Getting past postpartum
8 things I wish someone had told me.
I wish someone would have had the guts to tell me about these things and maybe given me a pointer or two. My mom’s excuse for not doing so, was that she’d simply forgotten all about all of it. Well, luckily for you guys, I havent.
Warning: this is not for the weak-hearted!
1. Labor continues. Just when you thought it was all over, your uterus will be like “Hey, I can totally go for some more contractions up in here.” Not ok. And supposedly it gets worse after more pregnancies. Percocet and Ibuprofen can help you out here, plus they’re very breastfeeding-compatible (due to bad transfer of the meds to the milk). Even morphine is “moderately safe” for breastfeeding according to several websites including infantirsk.com. The silver lining here is that this will help your tummy shrink back to its original size (or, well, at least your uterus will go back to its original size).
2. Your belly will not deflate immediately. When I came home from the hospital at day 3 postpartum, my brother was kind enough to note how funny it was that my belly still looked like I was about 7 month pregnant. You will continue to look a little pregnant for a good couple of weeks. So my advice would be to not go outside without your baby and a wide sweater with a v-neck to show off your two new assets (boobs, big boobs).
3. About that: your boobs will get big. My boobs went from a modest b-cup to an e-cup about four days after giving birth. Your milk glands will go ludicrous and your boobs will grow out of control. I actually rather enjoyed this postpartum gift. In hindsight I wish I would have enjoyed it even more, because after I stopped breastfeeding my amazing boobies left along with my milk
4. Breastfeeding is hard work. It will hurt a little at first because your nipples (probably) aren’t used to another human sucking on them as if their life depends on it (literally). You will likely struggle with not having enough milk/boobies leaking and exploding from too much milk. While my baby slept through at 4 weeks, I was not able to sleep through the night because I had to pump two or three times a night for the next 3 months. THAT was hardship: sitting on the cold bathroom floor from 1.40-2.00 to pump and store my milk and clean my pumping-equipment for the inevitable next pumping session at 5 am. The good news: it will get easier, and once you’ve stopped breastfeeding, you might even miss it! (I know I do!)
5. Going to the toilet for the first time (#1 and #2) for the first time after giving birth is like giving birth yet again. My advice is to take a jug of lukewarm water with you and poor (onto the war zone) while you pee. Sounds a bit crazy, but you will be happy you did this. Trust me. As for #2, eat flax seed and drink plenty of water.
6. Hemmorhoids. More like Horrorhoids. Unfortunately these can still get you after birth as well as during pregnancy! So not fair.
7. Maxi pads! Make sure to stock up on a LOT of these. You will bleed a lot especially during the first week, and the bleeding will continue until about 6 weeks after birth. Admittedly, everyone is different and there might be women out there who don’t experience this, but I wasn’t one of them. I was surprised at how long this lasted. In a bad way.
8. Linea Negra. That weird line along your belly, called linea negra, will prolong it’s stay for an indefinite period. I still have mine 11 months after the fact (or at least a faded version of the original), so I can’t tell you when it will completely fade away… #stillwaiting. What I do know is that it will take a loooong time to get rid of this bad boy.
Hope you enjoyed this wonderful handful of examples of crazy postpartum issues. Hope I didn’t scare anyone out of having kids, although you can’t say I didn’t warn you! If you have any you would like me to add, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.