As a mom-to-be, you will prepare for the baby in many ways- shopping for all the things they may and may not need particularly if it’s your first…
But wait, for you ready for postpartum? Postpartum is a real shocker! The honest truth is, with the birth of each child, postpartum will be different.
Postpartum can be physically and mentally draining. I hope this post helps you to prepare for postpartum as much as possible.
If you’re way past postpartum, please remember to share this post with a new mom or mom to be to help them in their journey. What should you expect postpartum?
1. Bonding with the baby
Bonding with the baby looks so cute in movies. I was sure I’d be one of the moms that lovingly looks at her newborn sheds a tear or even sobs and never lets go! That didn’t happen. During surgery, I felt a bit dazed to even hold the baby. My husband was the first to hold both babies after delivery.
I’ve heard stories of moms who had had such strenuous births that the last thing they wanted was to hold their babies.
2. Postpartum bleeding
A friend told me about bleeding postpartum. She had vaginal birth so my thinking was c-section moms don’t bleed since the baby does not come from their vagina. Boy was I wrong! Every mom will bleed after delivery irrespective of how you deliver. Bleeding usually lasts for days to some weeks. Bleeding should reduce in flow by the first ten days.
However, some danger signs to look out for with regards to postpartum bleeding are: bleeding beyond six weeks. Fever- which is indicative of an ongoing infection and dizziness meaning you’re losing a lot more blood.
3. You will still look pregnant
Were you or are you expecting your body to snap back into your pre-pregnant body right delivery? Sorry to burst your bubble but girl, you will still look pregnant. I was hurt but happy when I went grocery shopping because people thought I was pregnant so I was handled with extra care and given preferential treatment. It felt good but horrible at the same time!!! Unhealthy comments from family and even strangers can make you feel worst.
Why is your stomach still so big?
OMG, are you pregnant?
When are you due?
4. No milk supply
I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I thought after delivery, the milk will just come in because of course, the baby’s in. It took three days after delivery for milk to finally come in. Waiting for the milk to come in was hard. I was filled with anxiety and wondered if I’ll ever be able to breastfeed my baby as I wanted.
This anxiety never went away even when I became a second-time mom. Read this post for how I easily boosted my milk supply postpartum and even what I did during pregnancy.
Generally, c-section moms have their milk coming in much later than moms who deliver vaginally.
After my milk came I I didn’t know my boobs could engorge. My breasts felt like two heavy rocks. And they were painful! Engorgement is often a result of an oversupply.
To avoid your breasts from getting engorged, you have to breastfeed often or express or both! Massaging the breasts during feeds can also bring relief to engorged boobs.
Engorgement when untreated can lead to clogged ducts or even mastitis!
6. Postpartum recovery is not easy
Irrespective of how you deliver, postpartum recovery is not easy both physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have a post on how I recovered from my c-section with ease. However, recovery should not be rushed. Recovery for everyone will be different. Vaginal birth with especially with an episiotomy can also be painful and has its own timeline for recovery.
7 . Postpartum Depression (PPD) and Baby Blues
Through postpartum recovery, little or no help, the overwhelm of being a new parent can trigger PPD and baby blues. With baby blues, you will feel better over time.
However, baby blues untreated easily degenerates into postpartum depression. Signs of PPD include: not being able to bond with your baby at all; crying tears of frustration, being filled with so many negative thoughts, feeling worthless.
I had read about hemorrhoids during postpartum but didn’t experience it with my first. So when it hit me with my second, I was taken aback! I was least prepared for this.
Hemorrhoids are also known as piles. They are simply swollen veins in and around your rectum. You may strain or bleed during bowel movements making hemorrhoids worst.
Some causes of hemorrhoids postpartum include: constipation, low fiber diet, pelvic tumors.
However, hemorrhoids can be treated using tool softeners, through diet improvements and having a sitz bath using Epsom salts . Eating foods rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables and drinking lots of water also helps.
9. Hair loss
The amount of hair you can lose postpartum is annoying. Some women get a big chop because of this! This happens because there’s a dip in estrogen which is usually heightened by pregnancy. As much as possible, take your postnatal vitamins, wear protective hairstyles, eat well, and nourish the hair when you get can.
10. Increased appetite
Especially if you’re breastfeeding, damn! You’re going to be hungry every freaking single minute. Well, that’s an exaggeration but the truth is breastfeeding will make you hungry at very odd hours. This makes it easier for most moms to gain weight postpartum compared to pregnancy. Postpartum weight gain is not only as a result of an increased appetite, sometimes, stress also contributes to the weight gain.
11. Sleep deprivation
Sleep, when the baby sleeps, was a delusion for me. Talking to other moms made me realize, I wasn’t alone. I suffered from postpartum insomnia. To date, I’ve become a light sleeper and gotten used to few hours of sleep. This post on some sleep disorders moms face and how to improve sleep will help you tremendously.
This is post is not to scare you as a new mom or mom-to-be. It’s to empower you to prepare for your postpartum. You need an extra hand so don’t be scared to ask for it or to take it when it’s offered.
Step out whenever you get the chance, a breath of fresh air will do you some good. It’s okay to talk to a professional when you feel like you’re losing it and nobody quite gets you!
Take time to care for yourself because that’s the best gift you can give your baby.
What about postpartum surprises you or surprised you?
1 thought on “11 Things That May Happen Postpartum, That No one Tells You”
Thanks for sharing “mama”. Very informative