A woman’s body is truly amazing as it can give the ultimate gift ––life! While it’s physically one of the most challenging events of your life, trust that your body knows what to do. So many women find it difficult to love their body after birth, and it makes sense. It undergoes so many changes in such a small amount of time. And also, OUCH! More specifically, your vagina will have seen things. Keep reading to learn more about vaginal changes after birth.
Changes that you may experience after vaginal birth
Childbirth is an extraordinary gift that our bodies deliver. While your body should bounce back with some time, expect some temporary and some permanent changes. Whether you deliver vaginally or not, your vagina is one area of the body that will experience changes. Here are some to expect:
- Stretching: The vagina is a muscular canal that will need to stretch to accommodate the birth of your child. The extent of stretching will depend on factors such as the size of your baby, genetics, and how many babies you’ve delivered. The more times you’ve given birth, the more your vagina will likely stretch. The delivery can impact stretch as well. The longer you push, the more you’ll stretch. If you have a C-section, your vagina can still stretch if you push beforehand.
- Soreness and discomfort: While you may pray that the discomfort will end once you have your precious baby in your arms, your vagina will probably be sore and uncomfortable following delivery. If you have no vaginal tearing during delivery, the pain and discomfort should be mild, but still noticeable. Women that deliver without vaginal tearing report feeling mild discomfort for about 3-5 weeks, although this can vary on a case-by-case basis. Pain may be more severe when you cough or sneeze, and sitting may even startle the pain for a few days.
- Pain and burning sensation as skin heals: Perineum tears during delivery are very common. If you have tears, the doctor should stitch them after birth, but it will take some time to fully recover. Some tears are more severe than others so therefore healing times can vary. For a small tear, the healing process should take about 7-10 days. For a more severe tear healing can take up to 6 weeks. The affected areas may be tender or painful so allow yourself the rest you need to get better. Ask for help when you need it as you may feel that you are unable to rest with the responsibility of a newborn. Your health is just as important as theirs.
- Vaginal discharge: After a vaginal birth or C-section your uterus will need to empty itself, thus resulting in discharge. While it may not be pleasant it is normal so appreciate your body for all that it does and take care of yourself. Try wearing leak proof underwear or postpartum underwear for protection after birth. Part of the Belly Bandit collection are Proof Leak Proof® Maternity and Postpartum Underwear. Our sleek and buttery soft underwear will leave you feeling like yourself.. Available in a variety of styles and absorbency levels, you can care for your baby worry-free starting immediately after delivery.
- Postpartum bleeding: Postpartum vaginal bleeding is perfectly normal after childbirth. It’s known as lochia. The uterus needs to empty excess blood, mucus and tissue your body required during pregnancy. For the first 3-10 days, bleeding will likely be heavy, but it should lighten eventually. Bleeding or spotting can continue for 4-6 weeks after delivery and colors may vary. Typically it will start as a red to pink to brown color and finish as an off-white.
- Appearance: Dealing with the appearance change of your vagina may be challenging, but appreciate the changes. Expect your vagina to look roomier, swollen, or more open after giving birth. Vaginal changes can vary from women to women, but within a few weeks of delivery things should start to return to their new normal.
How will birth affect my vagina?
Birthing a child comes with its share of side effects. Prepare for your vagina to experience some changes after giving birth. Here are a few ways your vagina may be affected after birth.
- Sex with pain: Sexual intercourse may be a bit painful in the following weeks or month after a vaginal delivery. If you abstain from sexual intercourse for some time following childbirth, you may experience pain or discomfort when you partake in sexual activity. Try using a lubricant to reduce the discomfort.
- Urinary incontinence: Incontinence issues are very common after childbirth. The urgency to pee or urinary leakage are almost expected after birth. While there are ways to help with incontinence, the best way to deal with incontinence while going about everyday life is to wear Belly Bandit’s Proof Leak Proof® Underwear.
What does a vagina look like after birth?
After birth the vagina will likely be swollen and appear more open, but within a few days to weeks this should subside. Your vagina may permanently appear wider than it did pre-birth.
Why does vagina stretch after birth?
Naturally, the vagina will stretch as it knows the baby is coming. After birth, it does not just bounce right back, but with some time it will shrink back down and return to its new normal.
How to take care of your vagina after giving birth
Your body will need some extra love after birth to ensure a healthy and fast recovery. To help your vagina recover after birth, although it will do most of the work itself, consider the following tips.
- Kegel exercises
- Ice swelling
- Use lube
- Sit on a pillow
- Over-the-counter pain reliever
- Warm bath
- Medically prescribed numbing cream
Does your vagina go back to normal after birth?
While it may get close to normal, your vagina will probably be a little wider permanently after childbirth, especially if you have a large baby. It can also feel looser. The more times you give birth, the more your vagina will stretch and loosen.
Shop Belly Bandit
Leak proof undies and belly wraps can keep you comfortable and confident while aiding your body in recovery after childbirth. Belly Bandit delivers all the mama approved essentials that you need. Our patented Luxe Belly Bandit® Belly Wrap was 10 years in the making, and well worth the wait. It provides the ultimate postpartum compression and support with five levels of targeted compression for the perfect cinch. While a belly wrap may not help your vagina recover, the more comfortable and healthier your entire body is, the faster your vagina can recover. While there’s no magic cure for getting your vagina back to normal, leak proof underwear can keep you protected and comfortable in the weeks following childbirth. You’ll likely love them so much that you’ll continue to wear them for period protection. Shop Belly Bandit for the best postpartum support products including belly wraps and Leak Proof® undies.