Looking after Yourself

The first six weeks after having your baby can be tough. How long it takes to feel like yourself again can be different for everyone.

Here are some things to know:


Some bleeding after birth is normal. It’s called “lochia” and is some blood from your womb. This happens whether you have a vaginal birth or a caesarean-section. At first, it can be heavy and you might need to change your sanitary pads often. After a week, it gets lighter and turns pink or light brown. By the end of four weeks, it should stop. If you see big clots, or if it smells bad, you should talk to your midwife or doctor right away.

You may notice the bleeding is redder and heavier when you breastfeed. This happens because breastfeeding makes your uterus contract. You may also feel cramps similar to period pains.

Use special maternity pads for the first 6 weeks. Don’t use tampons for at least 6 weeks after birth because they can make it easier to get an infection.

After Pains:

After having your baby, you might also feel period like pains.  This happens because your womb is getting back to its normal size. These pains might feel stronger when you breastfeed your baby. If they hurt a lot, you can take some paracetamol. Make sure to read the instructions, or ask a pharmacist if you have questions.


Your breasts will also change. In the middle of your pregnancy, they start making a special milk called “colostrum”. This milk helps keep your baby safe from getting sick. About three days after your baby is born, your breasts will make regular milk. When this happens, your breasts might feel heavy and sore. If they feel too full, it means you have too much milk. You can help this by feeding your baby often. If it’s too hard for your baby to feed because your breasts are so full, you can squeeze out a little milk by hand. If you’re worried about your breasts being too full, you can ask your midwife, health visitor, or someone who helps with breastfeeding.

Remember, taking care of yourself by eating well, drinking enough, and getting some exercise can help you feel better birth.