Regression Processes After Birth

Having eight or ten children is a strong achievement. For a woman, this is basically no problem: she can get pregnant many times and give birth to a baby, because in a very short time her body recovers. How does this happen?

While mother and baby are still making their first contacts in the delivery room, the regression processes begin in the woman’s body: Immediately following the afterbirth, she feels a strong contraction of the uterus that lasts four to five days. Inside the uterus, the placenta has left a wound area. The contraction of the uterus causes it to shrink and not bleed too much. In addition, regular afterpains help the uterus to regress: shortly after birth, it still weighs about one kilogram and can be felt just below the belly button. Day after day, the uterus recedes a finger’s width – until after about two weeks it disappears again in the woman’s pelvis behind the pubic bone. However, the entire regression of the uterus is only completed after six to eight weeks; it then weighs only about 60 grams.

This Helps With Afterpains

Calm abdominal breathing relaxes, as does warmth in the sacrum. Chamomile or goose finger herb tea also do good. You can also prepare an infusion from these herbs, which can be used as a warm poultice to relax the abdomen. Empty your bladder more often; this relieves the uterus. Allowed are light homeopathic remedies or paracetamol in small doses.

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The young mother feels the afterpains especially when breastfeeding. As soon as the baby sucks on the breast, her pituitary gland is signaled to release the labor hormone oxytocin. This causes the uterus to contract like a spasm – the so-called nursing contractions. First-time mothers usually experience these contractions only as a slight menstrual tug, whereas they can be more painful in multiparous women. Because of the earlier pre-expansion, it takes more force for them to return the uterus to its original shape.

In the first two days, postpartum contractions may cause heavier, gushing bleeding. Some women are frightened when they lose up to half a liter of blood. But this is normal. After all, a large wound in the uterus has to close. During the healing process, a secretion is secreted there that is initially bloody and later whitish to colorless: the postpartum flow. It dries up after four to six weeks. Hygiene is important now to prevent infection of the uterus. Short sitz baths with additives such as calendula or arnica promote healing.

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This Helps With Breast Tenderness

Put your baby to bed as often as possible. Before breastfeeding, warm compresses ensure a good flow of milk, as well as a gentle breast massage according to the “Marmet method”: gently massage in a spiral from the outside to the inside, then smooth out and gently shake out the breast. After breastfeeding, cool with thin, refrigerator-cool compresses or moist-cool quark wraps for about 20 minutes, avoiding the nipples.
Old hormones, new hormonesMost pregnancy hormones were formed in the placenta.
Through them, it had been preparing for pregnancy and birth for over nine months. Progesterone, for example, loosened the pelvis so that the child could pass through more easily. Now these signals disappear; within a week, the body breaks down the pregnancy hormones. The tissues become firmer again, the muscle tension in the abdomen increases and the woman has more control over the bladder and bowels again. The level of estrogen in the blood also drops, allowing the normal menstrual cycle to resume. If the child feeds at the breast, however, lactational amnorrhea occurs during the period of breastfeeding: the milk-forming hormone prolactin in the blood of a breastfeeding woman prevents ovulation and menstruation is absent for the time being. Breastfeeding is therefore not an effective protection against conception! If milk production is suppressed with medication, the first menstruation occurs after four to six weeks. After six months, about 90 percent of mothers have a normal cycle again. The prolactin in the body of the new mother fills the breasts with more milk between the second and fifth day – the “milk injection”. As a result, they become more perfused, store additional lymph fluid and feel firm and warm. After one to two days, the tension fades again.

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Rest For Body And Soul

It is true that the baby is now the focus of attention for the whole family. However, the new mother should not overestimate the effort behind her and her energy reserves. She should rest and relax a lot and adjust her rest times to the baby’s rhythm. The proverbial postpartum period has an important function here: the young mother should lie down for five days to a week and quietly have food brought in. She may get up from time to time to keep her circulation stable. However, it is better to leave tasks such as cooking, shopping and cleaning to others for the first few days. Rest and relaxation are also better for wound healing than exercise. Especially when sitting – preferably on a soft cushion – and getting up, the woman should not put any strain on the birth wounds. With proper hygiene, they will then heal quite quickly. They are usually closed after one week, and almost completely healed after three to four weeks. By the way: On the third or fourth day, most women experience the “crying days”. Due to the hormonal fluctuations, they experience a mental roller coaster ride between euphoria and dejection – the so-called baby blues. In contrast to a real postpartum depression, however, this mood passes quickly.

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Step By Step Fit Again

With gentle gymnastics, women can support their bodies during the postpartum process and experience it consciously and positively. The exercises also harmonize metabolic and hormonal balance. She can try out the first simple movements that she learns in the clinic or from the midwife during the first few days and slowly increase them. However, she should only start using her abdominal muscles after six to eight weeks. And before she lifts heavy things, her pelvic floor must also be firm again. It has been severely stretched by pregnancy and childbirth and deserves special strengthening exercises to prevent subsidence problems.


By the way: Every woman has a legal right to be personally visited and cared for by a midwife from the beginning of pregnancy until eight weeks after birth. The midwife answers questions about postpartum and possible problems with the baby. The costs are covered by the health insurance funds. You can find a midwife near you at

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