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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    Recovery? Do things ever go back to "normal"?

    An acquaintance told me that it took her 6 months to recover after each of her pregnancies. Besides the fatigue, how long did it take you to recover from giving birth? I mean physical symptoms -soreness, tears healing, physical strength returning... Did you suffer from incontinence or hemorrhoids or other side effects and did they eventually go away or did you just learn to live with them?
    Mommy to John Alexander & 3 furbabies; Maggie the dog, Rex & Bella the wannabe lions

    Current favourites: girls -Eliana [Bronwen, Joy, Claire, Irene], Leora [Irene, Bronwen, Bronwyn], Sarah Elise, Anna Charlotte, Adelaide, Phoebe, Kathryn, Elizabeth, Anastasia, Celeste, Astrid, Beatrix, Lucy
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  2. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    4,518
    Quote Originally Posted by lilysong View Post
    An acquaintance told me that it took her 6 months to recover after each of her pregnancies. Besides the fatigue, how long did it take you to recover from giving birth? I mean physical symptoms -soreness, tears healing, physical strength returning... Did you suffer from incontinence or hemorrhoids or other side effects and did they eventually go away or did you just learn to live with them?
    This depends very, very much on the length of your labor (minor importance), the precipitous nature of the actual birth itself (very important), and the competence and skill of your provider in recognizing and repairing tears afterwards. Tears which are appropriately diagnosed and competently repaired-- even 4th degree tears, done in conjunction with a general surgeon under general anesthesia-- will heal within a month in a young, healthy, non-diabetic woman. If a tear is misdiagnosed and not sutured when it should be, or sutured superficially when it should have been repaired in layers, then you will have problems afterwards, including incontinence, pain with intercourse, and even bad problems like fistulae (abnormal connections between things that shouldn't be connected, like your vagina and your rectum). The only way to make sure a good job has been done is for your provider to immediately perform a full speculum exam once the placenta is delivered, with a bright light, to examine the cervix, vagina and perineum.

    Hemorrhoids are far more common during pregnancy than afterwards, because the uterus sits on the veins which bring blood back to the heart from the legs/ pelvis and causes back flow. Hemorrhoids are nothing more than big engorged veins. Once the obstruction (baby!) is removed, they usually reverse themselves.

    6 months is too long to feel normal again. For most women with normal, uncomplicated births-- even with significant tearing, as longer as it was properly repaired-- things are ok within 6wks to 3 months.

    Personally, I had a very long labor (40 hours) and very precipitous birth (requested vacuum delivery due to anatomical problems with my baby's cord and his presentation), but only second degree tearing. I felt perfectly normal by about ten weeks afterwards, but was very tender for the first two weeks.
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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    North Carolina
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    1,109
    6 months does seem a little extreme. I had a c-section after 23 hours of labor, and a very traumatic experience (epidural didn't work, had to be knocked out for my surgery) and it took me approximately 3 weeks to start feeling normal again. It took about 8 weeks for me to feel comfortable exercising though. I only needed the pain meds they gave me the first week after leaving the hospital, after that Advil was enough to manage. I think it also has something to do with age and physical condition too, I was young and in moderately good shape so I bounced back more quickly. A friend of mine who was probably 75+ pounds overweight when she got pregnant had a very difficult time healing and her c-section incision got infected and she was in and out of the hospital after having her baby.

    I never had hemorrhoids or tearing (obviously, c-section) but I do notice now that my bladder isn't as "responsive" as it used to be. I don't have that "gotta go" feeling until my bladder is so full it hurts. Which I'm sure is some nerve damage somewhere. But then again, my experience was way more traumatic than the usual delivery.
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  4. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3,962
    I had to be cut as I began tearing so I had stitches. I waited longer than suggested before having sex after baby.

    I had no hemmoroids or incontinence at all.

    My physical healing was over in a couple of months, but emotionally I think 6 months is about how long it took me to feel totally back to normal & comfortable with my baby, my body, ect.

    So for me, healing took much less time, but 6 months is when things started to feel easier for me. Maybe your friend meant it that way?

    Also, my best friend went to a carnival the DAY after giving birth- walking around & going on rides. Meanwhile my mother terrified me by telling me she would have pain sometimes YEARS after giving birth in the area she was cut & incontinence problems close to 30 years later!! So it can go in any way I suppose!!

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    1,202
    Thanks for all the info this will help me decide if I need to go back to mt ob/gyn & look into this again! Your deliveries sound horrible, and yet the body wonderfully recovers even from such trauma.

    Technically, I'm fine, especially when I'm only doing light housework & baby care. But, when I walk the dog in the snow (which for you sun-berries, is right now similar to walking on sand dunes since it's warmish & melting), I get very, very achy in places I've never ached before, even when pregnant. I was in pretty good health & shape prior to giving birth & labour was not so long (8.5 hrs), though my water broke 30 hrs before labour started (I was being followed by a midwife, which is why that was allowed to happen). I'm also older than most women giving birth to their first child. Women my age are more likely to be having their last child of 3 or 4, not their first.

    Do you know if a doctor can tell after the fact if a tear was properly stitched up?
    Last edited by lilysong; January 11th, 2013 at 12:17 PM.
    Mommy to John Alexander & 3 furbabies; Maggie the dog, Rex & Bella the wannabe lions

    Current favourites: girls -Eliana [Bronwen, Joy, Claire, Irene], Leora [Irene, Bronwen, Bronwyn], Sarah Elise, Anna Charlotte, Adelaide, Phoebe, Kathryn, Elizabeth, Anastasia, Celeste, Astrid, Beatrix, Lucy
    boys: Callum, Arthur [Paul or William], Nathaniel, Samuel, Zachary, Elijah

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