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My recovery was no so glamorous. I bleed for about 5 weeks and had incredible itching (I found out at my 6 week f/u that my cervix had stitches in it!), and I remember sweating profusely! I will say, I do think the breastfeeding did help with uterine cramping.
My recovery was not nearly what I feared. I did have an episiotomy (I really didn't want one, but during birth my m/w said she was convinced I was going to tear BAD soon so I said go for it). I had my bil install a shower head with a removable handle and that worked wonders. VERY WARM water brings circulation which really helped me.
My recovery was fairly smooth both times, though a bit better with Cori than with Juliana. With her, they had a bit more trouble controlling my bleeding and I got incredibly shaky. Both girls were born vaginally and I needed a couple of stitches each time. Cori was 40 + 6 weeks and Juliana was induced due to complications at 38 + 4 weeks.