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How soon after birth do you feel 'normal' again???(29 Posts)
Or is this a crazy question?
I'm 38 weeks with my first and getting fed up with:
Not sleeping at night as can't get comfy
Not being able to walk properly for any length of time without getting back ache
Generally feeling feeble, tired and achey
Feeling SO heavy
I appreciate that there are other pains/issues to deal with as a new mum, but nobody seems to mention feeling good to have their body back again/feel lighter/be able to sleep on their back etc etc
I suppose I'm looking for some encouragement and reason to believe there's light at the end of the tunnel!!!
Thanks in advance
To be honest, if this is your first baby, enjoy every moment you have now and use every minute for rest and relaxation. I didnt and kept on working until 4 days before i ended up having an emcs and then had no rest and havent since (baby is now 8 months old).
After a tough time I now absolutely adore her but sometimes wish for a little bit of time for me/ one lie in which has not happened since last September. I know i sound very selfish but i found having a baby a massive shock to the system.
After 8 months though i now feel almost back to normal. I feel happy, mental capacities are back, slowly getting figure back and dont feel low (PND) anymore. So yes there is light at the end of the tunnel. Sorry for waffling but just enjoy now (even though you are uncomfortable) x
How long is a piece of string? You'll get dozens of different answers. I didn't feel physically 'normal' again for nearly a year, and it was probably 2 years before I felt 'myself' again.
From the second your baby is out of you a considerable weight is removed from your body. The combined weight of baby, amniotic fluid and placenta can be about a stone, so you will be lighter straight away. I swelled up in pregnancy, and in the days after birth each time I got rid of all the excess fluid - OH swore he could see my knees and ankles returning before his eyes, and my feet no longer hurt. I wasn't able to sleep in any comfy position at all at the end of my pregnancies - the night after each baby was born I was able to sleep comfortably on my back without the weight of my bump pressing down on me. First baby was a CS, but after second baby I was able to roll over in bed without bother that night, I had been unable to move in bed before birth without significant grunting and huffing and puffing!
I looked forward to labour so much each time, as I felt nothing labour could throw at me could be as bad as the last weeks of pregnancy. I still felt feeble after my EMCS, but was up and about again quickly (took my horse out competing at County level 5 weeks after CS, was out hunting on him at 13 weeks post CS.) After baby 2, who I had a VBAC and third degree tear with I was back riding after 5 weeks. I felt 'heavy' for the first week or so, and spent that week in bed with my new baby (a luxury!) but was up and about after that. 8 months later, I am happily living life to the full, and just need to shift a few more pounds to be back to before. The posts above do seem to be a bit 'doom and gloom.' I would say you won't feel normal for a while, but you will feel better straight away!
All the things you've mentioned get better straight away, there is new stuff to moan about but I slept on my stomach on the hospital bed the night I had dd and it was wonderful
I didn't mean to sound doom and gloom. I just think it is impossible to say, as it is so different for every woman (and every birth).
I had a c-section with my first child and did not recover fully (physically) for 6 months. My baby was also a poor sleeper for a long time, and sleep deprivation caused havoc with my life for several years. It was only when he started sleeping through the night that I felt anything like 'my old self'
My second birth and baby - different kettle of fish, and I felt fine on all fronts within about 3- 4 months.
I agree with hellymelly.
I've never gone back to being my (old) usual self. Somewhere along the line I am hoping to become my (new) usual self.
Oh and with my first baby I had lie ins every day as she slept til 11:30 am daily until she started nursery age 3 I still look forward to school holidays because I know she'll sleep late and il get lie ins again
Straight away I felt wonderful not to be pregnant anymore. Not guzzling endless bottles of Gaviscon, sleeping and reading on my back again, able to get out of the bath again with ease. In the first few weeks people would ask how I was and I'd smile and say "So good not to be pregnant anymore". The last few weeks of pregnancy are so difficult.
I did have back ache after the labour and crying for no reason first few days, but I had a real sense of "my body back". Hope you do too, good luck!
One thing I had developed whilst pregnant which remained afterwards was a Mumsnet addiction!
I think six months is a reasonable time frame to expect to feel normal-ish. Manic-Annie is right about the sleep...disturbed sleep can really mess with you, especially if you don't make a special effort to take care of yourself during the post-partum period. Sleep when the baby sleeps, good nutrition etc. and as much support as you can lay your hands on!
My MW told me it took a year and she was right.
Personally, the six months to a year thing didn't hold with me - and that was after an elcs and then a severe chest infection (unrelated but very unfortunate timing after major surgery!).
I would say I felt normal by six weeks PP and I suspect it would have been sooner if I hadn't had the cs and/or the chest infection. I felt amazing for most of DS's first year - I blame the endorphins while breastfeeding.
Agree with everyone who said the last weeks of pregnancy are the worst bit, not afterwards...never been so uncomfortable in my life. And full of hormones, just crying all the time. Horrible.
All my pregnancy niggles (swollen feet, restless legs, aching hips, needing to wee all the time) literally disappeared overnight.
I was lucky enough to have an easy, natural birth. For about ten days, my stitches were sensitive so I had to walk pretty slowly and carefully. But after a couple of weeks my body was feeling fit, strong and (bizarrely, considering how much I ate in pregnancy) a kilo lighter than before I got pregnant.
Six weeks after the birth, my only physical difference is stretch marks.
But do I feel normal? Too hard to answer
You have reminded me of my first night's sleep after DS was born ... I was so happy to be able to sleep on my front again! Little things like that made me feel better, like fitting back into normal clothes, getting a decent few hours of sleep, or a couple of hours shopping on my own.
I find being a mummy to a baby much easier than being pregnant.
Obviously he physical experience of birth needs to be got over, but that has always been a case of a few days for me; or a few weeks after my most traumatic birth.
But I've never found the tiredness of having a newborn as bad as pregnancy exhaustion; at least when you can sleep, your body is your own! I enjoy breastfeeding and haven't had any major problems so that has helped. I'm also naturally quite lazy and don't have a problem having low expectation for myself when the baby is small! So I sleep when baby does, ignore house work, etc ....
Look forward to meeting your baby, look forward to not being pregnant any more, and take it from this mother of 5 (including bump) that for some women pregnancy is the worst bit and it all improves dramatically afterwards!
'I'm also naturally quite lazy and don't have a problem having low expectation for myself when the baby is small! So I sleep when baby does, ignore house work, etc ....'
I love this! By far the best approach. Also there was a night soon after the birth when I woke up soaking wet and and found I had sweated out all the excess fluid in my sleep. Not sure how much weight I lost, but my ankles were back again. So that's another thing to look forward to.
Thanks everyone. Really interesting to read all the varied comments.
I suppose by 'normal' I mean having your body free of pregnancy aches, pains and niggles, so I'm going with all the more 'positive' versions! I'll be looking forward to sleeping on my back, watching hands and feet dramatically deflate before my eyes and getting up out of bed without feeling like a creaking 90-year-old!
Of course I shall also expect to have pain from stitches/labour and feel really tired, but I will endeavour to follow Checkmates advice and sleep when baby sleeps, ignore housework etc! Oh, and fingers crossed I don't end up with a CS.
Brices Bath? What bath? I'm too terrified to get in - I know I'd never get myself out again!
Also interesting that you lose about 1 stone just with baby, placenta etc. Now I've put on just over 1.5 stone, so that's really encouraging.
Ok, so now I'm ready! Bring on labour and birth please!
I am still waiting. my body s not the same 3 years after the birth of my 2nd...my brain is not the same and nor are my looks. My feet are a size bigger which is common.....and my concerns are so different that none of the above matters.
A lot of things get physically better really quickly. Though be aware that the residual relaxin in your body (especially if bf it seems) can make your joints sore and more prone to injury for quite some time after delivery.
But to truly settle down hormonally it does take around a year. I just felt not right for the first 12 months. Foggy I suppose. Physically I was fine but my hormones took a while to settle as the midwife had advised they would.
I finally felt 'normal' when I didn't want to sleep at every available opportunity and in preference to every other activity. Probably when youngest was about 2. Everything else got back to normal pretty soon. So don't let people persuade to be out and about, socialising, entertaining etc when you would rather be catching up on some kip.
My pregnancy discomfort has been replaced by painful stitches and nipples that feel like they're being torn off, but I only gave birth on Monday. The first few nights, before the numbing for my stitches had worn off and before my milk came in, were amazing. Plus, tiny baby to stare at for hours in wonder 😍
Just waiting for the magic 2 week point where apparently my nipples will toughen up and stitches will feel better.
I didn't feel anywhere near normal until I returned to work at 13months. DS is 2 years now I'm just getting there. I still don't recognize the person in the mirror though.
BPrincess...Can totally relate to your post...36+4 and counting down the days! Not relishing the prospect of labour but want to be able to breath properly again, sleep on my front/back, go for walks (I have put on far more weight than you), wear my ordinary clothes, eat food so that it tastes normal etc. even the simplest task feels like a colossal effort at the moment. This is my fourth and last pregnancy and as I said not relishing labour but almost want to get it over and done with because I'm feeling so miserable and frustrated. I think some people are confusing your question of getting over pregnancy symptoms with adjusting to becoming a mother...that is worthy of a different thread altogether, I think.
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