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vaginal birth - how long for recovery

(65 Posts)
overagain Thu 04-Oct-18 13:40:08

If you have a vaginal birth how long was recovery.

For the purposes of 'recovery' I mean:

- physical recovery, not mental health or baby related exhaustion etc
- no more pain
- grazes/ cuts healed
- sex back to normal
- normal continence
- could walk comfortably over a common distance (e.g. do a full supermarket shop).
- felt 'normal' (whatever that means to you)

I just want a sense of what is normal. There's loads of threads about c section recovery! I want to know the other side.

OP’s posts: |
Fashionista101 Thu 04-Oct-18 13:44:49

I remember having sex after 6 weeks and it being AMAZING. 😂6 weeks to be fully back to normal I think. I had stitches also, in case you wondered lolz but I still wee when I sneeze and DS is now 4.

Fashionista101 Thu 04-Oct-18 13:45:58

And I did my first walk around the block (eager to test drive the pram) at 5 days. And that didn't go too well, I was bleeding pretty heavilyenvy

Skylucy Thu 04-Oct-18 13:46:57

I'd say I felt absolutely fine within 2 weeks, and up to DTD at about 6 weeks. I had a great birth experience (drug-free) but had to have a bit of help via forceps in the end, so I was left with a 2nd degree tear and episiotomy. To be honest, the recovery was harder than I expected (I relied a lot on frozen peas!!) but it was mercifully short-lived! My second is due in 3 weeks and I'm very happy to have a vaginal birth again. Recovery from c-section sounds much tougher, and I really appreciated being able to drive/lift baby and pram etc. pretty much immediately. Best of luck!

Skylucy Thu 04-Oct-18 13:48:29

Oh, and I went for a (very slow!) walk the next day, and have never had any pelvic floor issues (do your exercises daily throughout pregnancy onwards!)

noeffingidea Thu 04-Oct-18 13:48:40

1st birth - a few weeks, because I had stitches which got infected.
2nd birth - a few days (just a small tear that didn't need stitching)
3rd birth - a couple of hours really. Not that I had sex that quickly, lol. But I was able to get up and do normal things. I had afterpains which I took paracetamol for but other than that I felt fine, better than being pregnant really.
As for sex, you're advised to wait until stitches are healed and bleeding stops, other than just when you feel like it.
I've never had any continence issues due to childbirth. The first poo can be a bit tricky though, especially if you have stitches.

QuilliamCakespeare Thu 04-Oct-18 13:49:25

With my first, probably 3-4 weeks before I felt normal (able to walk, no throbbing when standing for a long time, no more sudden need to go to the toilet). Continence took a lot longer - probably 2-3 months although isn't as good as pre-children. I had a second degree tear and some stitches which probably makes a difference

2nd child - about an hour! I honestly felt fine straight away - no stitches this time though and a very fast labour so much less strain on my pelvic floor.

HelenMummyof2 Thu 04-Oct-18 13:49:26

I had a 4th degree tear and everything was normal after 5 weeks. Pelvic floors are for life tho!!

GummyGoddess Thu 04-Oct-18 13:50:41

Dc1 was painful for a very long time despite no tears. This is because he was back to back and spent such a long time turning into the correct orientation that he pushed my coccyx out of place and it took ages to go back, I could barely walk. The actual birth was fine, I'd do that many times to escape the coccyx pain.

Dc2 I felt normal by the next day, no stitches again as I declined to have them as the tear was very clean. Also pretty good birth.

CountessVonBoobs Thu 04-Oct-18 13:52:55

I felt "normal" in the sense of back on my feet straightaway after #1. Just tiredness and muscle soreness in my shoulders and back. Back to sex at 6 weeks (mostly because I was too knackered beforehand), felt a little sensitive until about 12 weeks maybe then fine.

Had more blood loss with #2 but up and walking around the hospital straightaway, just had to take it easy for a few weeks until my blood count went back up. Sex at 3 weeks, again had to use lube and take it slower until about 12 weeks.

Notwhoyouthink35 Thu 04-Oct-18 13:54:12

With my first about 6 weeks. Actually felt pretty awful for the first 3/4 weeks. Second/third/forth I was completely fine within 2/3 days. Was out shopping with no 3 the next day.

grace7 Thu 04-Oct-18 13:55:09

Didn't tear, had sex after 3/4 weeks and it was fine albeit a little sensitive. Went on a short walk 2 days after ds was born and then was feeling mostly "normal" after about a week/2 weeks. I never had any problems with incontinence luckily.

Gammeldragz Thu 04-Oct-18 13:56:28

I had a small tear (midwife called it a scratch!) after my first, took a few days not to hurt when I peed.
I was up and about and showing baby off the next day, despite a two day labour and failed epidural, left hospital at midnight 6 hours after delivery!
Sex after 3 weeks, felt fine but a bit loose the first time, DH reckons it takes that first time to make things spring back as after that it was fine! Couldn't wait any longer...
I was 20.
Recovered quickly after the next two as well, had to with toddlers to look after! The afterpains were a LOT worse after the third birth though, but not an issue with the first.

Helped that I was very laid back, had planned home births with all of them but only got one with the second. I found breastfeeding easy, probably because I never expected anything different. I just assumed my body was capable of all of it, so went with the flow and didn't stress about anything. I was very fortunate to have no complications.

InDubiousBattle Thu 04-Oct-18 14:00:12

I had two, second degree tears with ds. The swelling was very uncomfortable and it stung to wee for a week or so but on the whole it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be (tearing was a big fear of mine- as it is I imagine most womens). I could walk comfortably from a few days onwards, a trip to the supermarket etc was fine after a week or so and I could walk over a mile easily after a 2/3 weeks. I can still feel where my (labial )stitches were after over 4 years but they healed well and quickly. We attempted sex after 8 weeks and it was too soon, quite painful and quickly abandoned. We tried again after 4 months and it was much better although we took it very slowly. Now the kids are 3 and 4 sex has gone back to how it was pre dc.....only quieter and less frequent!

After dd I had no tears so no stitches. Continence remains a small (but persistent )problem. I really don't like the feeling of a full bladder, in case I sneeze or have to run after one of the kids as I am nervous that I will leak wee. I always go to the loo when the opportunity is there and I don't like being even an hour away from a toilet (such as on as long walk etc). Pretty much all of my friends say the same. Not sure how much of that is related to the births we had because they were all very different.

Verbena87 Thu 04-Oct-18 14:14:02

I had an extended episiotomy and emergency forceps to deliver a back-to-back 10lb9oz baby, so not a standard experience I think!

- no more pain
6 to 8 weeks but would have been quicker if my stitches hadn’t got infected

- grazes/ cuts healed
By 6 weeks everything was closed, but scars have got less visible/itchy/achey since then

- sex back to normal
It still isn’t (13months post partum) but I had nerve damage and massive stretching of PF muscles so I’ve got reduced sensation plus a very wide vagina so less actual contact. It is slowly slowly improving with pelvic floor physio and electrical stimulation of the muscles/nerves, and was pain free from about 7 months

- normal continence
2 weeks, did pelvic floor exercises all through pregnancy and restarted 2 days after birth.

- could walk comfortably over a common distance (e.g. do a full supermarket shop).
Able to walk around, about 3 weeks. Able to go for a walk of a few miles with baby in sling, 6 weeks

- felt 'normal' (whatever that means to you)
Still working on it!

Matilda1981 Thu 04-Oct-18 14:20:12

I had my dd3 two weeks ago, feel fully recovered, no incontinence issues at all, no pain, went for a walk the day after, really not much bleeding after day 2/3. I had a small tear and stitches and never felt any pain. I was back doing the school run the morning after I had her!

Haven’t had sexual yet but that’s because I’m shattered, breastfeeding and don’t feel particularly sexy!!!

shazkiwi Thu 04-Oct-18 14:30:35

I have a new normal now, which I think I reached at around 6 months. Im one of those people who found c-section recovery easier/faster than vaginal birth.

Vaginal birth left me with a bladder prolapse & slight continence issues that no amount of pelvic floors will completely fix. However its completely liveable with & while I may need surgery in the future its way down the line.

My episiotomy also took ages (12 weeks) to heal, but again I think thats unusual. I breast fed & during that time I did not want to have sex at all, so sex life only resumed 12 months post partum.

Jenala Thu 04-Oct-18 14:41:42

I had a fairly difficult birth with my first - he was back to back and came out face first. I had an episotomy and then ended up having a fairly significant tear (3b) anyway. I then had to wait over 9 hours for space in theatre to be stictched. Subsequent births will be c-section to protect the repair of this and minimise the risk of being entirely incontinent.

That being said. I don't know if I had a particularly fantastic doctor stitch me up (they were a senior reg but have since become a consultant) but I felt great almost straight away. Had sex after 5 weeks and it was great. Walking around like normal the next day. Just getting about as normal almost straight away. My subsequent elcs was a much harder recovery.

It's possible for a difficult birth to heal quickly and I'm very grateful this was the case for me.

anitagreen Thu 04-Oct-18 15:25:43

I didn't have any stitches or grAzes so felt fine straight after, I went to the supermarket about 6 days later again felt fine but very light on my feet. Sex took about 5-6 weeks as was still tender feeling . I think I stoped bleeding around 3 weeks. Felt physically good straight after delivery x

elQuintoConyo Thu 04-Oct-18 15:35:13

7 years. Just had my first PIV orgasm - sorry TMI blush

It was the best orgasm of my life grin

I had a aimilar bkrth experience to Verbena upthread. Big baby - huge head! B2B forceps, episiotomy up the wazoo - the lot. An operation 1 year on to fix stuff.

Hideous. DS is an only.

mostdays Thu 04-Oct-18 15:37:50

About 3 weeks with ds1
A week or so with ds2
6 weeks with ds3- well it was 6 weeks before I was up for sex anyway

sabrinathethirtysomethingwitch Thu 04-Oct-18 15:46:56

I felt "normal" down below the next day. Had muscular pain for a few days though.

Verbena87 Thu 04-Oct-18 15:56:56

@elquintoconyo that’s actually great to hear; it’s reassuring to know things do carry on getting better for a much longer period than you might expect.

Was your op a prolapse repair? I’ve got a bladder and uterine prolapse but am avoiding surgery for the foreseeable as I’d like at least one more baby and also love running which I know would probably knacker the repair (I think it’s possibly knackering the prolapse a bit, but I’ve done intensive physio and use a ring pessary and support shorts and at the moment the slight increase in symptoms is worth the massively increased mental and physical health) - but know I might need one in future so interesting to know people’s experience.

FebruaryBear Thu 04-Oct-18 16:05:06

I think it probably varies massively from person to person (as do pregnancy and labour...)

My experience (straightforward labour, minor 2nd degree tear) though -
Physically I never felt too bad, I was up and walking about (just in the MLU) within a few hours. Emotional/tiredness were much bigger factors for me than the physical.
I had stitches/swelling but kept to paracetamol and only really got any stinging/pain when I went to the loo or sat down too quickly.That had gone by 3 weeks, if not earlier (bleeding stopped around 4).
Sex took a while longer, but that was more due to co-sleeping/exhaustion than anything physical.
I never felt in danger of wetting myself - lots of pelvic floors helped. I couldn't stop a wee mid flow for about 6 weeks or so. Totally back to normal now though.
I walked to the midwife and back for my 12 day discharge - 150-15 minutes or so each way. No problems.

FebruaryBear Thu 04-Oct-18 16:05:47

10-15 minutes, not 150!

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