007
After #3 was born (my best labor and delivery!-natural) I had to move to another room. I picked up the baby and started walking. It must have shocked the nurses because they asked if I was O.K. I remember saying "I'm great, Lets go dancing!" Such a huge high.
So as said before - everyone is different. The spectrum is huge.
jsmith2279's Avatar jsmith2279 01:37 AM 12-12-2007
I didn't have any pain after birth. I jumped right into my shower and got all clean and then cuddled in bed with DH & DS. I think peeing was a little rough the first week... #2 wasn't bad at all, even though it had been a few days.

I was a little tired the next day, but that was offset with my baby high. So all in all, I felt fantastic.
Chinese Pistache's Avatar Chinese Pistache 01:46 AM 12-12-2007
I felt pretty great right after my hbs. There's a big adrenalin rush that helps, I think. I did almost pass out after my first was born though. They gave me smelling salts and I perked right back up. It was funny though, because I totally didn't see it coming. I was chatting, walking (with a little support, over to the couch to be stitched) and I just started getting woozy. Anyway, I've always been perky enough to take a shower, eat something and then, snuggle down with my baby.
Smokering's Avatar Smokering 01:59 AM 12-12-2007
Ooh, I like all these 'I felt great' posts. More of those, please!
ripcurlgirl26's Avatar ripcurlgirl26 02:02 AM 12-12-2007
The details are kind of blurry, but I remembering getting up by myself afterwards, going to the bathroom, and getting changed and "diapered" up. And this was with a 4th degree episiotomy-induced tear. All the pain I felt post labor was from that stupid thing. I'm sure I was tired, but I was flying so high I didn't sleep for about 24 hours. I just wanted to watch my babe!
StrawberryFields's Avatar StrawberryFields 02:09 AM 12-12-2007
I don't remember being in any pain after birth. I got up, went to the bathroom, took a shower, got dressed, combed my hair and had something to eat. No moaning and groaning I don't remember any remarkable pain the next day either.
savithny's Avatar savithny 02:52 AM 12-12-2007
I had that adrenaline/endorphine rush both times. I felt so perky that the nurse had to remind me to take it slow getting up. I remember this rush of "I really need to PEE now, and by the way I'm ravenous."

I felt like I could dance across the room, but when I actually stood up and... uck... streamed down my legs I did decide to take it slower.

WIth #1, I pushed for about 40 minutes (he was posterior at first), and the day afterwards I felt like I'd done too many situps without warming up. With #2, I felt swell. And not swollen, just swell.

An hour after both births, I was tucking into a meal. A fairly big meal. I felt on top of the world.
attachedmamaof3's Avatar attachedmamaof3 04:06 AM 12-12-2007
After every single one, after birthing the placenta/nursing, I've gotten up, used the restroom, taken a shower/bath and then laid down on my fresh clean sheets with the baby to eat and sleep!

Feels like you'd feel after a REALLY good soccer game! Worn out in a good/exciting way.
danotoyou2's Avatar danotoyou2 05:16 AM 12-12-2007
I don't remember ANY pain after giving birth... I did need a hand getting out of the tub, but that's just because I was a little unsteady on my feet from all the physical exhertion, not pain. And not really getting any sleep for 3 days, then running a marathon can take its toll on the body... So, just tired, not pain.

The only pain came with getting stitched up. After that, I was more sore than I expected to be, just because I was so preoccupied with avoiding a cesarean, that I didn't think about the effects of a vaginal birth on my body. But it just meant sitting on a pillow for a few days. Also, my muscles were sore the next day, because pushing was very... um... physical.
SublimeBirthGirl's Avatar SublimeBirthGirl 10:25 AM 12-12-2007
I could walk after both though after my 1st I was exhausted. AFter my homebirth I got out, went upstairs, took a shower. I let them put me in the wheelchair to get to recover after my hospital birth (hardly any sleep for 2 nights) but also showered soon after and all. I tore and had a couple of stitches w/ her, and was sore for weeks. My 2nd, only a tiny skidmark and no stitches, and I was hardly sore at all. My physical recover from #2 was incredibly quick.
wannabe's Avatar wannabe 11:54 AM 12-12-2007
Depends hugely.

After a short daytime labour I felt totally normal with a tender bottom. After a long long labour I felt like I'd been hit by a really vindictive truck who'd come back a couple of times to finish the job.

If you have stitches the local will take a while to wear off, too.
kerikadi's Avatar kerikadi 12:01 PM 12-12-2007
It's not about the pain it's about being exhausted and having lost blood. I could move around with very little pain but I was a bit woosy and liked having someone walk with me and give me a hand getting in and out of the tub. Of course I was also holding a newborn and didn't want to fall.

In the hours after birth I would say I was nearly pain free. It's after the adrenaline wears off that the aches and discomfort set in. Notice I said aches and discomfort and not pain.
Violet2's Avatar Violet2 12:31 PM 12-12-2007
As someone else said, it's not the pain, it's the fatigue that's killer. It would be rare I think to be in so much pain you can't move.

You won'y be physically incapacitated, but rather energetically incapacitated.

RedHen4's Avatar RedHen4 12:51 PM 12-12-2007
My first three births were in the hospital and medicated...getting up and walking right after an epidural is no picnic :-) Plus the fact that they won't let you EAT can leave you a little weak!

After my first unmedicated birth, I was amazed at how GREAT I felt. Those endorphins are wonderful things. My 5th birth was at home in a pool, and I needed help with balance to get out of the pool, but within 30-40 minutes or so, I showered and walked downstairs unaided...felt great.

Looking forward to that feeling again SOON!

Baby #6 is due today!
Girlprof's Avatar Girlprof 12:53 PM 12-12-2007
I felt fantastic right after birth. Like the person who said it felt like winning a tough soccer game - just victorious. I was ready to get pregnant again immediately and I was STARVING. But later, I actually did pass out while standing up after going pee and the little tiny nurse who was with me had no chance of helping me. That shook me up a bit, of course, but it was really later that I felt tired and sore.
loraxc's Avatar loraxc 01:23 PM 12-12-2007
I had a rough 34-hour labor that ended in transfer and a second-degree tear. I was a lot more physically incapacitated than I expected and fell the first time I got up. I was pretty weak and miserable for about two weeks afterwards, and there was a fair amount of pain from the tear, and I got hemorrhoids from pushing, and I had terrible bruising and some pain from a misplaced IV. Oh, and I kept peeing my pants, which made me cry.

There was no happy rush, either. But as I say, the labor was traumatic.
Peppamint's Avatar Peppamint 01:33 PM 12-12-2007
Getting up and around after my first birth was a little rough, I'd had a Pitocin labor with a shot of Nubain that really affected me... and to top it off an episiotomy. I was quite tender from the stitches for a few weeks although I felt pretty good otherwise once the narcotics wore off.

After my 2nd and 3rd (home) births I had a huge rush of adrenaline... I did have the shakes after #2 was born. Both times the midwife and her apprentice helped me to the bathroom and such as a precaution but getting up and around was much easier without stitches.

Most of the women I've seen birth have gotten up and around to pee fairly easily... the exception is a mom who hemorrhages.
the_lissa's Avatar the_lissa 01:56 PM 12-12-2007
After both my births, I had absolutely no pain. I could walk fine. I could void. I could get up and down.

I had a hemorrhage and a d&c with my first and could still do everything and had no pain.
Violet2's Avatar Violet2 02:55 PM 12-12-2007
I just wanted to add that I had a very hard 36 hour labor and lots of medical intervention (pitocin, epidural, antibiotics, almost had a c-section)and I found the post birth-period to be fine physically, it was the fatigue that was hard.

So medical interventions do not necessarily mean a harder recovery.

I mean, yeah it took a bit to walk after the epidural, but really I was too tired to mind the wait. It wasn't like I wanted to walk around anyway, you know?

Oh and I had a second degree tear too. It hardly bothered me other than sometimes sitting indian style was (and still is) uncomfortable.

hapersmion's Avatar hapersmion 05:38 PM 12-12-2007
After birth (a good, easy one, no interventions) and getting a few stitches, I felt like I could jump up and run up a mountain! But after walking around the room a little bit, the tiredness hit me and I got back in bed.

Two days later I got pretty sore, but mostly in my shoulders, so I think it was more from figuring out how to hold the baby than from labor. I stayed really tired for about a week, and just wanted to walk really slowly whenever I had to go anywhere, but other than that, I was just fine.
eastmillcreekmama's Avatar eastmillcreekmama 08:42 PM 12-12-2007
Wow, all you strong and healthy mommas! I'm a little jealous...

Immediately after birth, I definitely wasn't noticing my body hurting, but walking was difficult, and I felt very weak. My midwives led me quickly to the bed and I got to hold my new baby! My attitude was great, and didn't really notice the placenta coming out, and was mostly engrossed in my DD. I was a little nervous about getting stitches for my 5 tears (!), but that wasn't so bad after a little local anaesthetic.

I didn't have enough energy to shower for 2 or 3 days, and felt like I needed help walking for about 4 days. I was hungry but woozy a lot. I crashed from the adreneline majorly on the evening of the second day. I was definitely VERY sore, and couldn't sit up normally for 9 days. Had to wait to go home from our away-from-home homebirth location for that long (it's a 2+ hour drive). By that point, I was walking fine, if slowly, and sitting gingerly. But it slowly got better. I think my DD may have had a slightly different than "traditional" presentation, i.e. she may have been a bit posterior, or something, as I had STRONG back labor. THis may account for my feeling of being run over by a truck or beat up.
Smokering's Avatar Smokering 10:00 PM 12-12-2007
Stitches... another thing I haven't read much info about. If you homebirth, do the midwives stitch you up at home? You don't have to transfer to a hospital? Where, *exactly* do they inject you with the local anaesthetic? (Ulp!). Does it hurt, and if so, how much?
njbeachgirl's Avatar njbeachgirl 11:45 PM 12-12-2007
Mostly I was OK right after. After nursing/holding dd I went to the bathroom and peed A LOT lol. I did get a bit lightheaded at that point, but was fine after a bit of juice. (I had a long labor and didn't eat for the last several hours, which was probably why I was lightheaded!)

The days after that were much harder.... I had a second degree tear which took its sweet time healing.

Re: stitches-- I believe most midwives will suture up to a certain degree. Yup, they inject the local right where the sutures will be. Right after giving birth its really not that bad. I didn't find it painful.

What was painful was when one of my stitches busted a few days later. Yes, you can bust your stitches going poo, no matter what they tell you
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