Finding out that you are going to have a baby, is probably one of thee most exciting news any parents/newly parents will ever receive. Then, your journey through pregnancy is just as exciting! (well, for some)..I know others to be the exact opposite. You know, morning sickness and all. But what I mean by exciting is, being able to feel your baby kick, decorating nursery, shopping for little baby clothes, anticipating the arrival of your little bundle of joy!
And then, there’s life AFTER you give birth. Or what others may call it, postpartum. I feel like there is very little information about what goes on after childbirth. I mean, yeah you need to go home and rest, drink lots of water, blah blah blah..but I wish someone had told me about half of the things I experienced following delivery because I tell ya, those things are not nice! lol- and because I have gone through and experienced both c-section and natural birth, I will share some pointers from both based on my own experiences.
* Ok, lets talk about maternity pads. These guys over here will become your new best friend for the next couple of weeks/months. And although they are totally uncomfortable, they are totally necessary because those nine months without a single period, will feel like someone finally opened the flood gates of doom. Also, invest on a good brand of maternity pads because not offence Middlemore Hospital, your pads was a tad bit zzzzzz for me.
* Your downstairs will be sore. And I mean S.O.R.E- especially if you tore or had an episiotomy to help bring baby out. What I found helpful was squatting and fanning down there lol- don’t ask me why but it worked for me haha..because you will need to pat dry after EVERY single pee to avoid infection, and the toilet paper just doesn’t do the job. Yes ladies! struggle is definitely real. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do to ease the pain lol- even if it means squatting over the toilet bowl like a freak. Plus, it actually feels nice down there soooo do what works for you! lol
* The after pains. This kind of pain was new to me as I did not experience it with my first baby. Apparently you only start to have it with your second and so forth. Who knew that when your stretched uterus starts to shrink down, it’s pure pain!! I found it so painful to turn from one side to the other when sleeping. It honestly felt like someone was holding on to the other half of my stomach as I turned. And because we have stairs at home, I thought it would be an excellent idea to go up and down. You know, get some exercise maybe it will speed up the recovery process. Ladies, BAD IDEA!! the following day, I felt like my guts was gonna fall out- so don’t do that at home.
* Your first wee. OH MY GOODNESS I was terrified to go bathroom for my first wee. The thought of getting stitched up down there and then having to wee was just petrifying. Especially when it stings! Ohhh it burns!! but don’t worry the pain only lasts for a split second til your next trip to the bathroom. Plus, your bits will still be able to do it’s job so don’t worry, it’s not all that bad.
* The first poop. The nurses will ask you if you have had any bowel movement or passing wind. You will feel pressure as you do so and it scared the heck outta me! But don’t panic, you are not having another baby. It may feel like it, but your’e not. It honestly feel like your stitches are gonna rip out open as you do your business. Just remember you just pushed out a human and the prospect of pushing out what’s in the back bit won’t be quite so daunting.
* Constipation. Oh myyyyy wasn’t this theee most uncomfortable/painful thing ever!!! You may or may not have it and embrace yourselves if you didn’t because yours truly went through hell with this one. After my birth via c-section, I dreaded going to the bathroom! My stitches were fresh off the boat and struggling to do a number two, felt like I was in war with someone else. I was sweating, shaking and getting really frustrated! lol- BUT it got better. Thank goodness! if you do have it, make sure you drink lots and lots of water, eat lots of fruits to help make the process ‘lighter’.
* First walk. My first walk after my c-section was just as painful as every other pain I’ve mentioned so far. For me, it felt like my insides were gonna fall out. I remember standing up for the first time and walking to the bathroom for a shower, it was brutal!! felt like I was learning how to walk all over again. And then you begin to feel nauseous, dizzy and everything seemed to be spinning around you. I stood there and held on to the bathroom rails for couple of minutes until everything seemed normal again. Don’t rush, take your time; it’ll get better! I promise.
* Sore nipples. If you are breastfeeding, good for you! it is the best way of providing your baby with the nutrients it needs and also it’s a process that develops a special bond between you and your baby. BUT it’s not all smooth and peachy when it comes to doing it. Both my babies were cluster feeding in the first couple of days and boyyyy did it hurt!!! My nipples became so sensitive and it was painful when showering especially when it touched the water. And then, once your breasts starts to produce milk, it will become full, firm, warm and perhaps tender. This is called ‘engorgement’ which in most cases, is completely normal. But this stuff is painful!!! My breasts became so full that it felt so heavy and felt like it was going to explode!! If you are experiencing this, apply some ice packs over the breasts to reduce the swelling, breastfeed regularly once your milk comes in to prevent over fullness aaaaand good luck! 🙂
* Dressing yourself. Yes, I know so simple yet so hard and painful! I had a hard time with this for both my babies. Having to get stitched up for both c-section and natural birth was so painful especially when it came to putting some clothes on! Your movements are limited and there are some parts you just can’t reach. It’s like all of a sudden your hands has become shorter in length and can’t reach what you want to dress! So frustrating I tell ya! But if you are having a hard time with this, ask your husband/partner/sibling or even your mom to give you a hand.
So there you go folks! Postpartum struggles is reeeeeeal. And in some cases, it can be serious. It can lead to depression so take good care of yourselves. I mean, isn’t labour and childbirth already painful enough? give yourself some credit because you are incredibly amazing!! you bought a little human into this life and that alone is a big achievement. I have so much respect for us mothers because motherhood is not easy. Treat yourselves here and there because you deserve it! You deserve it and so much more!