13 Things No One Tells Women About Postpartum Life
There are so many things you might expect when you’re having your first baby, but afterward you realize there are just as many things no one ever brought up at all.
These are 13 things that are usually part of postpartum life, so here’s your head’s up.
13. No one knows what they’re doing.
There’s pressure to know instinctively what to do and how to care for this little person, but even veteran moms have to admit that most of the time it’s all trial and error.
There will be a time down the line, though, when you feel like you’re not guessing all of the time.
12. You’re starving or you’re not hungry at all.
For some women, they’re constantly starving and unable to feel full.
It’s equally normal, though, to still feel a bit nauseous and weak those first hours and days.
11. Everything hurts for awhile.
You’re swollen, you’re stitched back together, things have been ripped and torn, so no matter how you gave birth, peeing, pooping, and just existing is going to be a bit sore.
10. Don’t worry if your milk takes a few days to come in.
It’s completely normal for your milk to take 2, 3 or even 4 days to fully come in. Despite knowing this, some medical professionals will push supplementing for babies who seem hungry, colicky, or who have jaundice.
You don’t have to give in; your baby only needs what you have in those first days, and your milk will be in before you know it.
9. You might not feel comfortable in your own skin.
Unless you have a full-time trainer, someone to prepare your meals, and someone else to nanny your baby, don’t expect much from yourself in those first weeks and months.
Nothing is going to fit, you’re not going to recognize yourself in the mirror, but you will come out the other side – and back to your body – in time.
8. Sweating is normal.
There is so much sweating as your hormones try to get back to normal, so add sheets to your never ending pile of laundry.
7. Not everyone bonds immediately.
You might believe that every woman who has ever given birth has looked into her newborn’s face and felt nothing but rapture.
That’s true for some women. It’s also not true for some women. Either is fine.
6. Cramps stick around.
The more kids you have, the more your uterus has to work to shrink back to its original size.
It feels a lot like labor, so pack your Midol.
5. Keep drinking the water.
While you’re pregnant, you drink water like it’s your job.
Nothing changes after birth – at least it shouldn’t if you want to support digestive health, your breastmilk production, and healing in general.
4. Breastfeeding is an adventure.
There are so many cool and weird things you’ll discover – like your milk comes out like a shower head and not a faucet.
Be ready to be super impressed with your own body.
3. Your stomach will feel weird.
I remember standing up and feeling as if my stomach was made of jello, and that nothing would stop my uterus from just plopping right out.
Pack some kind of belly band in your hospital bag; it doesn’t have to be one meant to shrink anything, but you’ll thank me when you want to feel held together.
2. There will be blood.
Bleeding after baby can last up to 6 weeks and, for several days immediately after birth, it’s quite heavy and laden with some impressive clots.
Listen to your OB’s advice and contact them if you’re worried.
Don’t bring pads – go straight for the Depends.
1. Even sitting hurts.
Remember how it hurt to sit (and stand and lay) before you gave birth?
None of that gets better immediately, and often it gets a bit worse. Be gentle with yourself and have a hemorrhoid pillow on hand, just in case.
I definitely think we should talk about postpartum realities more.
There’s no reason not to share.