I have no idea why, but everything about postpartum surprised me. I had no idea what to expect. Here are the weirdest things that happen to women postpartum that are total shockers. Keep in mind this is not to scare you, and not every woman experiences ALL of these things. But they do happen, and are manageable!
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Table of Contents
1. The strange postpartum tummy
2. Fluid shifts
3. “PUPPS” The Postpartum Rash
4. Constant Bleeding
I knew I would bleed postpartum, I just had no idea how much bleeding there would be. I finally realized I was pushing myself to do too much that first week, and didn’t give my uterus a chance to heal. My midwife gave me great advice that I will always tell new moms.
If you start bleeding more than you were the day before, you’re doing too much!
The bleeding itself isn’t so bad, but wearing a pad for several weeks is! The constant moisture can cause problems on your already sensitive skin down there. If you are birthing in a hospital, grab lots of their pads to use at home! These were the best pads I could find. After a couple weeks the regular maxi pads can give you a painful rash. So air out as much as possible, and buy high-quality pads.
I also suggest adult diapers that first few days. It may sound crazy, but they are so useful, and so much better than trying to clean up an overflow mess, while still healing and juggling a baby.
5. Swollen Vagina
Yes. This happens after birth. Especially if you experienced any tearing or stitches. Luckily, you should heal pretty quickly unless you had some serious damage during birth. Even the stitches should only last 7-10 days.
I find that most new mamas fit in one of two categories. They either feel better with cooling measures or with warming measures. I tried both, but found that the warming measures helped decrease my pain more. I used these little herbal pads and stuck them into the diaper itself. (Obviously, wait for them to be cool enough not to burn you! They herbs in them help heal your tissues so you feel better faster! And the heat help soothe the tenderness.
You actually boil them in some water, so I used the leftover “tea” and stuck it in my peri bottle, which helped so much during the dreaded “peeing.”
6. It hurts to pee
Do not go pee postpartum without the help of some kind of liquid. It makes a 100% difference. Keep a peri-bottle in the bathroom at all times. Add a little warm water to it. Timing is important on this one, so try to spray it onto your nether region just before you start peeing.
Don’t use cold water, unless you find that soothing. I personally found that it caused painful spasms, so warm water was a must! Overall if you use this technique, peeing isn’t painful at all.
7. Pooping your first time is so scary
This is another thing that you just don’t think about until your in the moment. Pooping postpartum is so stinkin scary! The important thing is to make sure to drink lots of water, eat fruits to keep things soft, and maybe even consider a stool softener. Whatever you do, don’t hold it in because of the fear.
Holding it in will just create a bigger, scarier monster to deal with. So be brave! You can do this! (And once you do it, it’s really not nearly as bad as you think it’s going to be. 😉)
That brings us to the next fun body change, hemorrhoids! A few hours of pushing could leave you with a fun little after prize. Luckily these usually aren’t permanent and will go down after a few weeks. Just try to keep your poop soft and moving, and use lots of witch hazel (alcohol-free, or you may regret it!) or tucks pads.
9. Hair loss
You may find that after a shower you are losing an absurd amount of hair. This is due to your hormone changes and is completely normal. During pregnancy, you may have found that you were extra hairy than normal. That’s because of the hormones called androgens. When you give birth your lose those hormones and your hair starts falling out. This is pretty typical and usually resolves on its own after 6 to 12 months.
The changes and strange things that happen to your body postpartum may sound scary, but with the right tools, it’s all totally manageable. Our bodies were made for this, and you got this mama!
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