The postpartum things that no one tells you!

indexEveryone talks about the beautiful experience and how you forget the pain and all is wonderful again. But does anyone talk about the strange post-baby things that happen? Not really. Yes, you do forget about the pain, but not instantly. It was a nightmare to me for the first few weeks after since I pushed for 2 hours and left with 15 stitches.. Ouch! However, if you tell me now 18 months later to retell my labor and delivery I can’t even begin to remember half of it. I think it is true that your brain blocks out painful memories from your brain especially when it comes to childbirth. Otherwise, who would do it again??

  1. Hair LossYou will lose what seems like a lot of hair postpartum. Usually around 3 months postpartum. When you are pregnant you lose less hair which is why you have such thick gorgeous hair during pregnancy. Well, that all has to go back to normal so it seems like you are going bald, but realistically you are just going back to your pre-pregnancy state.
  2. HemorroidsDid you make it through pregnancy without getting any hemorroids?? Congrats! However, I didn’t get a single one during pregnancy, but from pushing during delivery I developed a few and it sucks. Soak in a bath and use the medicated wipes like Tucks. Best advice I can offer.. Have them on hand. My midwife actually had me place them in my pads postpartum to help heal my stitches as well. They work wonders.
  3. IncontinencePushing during childbirth will completely destroy your pelvic floor muscles which is why everyone stresses doing Kegels while you are pregnant and afterward. I remember standing up out of bed in the hospital room to use the restroom and just peeing everywhere. (Luckily, I was wearing one of those monster pads, but still…) I regained most control before leaving the hospital but it took weeks before I felt like I didn’t have to RUN to the bathroom at the slightest urge.
  4. Using the bathroom postpartumThis brings me to my next point. Simply peeing after birth can be traumatic. They give you something called a peri-bottle. USE IT! You are supposed to fill it with warm water and squirt it in that region while you pee or poo.. Seems strange right? You will want to die if you pee without doing this especially with stitches. Also, don’t be afraid to have a nurse help you. I am ashamed to admit that I had a nurse squirting me while I peed for the first few hours postpartum. I did not have the energy or strength to even pee on my own. (Trust me.. you won’t care after a room full of people saw your crotch)
  5. Engorgement This is going to happen whether you decide to breastfeed or not. Your body doesn’t know what decision you are making. It hurts and it is absolutely insane. You will look like you just got TRIPLE F implants and they will be as hard as a rock. If you are breastfeeding, with time your breasts will regulate with your baby’s feeding schedule. If not, try to put raw cabbage leaves in your bra. This really does help dry up your milk and the cold leaves feel good. You can also try ice packs. I also want to mention that when you are breastfeeding, your boobs leak A LOT. I mean I knew I needed breast pads, but seriously?? I went through a box in a few days! They leak a lot!
  6. Sweating While your hormones are regulating themselves you may notice that you wake up in a sweat or find yourself sweating profusely throughout the day. This is normal and a GOOD thing. This is helping you shed some of that excess water weight.
  7. Bleeding OH yes.. Another beautiful postpartum fact. You will bleed A LOT. Directly after giving birth you will feel like you are gushing blood. Beautiful imagery right? Sorry, but its the truth. The bleeding is known as lochia and it consists of blood and excess cells from your uterus. You will need to wear these postpartum pads that are twice the size of an adult diaper and for the first 12 hours you may bleed through these every few hours. Its ok. It happens and it will slow down soon. You will also bleed for a few weeks rather than the typical 5-10 days for a normal menstrual cycle.
  8. Crying You might cry for the first 2 weeks over simple things. This is normal, however, be advised that extreme thoughts or depression can be the sign of postpartum depression. This is a very serious condition. If you are feeling sad, please contact your doctor immediately. My midwife told my husband and I that for the first two weeks it is normal to feel emotional due to hormones regulating, if it is severe or lasts longer than 2 weeks than I needed to contact her. Luckily, it went away for me after a few days. I remember crying (happy tears) when I would look at my daughter because I just loved her so much. I also remember crying when my husband had to go back to work, because I was hungry or because I watched a cute Hallmark commercial. lol
  9. Your vaginaOh yes… Your vagina. It looks different and it ain’t pretty, but this is temporary! If you had stitches like me.. You might be tempted to get out that hand mirror and check out the damage.. DO NOT DO IT! I beg you… You will be scarred for life.. If you must look, wait until your 6 week appointment. You will be surprised how much things go back to normal.
  10. House Guests/VisitorsDo not be afraid to tell people you want a week before receiving any visitors. We let close family visit in the hospital, but then we told everyone including our parents that we didn’t want visitors for a few days. I know it seems harsh and some of you may think I am evil, but when you are adjusting to newborn life, breastfeeding, bleeding everywhere & hormones then you will understand. We wanted a few days to bond with our daughter as well without everyone hogging her! Everyone who comes over obviously wants to hold the baby. I just wanted a few days to bond very closely as a family. I thought it was a really important and you will be happy that you don’t have to give up your new baby to all the baby hungry aunts! 🙂
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