Your body and health after birth

Your body has endured significant changes during pregnancy. It is now time for your body to recover and adjust to your baby’s needs.

Postnatal exercises and pelvic floor

Postnatal exercises will help tone the muscles of your pelvic floor and tummy. They will also get you moving and feeling generally fitter. Ask your midwife or physiotherapist for postnatal classes in the community and/or hospital.

We offer the following exercise classes to all women who have birthed or are planning to give birth at RBWH:

  • Hydrotherapy pregnancy group
  • Mother and baby postnatal classes

How to book

Call the RBWH Physiotherapy Department
Phone: (07) 3646 4319
Location: Level 2 Ned Hanlon Building
Open: Monday-Friday 8am-4pm

Bleeding after birth

After birth, you will bleed from your vagina regardless of whether you have a vaginal birth or caesarean section. It is normal to bleed in the first few days and weeks after birth (also called lochia). This will be quite heavy at first, which is why you’ll need to wear sanitary pads. Do not use tampons until after your 6 week postnatal check as they can cause infections.

While breastfeeding, you may notice that the bleeding is redder and heavier during the afterbirth pains. Gradually the bleeding will become a brownish colour and will reduce over a few weeks.

Abnormal blood loss

If it has been more than 24 hours since birth and you are still soaking more than 1 maxi pad every 2 hours, you may be bleeding too much. Contact 13 Health (13 43 25 84), your GP or midwife if:

  • you experience sudden and/or increased blood loss
  • blood suddenly changes to a brighter red
  • vaginal discharge smells bad – this may indicate an infection.

Excessive blood loss

If you experience heavy blood loss and are feeling dizzy, weak, sweaty, pale, have a fast heartbeat or rapid pulse call Triple Zero (000) or visit your local emergency department.

How you feel – emotional health

Depression and anxiety can occur at any time in your life and can often come to the surface with major events like pregnancy or having a baby. It is important to keep a check on how you are feeling emotionally and discuss any concerns with your health professional.

It is important to let someone know if you (or your partner) are:

  • feeling low a lot of the time, anxious or tense
  • feeling guilty
  • feeling that things are hopeless
  • not enjoying things you normally enjoy
  • crying all the time
  • irritable
  • finding it hard to sleep, concentrate or make decisions
  • wanting to harm yourself.

Problems up to 6 weeks after birth

In the first instance, speak to your GP about any difficulties experienced after the birth of your baby. If you have problems such as mastitis or an infection that may require further assessment, please contact the Women’s Emergency Obstetric Review Centre on (07) 3647 3931.

Contact us

Feedback and general enquiries

Physiotherapy Department
Location: Level 2, Ned Hanlon Building
Phone: (07) 3646 4319
Open: Monday-Friday 8am-4pm

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