In the United States, it's typical to have one appointment with your gynecologist six weeks after delivering a baby. And for many people who give birth, that's the only doctor appointment they'll have to check on their own healing.
But at six weeks, roughly a third of people who gave birth with a vaginal delivery are still feeling pain, said Dee Fenner, M.D., chair of the University of Michigan's obstetrics and gynecology department.
"The idea that after six weeks everything is back to normal and happy is really a myth that we tell women," Fenner said, adding that most likely people will need another month to recover, and that after 8 to 10 weeks, 85 percent to 90 percent of people should feel better.
By six months after delivery, about 10 percent of women may still have symptoms like pain, discomfort and incontinence, and they may need some extra help. "All of the recovery that's going to happen will happen by six months. That's an important landmark," Fenner said. At that point, if people are still having issues, Fenner recommends seeing a specialist in postpartum recovery, which may lead to physical therapy or possibly