Weird things that happen to your body after birthing your baby. Things you need to know about postpartum recovery and healing.

9 weird things that happen to your body postpartum

Weird things that happen to your body after birthing your baby. Things you need to know about postpartum recovery and healing.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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1. The strange postpartum tummy

I was up and in the car 5 hours after giving birth to my first. Out of all the strange things going on in my body, this was the first weird one I noticed. I could feel (and see) my insides moving around in my stomach. It was the weirdest sensation. Everything felt like it was falling.
 
That’s because after your baby comes out, all your organs have to shift back into the place they were, pre-baby.
 
Also, you still look 5 months pregnant. This is normal. I did find that a belly binder helped me feel better physically those first few weeks. Mostly my muscles were so stretched out that all of my core strength was gone. Even sitting up on my own was a challenge. In all fairness, I did gain 70lbs during pregnancy. Although I’m totally going to blame most of that on swelling. Which brings me to my next point.

 

2. Fluid shifts

Swollen legs are common during pregnancy. In my case, I had been having a few kidney issues due being pregnant. This cause excess swelling in my legs. After my baby was born the swelling went down. This made my legs “weep.” Meaning that the fluid came out through my skin. This is another, very common thing that happens with excess leg swelling after birth. I had to keep drying my legs off through-out the day.
 
And lots of lotion, because they itched ALL THE TIME. But that was due to a weird, but common postpartum rash.

 

3. “PUPPS” The Postpartum Rash

Another fun thing that happens to some women postpartum, is something called PUPPS. (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) This can happen during late pregnancy or in my case, postpartum. No one really knows what causes it, but it’s harmless, except for the constant, terrible itching. Luckily it only happens to about 1% of women. (I was a lucky one!) I’m glad to report that it only happened with my first baby, and not my second.
 
It is treatable with steroid creams, but I was paranoid about putting anything on my skin with a breastfeeding baby. Instead, I stuck to a postpartum herbal bath (which is amazing!) and lots of coconut oil.
 
The weirdest thing about this rash is that it would move. It started on my belly only to go away, pop back up on my arms. I was so glad when it finally left 3 weeks postpartum. This is also pretty common.

 

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. 😉)

 

8. Hemorrhoids

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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P.S. If you haven’t signed up for a prenatal course yet, make sure you check out this course from Hilary, the labor nurse. She’s running a special right now where you can get her beginner’s class for free! Although, i recommend the full course. It’s packed with super useful information and helps take the fear out of birth!

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Postpartum recovery tips. Prepare for postpartum and the weird things that can happen to your body with these simple tips all new moms should know.

 

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