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Overview of body changes after birth and recovery

Your body changes a lot during pregnancy. You will also have some physical changes when you are recovering after childbirth.

Common physical and emotional symptoms you may experience after giving birth:

  • hot flushes and vaginal dryness
  • feeling down and low mood
  • cramps
  • sore perineum (area of skin between the back of your vagina and your anus/back passage)
  • vaginal discharge or bleeding (lochia)
  • bladder and bowel problems like stinging urine (pee), constipation and piles
  • pressure or bulge in vaginal area
  • breast changes
  • hair loss

Many of these symptoms are normal and common but can be uncomfortable. When you have just given birth, it can be difficult to take time to heal. It is important you allow your body time to recover. There are things you can do to ease any discomfort you are feeling.

Related topics

Recovering after a caesarean

When to get medical help after birth

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE.

Page last reviewed: 20/11/2018
Next review due: 20/11/2021