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Recovery After Vaginal Birth: How to Help Yourself Heal

By Marisa Iallonardo
Reviewed by Elizabeth Eden, M.D.
May 12, 2022

As your due date approaches and you prepare for delivery, it’s a good idea to give some thought to the days after the birth—specifically, how you’ll manage your own care. Your body will have undergone a major event, and the effects can be more intense than you might realize.

“I think across the board, it is a major life transition—a physical, mental, emotional transition—for everyone, regardless of whether [labor] is two hours or 72 hours,” says Estela DiFranco Field, a certified nurse-midwife and associate medical director for the Duke University Hospital Birthing Center, in Durham, North Carolina.

However, every birth—and therefore every recovery—will look a little different. “There’s a really wide variety of ways that things can go. And that’s going to inform how the recovery goes,” DiFranco Field says.

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