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slugging away Back BabyMed Newsletter I am Pregnant Other Once the baby has moved through the birth canal and out of the vagina, the labor process is almost over. However, a few more contractions are needed to detach the uterus and push out the placenta. Afterwards, the woman’s uterus will change size, shape and feeling. This change is very important in order to stop bleeding after the baby is born. The uterus is full of tiny, and not so tiny, blood vessels that kept the placenta nourished throughout the pregnancy. These blood vessels must be closed off after the baby is born in order to stop bleeding. While the woman will have bleeding for up to six weeks after the baby is born, the bleeding should only resemble that of a normal period. The uterus will clamp down and tighten up after the last pieces of the placenta are passed out through the birth canal. Nurses will check the firmness of the uterus several times before discharging the woman from the hospital. The firmness of the uterus denotes a restriction that causes blood vessels to stop flowing blood. If the firmness is not tight enough, oxytocin will be administered through an IV to stimulate the uterus to contract harder. During this time, cramping can occur and the woman may feel some pain. Pain is more common in women who have given birth via C-section. After the uterus has clamped down, it will gradually shrink in size back to normal. The normal size of the uterus is about 3 inches long and 2 inches wide. Other changes that occur after the baby is born include a quick reduction in fluid retention. The woman may feel as though she needs to go to the bathroom more often as fluid retained during pregnancy is pushed out of the body. The first urination after giving birth can be a bit scary or painful. Episiotomies may cause some additional pain. After giving birth, hormone levels will also gradually return to normal. Women may see a clearing of the skin, evening of skin tone, and reduction in swelling soon after the baby is born. Weight loss is also common, but there should not be caloric restriction or exercise for at least six weeks after giving birth. Keyword Tags: Postpartum pain uterus hormones episiotomy cesarean section (c-section) losing weight oxytocin Log in or register to post comments Explore By Category Getting Pregnant Pregnancy Infertility Women’s Topics All Tools Share: Popular on Babymed HOW TO GET PREGNANT FASTER EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS ONLINE BIRTHING/PRENATAL CARE CLASSES WHAT ARE MY PREGNANCY CHANCES TEST PREGNANCY WEEK-BY-WEEK CERVICAL MUCUS FERTILITY 101 – TAKE THE COURSE PATERNITY TESTING-BEFORE BIRTH CALCULATE: WHEN TO TAKE A PREGNANCY TEST PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS TEST AM I PREGNANT? ONLINE PREGNANCY TEST IMPLANTATION BLEEDING TEST THE BOY OR GIRL TEST FERTILITY CALCULATOR DUE DATE CALCULATOR HOW FAR ALONG AM I? PREGNANCY CALENDAR Get BabyMed Newsletters Sign up final result

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