Six Things No One Tells You About Postpartum Recovery
My little man is ten months old today and I’m finally beginning to feel like my body is just about recovered from the pregnancy and his birth. While I was pregnant I was told that I should expect a long recovery. I was told that it takes nine months to make my little guy so I should expect around that long to recover. That’s where the information about postpartum recovery stopped. No one filled me in on the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad reality that is postpartum recovery. I’m going to change that. I’m going to let you honestly know what to expect AFTER you bring home your precious bundle of joy.
Hemorrhoids, Afterbirth, and Stitches Care
You can safely assume that after you push a baby out of your vagina, your nether regions aren’t going to be looking or feeling too good. But seriously, does anyone inform you that it’s not abnormal to have ginormous hemorrhoids that make pooping almost impossible? I’d venture to say that golf ball sized hemorrhoids are not an exaggeration. Beyond that, many women require stitches to get them all fixed up after birth. Stitches mean absolutely no wiping which means you have to have a spray bottle to get yourself clean. Add to that the fact that you’re expelling tons and tons of blood (as in having to wear the hugest pad you can possibly think of) and cleaning yourself after using the bathroom is a mess.
Body Odor and Sweat
The first night after having your little angel you may be surprised that you wake up in drenched sheets. Don’t be. Profuse sweating is a normal part of postpartum recovery. Soaking through sheets, clothes, and whatever else is covering your body will happen all the time. The worst part about this – this sweat STINKS! Go right now to purchase men’s deodorant and apply it multiple times a day. That’s what it will take to keep yourself from repelling everyone from your horrible stench.
Leaking/Bleeding/Blistering/Sagging/You Name It-ing Breasts
If you choose to breastfeed your baby you’re in for a huge surprise. As long as you and your little one figure it out easily it could seem like everything is all easy and rainbows and butterflies… Until your milk comes in. Milk comes in hard… Literally. Your breasts will be hard as a rock with all the milk in them and it hurts! Once engorgement starts so does leaking. You can be just sitting there and all of a sudden have milk running down your shirt. You little one may be drinking out of one side and all of a sudden the other side explodes like a geyser. There’s no telling what your girls will do. Add all this to the fact that nipples get cracked, bleed, blister, and all sorts of other good things – especially during the early stages of breastfeeding. Once you’re more established in the nursing arena and your breasts aren’t dealing as much with engorgement you’ll look down and realize that you no longer have the perky breasts of your youth. They now lay on your chest like flat pancakes… Until the next time you’re out with your friends, miss a feeding, and end up engorged again.
Difficult Weight Loss and Constant Hunger
I’m sure you’ve heard it as much as I did, breastfeeding helps you lose weight. I’m here to tell you that, yes, for some women that’s the case but for other women it’s not true at all! Breastfeeding absolutely burns a lot of calories but breastfeeding also makes you feel starving ALL THE TIME! If you burn 500 calories breastfeeding chances are your body is going to yell at you until you fill it with 500 (or more) calories. Sure, you can choose not to give in to that hunger but then you’ll be dealing with sleep deprivation, baby poop, baby cries, postpartum hormones, AND being starving. Don’t do that. Eat the food.
So much hair loss. I think I could make a wig with the hair I’ve lost since Caleb was born. I’m sure it doesn’t help that once the little kiddo is grabbing for things you have to wear your hair up for self preservation and that keeps all the hair that falls out in one place until you brush it. Let me tell you again, SO MUCH HAIR LOSS!
Do you feel the urge to sneeze, cough, laugh, or twitch? Be sure your legs are crossed or else you very well may leak a little pee… And sometimes a little ends up becoming a lot. You know those pelvic floor muscles that used to be strong and keep your bladder doing what it’s supposed to do? Yeah, those are shot after you have a baby. It’s the best.