10 Postpartum Facts You Must Know About
Are you ready to meet your Newborn but don’t know what to expect from Postpartum?
Keep reading and find out about the 10 Postpartum Facts every first-time mom must know about.
Have you read all the horror stories about Postpartum yet? If you are just like me, you probably did. Sadly, the fourth trimester is one of these things that you have to experience first before truly understanding it. You can only try to inform yourself about it and maybe prepare some postpartum essentials. But when it hits you, it hits your hard!
Honestly, pregnancy was hard, giving birth to a 10 lbs 7 oz infant was even harder, but postpartum? Let me tell you, that was without a doubt the hardest experience of my life. Just so you know: I did suffer a second-degree tear during birth. So my entire healing process was probably longer and more painful than a birth without a tear or cut.
Besides the tearing part, there were a few more things that really shocked me about Postpartum.
Today, I will share the 10 Worst Postpartum Facts with you in hope they may help you experience a less stressful Postpartum experience.
1. Birthing The Placenta Hurts
Going through all the pain that your contractions cause and surviving a vaginal birth is not easy. In my case the epidural I got right when I came to the hospital at least helped with the contractions. But the actual pushing part was nothing I ever imagined. Once my baby girl was all out, I was so relieved that everything was over and there would be no more pushing. I was so exhausted and SO WRONG!
After a few minutes of holding my daughter, they told me to push again. The placenta would have to come out. I mean, I obviously knew about the placenta, but everyone told me it would just come out on its own. Well, not in my case. While I was pushing like a champ, they actually pressed on my tummy to „help“ deliver it faster. Guys, that was the most painful feeling I ever experienced. Please, don’t make me scare you, just be prepared for the server pain the nurses are going to cause you.
Maybe you are lucky and never have to experience the so called „Tummy Massage“.
2. „Tummy Massage“ Is Nothing to Be Excited About
Not only did the nurses press on my tummy during birth and right after to deliver the placenta, no, but they also continued pushing around on my belly during my entire postpartum hospital stay. Apparently, it’s supposed to help your uterus shrink back and for all the excess blood to come out.
The best way to describe that feeling: Toothpaste Tube
After all the pain I was going through, I was so relieved to finally be in our hospital room and enjoy baby girl and maybe even get some rest. Well.. not for me. The nurses came in to press on my belly every hour for the first 24 hours after birth… Like… what?
I was so confused and angry. All I wanted was to sleep and heal so all the other pain I was experiencing would stop. They are only doing their job, and of course we are all thankful that they do, but it still sucks.
3. You Will Hate The Staff
As I said, the nurses and doctors are just doing their job and I was very grateful for that. But, after just giving birth, you are tired. Soooo tired. I don’t know about you, but when I am tired, I get angry very quickly.
So after a long day of taking care of your newborn, having severe postpartum pain, entertaining all the visitors, and trying to survive, all you want to do at night is to sleep. Imagine: You just nursed your baby who fell asleep during eating, put some cream on your sore nipples, wished your hubby a goodnight, and turn around to finally close your eyes. Sounds nice right?
Well, a few minutes later a nurse storms into your room, wakes you up to check your blood pressure, temperature and press around on your hurting belly a little more, wakes up your newborn while doing all that and leaves again. FUN TIMES!!
4. Your Nipples Will Be Sore
Talking about nipples, oh man… I was not prepared for that. Sure, everyone tells you about how hard breastfeeding is. Sometimes they even talked about their hurting nipples, but did you really listen? Did you really care back then? Of course not. Everyone thinks: I am doing it the right way and ask for help when the baby doesn’t latch right. Maybe you even did a breastfeeding class and feel prepared.
Trust me, you could talk to all the lactation consultants, nurses, and doctors on this planet. You could even attempt every class or do every online course out there. The chances are: Your nipples are probably still going to be sore the first couple of days.
My nipples were not only sore, they were bleeding and every time I took my breast out to feed baby girl and the air was touching my nipple, I was bawling my eyes out because of the pain.
Again, not trying to scare you. Breastfeeding is beautiful and you will start enjoying it after a while. The pain will be gone and forgotten at some point. Please, just be prepared and pack some nipple cream and maybe even a nipple shield for the first few days. You will be experiencing so much pain after birth, try to make this part more enjoyable for both of you.
5. Contractions Won’t Stop After Birth
Talking about postpartum pain and breastfeeding, let’s not forget about the contractions you will be having while breastfeeding your sweet little sunshine. So not only will your entire body be sore from giving birth, your nipples will hurt from all the sucking and your stomach will feel like you just had the worst stomach flu, there is more pain to join the party.
If you can’t handle it anymore, try not to play the hero and just ask the nurses for some pain killers. It’s fine. Feeling miserable because of all the hormones and the pain will only make you stressed and a stressed mama results in a stressed baby.
6. You Will Be Crying A Lot
Did I just mention hormones? I did! Ha. They were already so enjoyable and fun during pregnancy, they will be even more exciting postpartum. *Sarcasm*
Ever heard about the Baby Blues? It’s real. I never cried that much in my entire life before. The first few days or even weeks after giving birth were so emotional. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t sad, at least not all the time, I was crying for all the different reasons: Joy, Love, Happiness, Pain, Sleep Deprivation, Hunger. All the good stuff.
But, most of the time I started crying out of love every time I looked at my sweet angel.
Mamas, if you are just not feeling it, are depressed or even have bad thoughts, please: talk about it. Reach out to someone you trust, maybe even your doctor. A lot of women confuse the baby blues with postpartum depression. Please do your research on that topic and take it very seriously. You are not alone on this and there is help out there for you! Here is a great website with many details about Postpartum Depression & The Baby Blues.
7. Be Prepared For Your Smell
Oh dear, writing this article, I can still remember that awful smell right after birth. Not only did I sweat like crazy during labor and pooped all over the place, no, baby girl decided to poop as well once she came out and spread it all over my chest.
So, there was poop, blood, and sweat on my body. Well, as you can imagine, it did not remind me of a sunny day in a flower bed. But the worst part is yet to come: I was not allowed to shower for another day. Ahhh… I gave birth on Friday night around 11 pm and the first shower I took was on Sunday Morning at 06:30 am. Gross. A shower never felt as good and needed.
You should definitely be prepared for the following smells:
- After birth, you are likely gonna lose all the water that built up during pregnancy and labor. So as you can imagine, you are going to sweat a lot. What I actually noticed is that this kind of sweat didn’t smell like „my usual sweat“ so it bothered me even more.
- As you all know, once the baby is born, your postpartum bleeding will stick around for a couple of weeks. The smell of your discharge will be pretty strong and noticeable. But after talking openly about it to my husband and other moms, I figured that you are actually the only one who will notice the smell. No one else will. My midwife told me once that mothers have a much stronger sense of smell right after birth in order to smell their baby’s needs and also to form a stronger bond. So don’t worry about it, but still try to keep it clean by showering daily and using water to clean yourself after peeing.
8. Your Vagina Is Going To Be Swollen
Like I already mentioned, due to my almost 11 lbs sunshine, my vagina suffered a second degree tearing. For some reason, the nurses didn’t provide me with any cooling pads after birth so my lady parts got extremely swollen. And with swollen I mean my vagina suddenly felt like testicles.
Obviously, I am not a professional so I have no idea if that is going to happen to everyone after a tear or even without one. I just know that a swollen vagina is no fun. It hurts really bad and I wasn’t able to walk or sit without pain or at least a strong discomfort for a couple of weeks.
9. Pooping Is Scary
Scary does not even describe the anxiety you will have thinking about your first poop after giving birth. Future first-time moms, it’s awful. I was literally bawling my eyes out during my first session. My vagina was so swollen due to the tear that just sitting down caused me a lot of pain already. Let’s not even begin with the actual act.
The entire process is horrible and it is going to stay horrible for quite a while. By the way, if you suffered a tear and got stitches, your pee is going to feel like acid running down your lady parts. Just saying.
As far as I know, only moms who deliver vaginally will suffer from that. If you are having a c-section, at least the pooping part won’t be too dreadful for you. Wishing for the best!
10. Your Belly Will Stick Around
No, I was not expecting my belly to be gone right after giving birth. Especially not after my 55 lbs weight gain. Still, I was kind of surprised that while leaving the hospital, I still looked like a pregnant woman in her last trimester who just stole a baby. Honestly, my belly is not as flat as it used to be, but again, that’s probably due to the fact that I gained 55 lbs. I am currently almost 5 months postpartum and lost a decent amount of 40 lbs already. But my belly still feels super soggy and looks very odd.
So unless you were very fit before and during your pregnancy, don’t expect your body to just flip back. That does not happen to everyone and please don’t be disappointed. You did a great job and should just appreciate the hard work your body did during those nine months.
Edit: I lost almost 60 lbs by 9 Months Postpartum. Check out my Post if you wanna know how.
Mamas: It is going to be fine!
You are going to be fine! I promise! At some point, it will stop hurting and all the pain you were experiencing will be gone. Some of it will take some time, but most of it will be gone within a few days. All you need to do is to rest your body, get as much sleep as possible, and just enjoy the precious time with your newborn.
Honestly, I still remember all these things happening, but I do not remember the actual pain or discomfort. And that is normal. Your brain, especially due to our smart hormones, is going to forget all about the bad stuff.
Enjoy the process and know that everything is going to be okay. Just trust yourself and your body.
If you would like to know more about Labor & Postpartum, check out my other Posts:
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