Updated: Sep 29, 2020
So you've just birthed your baby, thinking to yourself that the hard part is finally over....
Think again, nobody prepared you for the postpartum!
No matter how many parenting books you read or classes you take, there is always something that's missed out. So i'm going to give you a little insight to just what might be in store for you. By now you've obviously realised that not every pregnancy is the same and that also goes for birth. Not every birth is the same nor is the postpartum. So wether you've had a c-section, natural birth or any other form of birth you will still go through the postpartum stage. So without further ado here's the s**t they don't tell you.
Leaking Boobs : This is one of those things that most people will know about but for the woman that don't you're going to want to head to your local pharmacy/shop/drugstore and get yourself some breast pads. I bought myself some reusable ones because you know save the environment and all. I was some what 'prepared' for this so I thought...Let me take you back to the night my milk came in. I'd gone to bed around 12am I'd just popped evie down for the night and gone to sleep myself. Now obviously at this point my milk hadn't fully arrived. So the morning of my milk arriving I woke up to a puddle EVERYWHERE! It was all over me all over the bed, all over my nighty. my initial thought was that id wet myself and what with the hormones I burst into tears. it wasn't until Kevin woke up and told me that it was coming from my boobs that I'd realised. Yeah that was fun. So moral of the story get yourself some of those bad boys because you definitely don't want to be going out without one of those in.
First poop: So let me tell you this is definitely not an easy ride! To go to the toilet first time post delivery is a whole new task in itself. Regardless of wether you gave birth vaginally or through a c-sec, there is no easy way to poop post delivery! You are in for a right treat! Let me just say you're definitely going to want to purchase some kind of stool softener. Because if you don't take something you're probably going to be feeling like your birthing a baby again although this time its a gigantic SH*T. This is one of the things that I was definitely not told about. Every time id need to go I had to mentally and physically psych myself up to go, not to mention the fact that I'd just had a c-section too so not only did I have that I also had the tremendous gas pain too. Spray bottles are your new friend, when you need to go spray down there it eliminates a little of the stinging pain.
Haemorrhoids: So not only is your vagina and stomach changing, so's your asshole! Prepare to fashion these new beauties because they're now your new cling on. So for some they go away but if your really lucky you get to keep hold of them. As if you didn't need another reminder of your birth already..
Breastfeeding: It's Hard!! So it doesn't have to be really hard obviously its meant to be easier but its definitely hard on you. Obviously the first two weeks is definitely the hardest physically and mentally. your emotions are all over the place and its SORE!! Make sure you get the latch looked at if you don't think its right. Don't be concerned about people looking at your breasts. To them they've seen hundreds you are just another mum needing a little assistance. If you don't you'll end up with cracked and bleeding nipples. Trust me its a killer. When your finished breastfeeding, don't expect your boobs to just spring back to life. They DON'T! They turn into little deflated balloons..glamourous am I right? all jokes aside I loved every minute of breastfeeding and the bond I have with my daughter is just something I will cherish forever.
Night Sweats: This was one of those things that I really wasn't aware of. Nobody tells you that where your hormones are constantly shifting left, right and centre that it can cause you to suffer with night sweats where you literally sweat the bed. When I mean night sweats I mean like change sheets, shower twice and still stink night sweats. Every morning I'd wake up with wet sheets and STANK then you'd be freezing and it will just continue again in a circle every night. Really hated this stage.
Bleeding: Regardless wether you've had a c-section or a natural birth or any form of birth you will still have bleeding. This varies between person you can bleed for up to 6-8 weeks or more or even less. I bled for 2 days and that was it but my first period came back at 3 weeks with a vengeance. I definitely recommend that you stock on the Super maxi pads or even the underwear garments you can buy. Mesh underwear will be your new bestie! So bleeding starts as bright red and will then slowly darken and turn white. This is all a normal process, so don't panic!
Breastfeeding Contractions: So if like me you had a 'planned' c-section and never went into actual labour you will not no what a contraction feels like. I'm telling you these are the worst and I never knew these even existed until I had them myself. These contractions happen because your uterus is shrinking back to its normal size, oxytocin is released when breastfeeding which enables the uterus to shrink faster.
Constant need for food: So if you breastfeed you may have noticed that your hungry a lot more. I mean starving hungry! Thats because when you breast-feed your burning calories without even moving! Brilliant I know!! But this also means that there is a constant hunger! on average your burning about 500 extra calories breastfeeding its brilliant but also starving so just think of it as your baby is sucking the food out of you so to keep up you need to keep up with your meals so that the supply is constantly full. I used to keep little snack breakfast bars in my bedside table just for the midnight feeds, because otherwise I'd be hitting Kevin telling him to get up and make food haha.
Emotions: oh I definitely don't miss this rollercoaster! This is something that just really isn't talked about enough! This is completely normal one minute you'll be laughing in hysterics then all of a sudden a puppy advert will come on the tv and you'll be in tears. Welcome to the emotional rollercoaster. Now for some this is normal but ladies don't be scared to speak to your doctor if you're feeling down, anxious or angry. Just because you wanted your baby does not mean you're not going to develop post part depression it happens to more people than you no. You are not alone!! It's so understandably normal, our bodies have been through soo much and were sleep deprived, juggling a new routine and having to look after another human. It's all crazy and we all need help at some point! If you are struggling feel free to message me on instagram and I will talk to you personally.
Hair Loss: This is one that I knew nothing about, it wasn't in any pregnancy books at all! When your friends say to you, that you'll lose some hair. They weren't exaggerating! Lets just say for the time being your going to look like a balding middle aged man. so it starts around 3 months in and can last up to 6 months - 9 months. And just when you thought your hair couldn't look any better, here comes the regrowth where you'll spend the next year or so looking like a unicorn. It's all fun and games.
Teeth Loss and sensitive Gums: I wasn't actually aware of this until my friend kindly added it in for me. She suffered with such bad teeth that they actually broke. This is why you should definitely take up the opportunity to get a free dental check on NHS whilst you can. You really don't want it causing grief when you have to pay for it.
Giving birth to the placenta: Im honestly not sure why this isn't discussed more! you never hear it on tv or films. Basically after you push out the baby, you then have to deliver the placenta. In all its glory it looks exactly like a ray fish. I think if you're not prepared for it, it can be a bit weird so just be prepared.
And then you have the common effects such a 'burning when you pee', 'stretch marks', 'week pelvic floor'
However after all these 'problems' we do it all over again because the outcome is the best experience in the world and the little bundle of joy that we're presented with literally melts your world and makes you forget it all in an instance. Ladies our bodies are amazing and every little frustration is worth every second to see that gorgeous little face that your body created.
Did I miss anything? Let me know below!
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Big thank-you to a few of my wonderful mum friends over on instagram for helping me with some subjects, I've left their links below for you to give them a follow.