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Helping after the birth

Helping Doing your bit

SUMMARY

Giving birth is a physically and mentally exhausting time for both you and your partner, and it could take a while after birth to adjust to your new life. It’s really important that you support your partner emotionally in these first few weeks, along with making sure you’re doing everything you can to help with the new arrival.

A helping hand at home

One of the best ways you can help after the birth is to take care of the daily jobs around the house. This might be stocking up the cupboards and freezer, preparing meals or just keeping things in order. It will take a while for your partner to get back into the swing of things, so she’ll really appreciate the helping hand.

The physical effects

After giving birth, your partner’s body will take a while to return to its pre-pregnancy state. Rather than rushing into slimming back down, it’s a good idea for your partner to take it easy – she’ll get plenty of exercise looking after your new baby.

It’s entirely normal for your partner to bleed or feel sore and bruised down below for a few weeks after birth. It’s also not uncommon for women to develop haemorrhoids, but these tend to clear up in a matter of weeks.

As your partner begins to lactate, her breasts can get hot and tender, and she may develop cracked nipples. Your midwife will be able to help your partner with breastfeeding techniques, so encourage her to ask if she’s having any problems. For help out of hours, try our video guides on breastfeeding and breastfeeding positions.

Becoming a parent can be a real emotional rollercoaster.

The emotional journey

New mums experience a real mixture of feelings after birth – anything from euphoria to exhaustion; relief to tearfulness; and contentedness to anxiety. This can be particularly difficult in the first 10 days after birth when your partner is exhausted and coping with hormonal changes. The most you can do is be there for her, help her through any lows and try to treat her now and again to help keep her mood lifted.

Sex after giving birth

Your partner will let you know when she’s ready for sex after giving birth, but for the first few weeks she’s likely to feel quite sore down below. She might also feel exhausted and sleep-deprived while adjusting to the new routine, so the best thing to do is be comforting, affectionate and patient.

Last reviewed: 19th November 2015

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