How Long Does It Take Your Body to Recover After Delivery?

The time it takes your body to recover after delivery depends on different aspects. Your uterus grows during pregnancy, and your body goes through other changes that will also need to return to normal.
How Long Does It Take Your Body to Recover After Delivery?

Last update: 22 January, 2019

There is no exact answer for this question. To recover after delivery, some doctors say it takes 6 weeks. Some even say it takes two years, while others say after a year, the body exhausts its ability to recover.

There are many changes and processes that need to readjust after delivery. In addition, everything also depends on the mother’s emotional state.

Puerperium is the set of phases that women experience physically and psychologically after childbirth.

The state of general health prior to pregnancy and during the 9 months will determine your quality of life during puerperium. This includes recovery from tears, cesarean scars and body changes in general.

Bodily changes during pregnancy

To know how long it takes your body to recover after delivery, it’s important to know the changes women go through in their 9 months of pregnancy.

Internal organs make room for the uterus, which grows more every month. In addition, hormones increase by thousands to activate the various processes of pregnancy. This then causes the mood swings and drowsiness that pregnant women experience.

Additionally, the new internal arrangement  influences digestion, urination, and the bowel process in general. Your lung capacity reduces, which means your heart rate accelerates more easily. Finally, abdominal growth hinders movement, sleep and daily life in general.

How Long Does It Take Your Body to Recover After Delivery?

The first months after delivery

To differentiate the body’s recovery stages, we’ll talk about puerperium and its phases. These phases are different for every woman and every process. Therefore, all women experience different changes, starting and ending at different times.

45 days for wounds, inflammation and lochia to disappear

The first phase begins immediately after delivery and lasts approximately 45 days. That’s when wounds, inflammation and lochia are under control and start to heal.

This period is true mental and physical chaos. However, careful recovery will help your body gain energy much faster in the following stages of puerperium.

Uterus contractions: months 1 through 3

Uterus contractions can happen for 1 to 3 months, as well as internal organs rearranging. This includes the pelvic floor, where the vagina, anus and urethra are. In the case of cesarean sections, the wound takes about 1 year to recover.

During these months, breastfeeding causes its own changes and requires other types of care. Staying hydrated is essential for successful breastfeeding. In addition, following an iron-rich diet compensates for all the postpartum bleeding, as well as helps heal the possible wounds.

In addition, to know how long it takes the body to recover after delivery, it’s important to know how the first phase of puerperium went.

If the cervix returned to its normal size, as well as if the vaginal secretions are normal, then the first stage is considered resolved and you shouldn’t experience more physical discomfort.

How Long Does It Take Your Body to Recover After Delivery?

How long does it take the body to go back to normal?

Many women become anxious when they notice their flaccid abdomen, stretch marks or swelling, even after delivery. On the other hand, injuries from c-sections that didn’t heal well can lead to complications. For example, they could cause hernias or poor digestion.

Returning to normal weight usually takes a year

In terms of losing weight after delivery, it takes many women a year to eliminate excess fat. Women who had their baby via c-section should wait at least a year before performing abdominal exercises.

If the delivery was vaginal, don’t do too vigorous exercise, unless you were previously a trained athlete.

Mood’s influence to recover after delivery

Finally, in addition to how long it takes the body to recover after delivery, we must point out emotional and social factors. In the first phase, the physical and anatomical aspects stand out.

On the other hand, the other stages are more psychological. For some women, this recovery can take more than a year.

As you can see, there are different circumstances that influence recovery time. One of the most important is the specific characteristics of each woman’s body.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Margarita de Miguel Simó. Guía para recuperación tras el parto
  • Providence ORG. Guía de postparto.
  • Gil, C. N., & Mariñelarena, C. G. (2016). Autoestima y autoimagen de las mujeres en el postparto. Medicina naturista, 10(1), 30-35.
  • García C. Entrevista | “Pasado un año tras el parto, el cuerpo ya ha agotado su capacidad de recuperación” [Internet]. EL PAÍS. 2018.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.