Recovering after giving birth, whether it's vaginally or a c-section, is not easy and the postpartum period can last for quite a long time. Here are my top ten things no one told me about the postpartum period:
- The bleeding: I know they will tell you about this, but no one can really tell you how long it will last. Mine was about 6 almost 7 weeks. Thank god for Always Infinity pads, they were pretty much all I wore after the giant diaper pads I had for the first week.
- The leaking: I made it three months with the breastfeeding, which I felt okay with after the fact. But there are random days when my boobs will leak and I don't even know it till I look down and see two wet spots on my shirt.
- The hair loss: at 4 months postpartum my hair is falling out like crazy. When I comb it after a shower, there is a lot left in the comb. When I dry it, there is hair all over the floor and the sink and lets not even talk about what happens when I style my hair. I already have pretty thin/fine hair and I don't want to go bald.
- The acne: also at 4 months postpartum I am breaking out like a teenager. My forehead and chin seem to be the problem areas and I've been washing my face twice a day, applying Clearasil to my zits and trying not to touch my face.
- Strange new body hair: my stomach has lots of fine baby hairs all over it that I don't remember being so noticeable before. I swear my leg hair grows faster now and since it's pretty much summer, I have to shave every other day.
- Loss of bladder control: stay off those trampolines and watch out if you're doing jumping jacks or working out. Frequent trips to the bathroom are key!
- Your hips won't go back to normal right away: and there isn't much you can do about it! I have always had big hips and a booty but now, both are even bigger. I've been trying hard to eat right and hopefully get back into working out again soon. I have found that some of my pre-pregnancy pants fit and others are too tight in the hips.
- The crying: I'm not talking about PPD or the baby blues, but trust that you will cry a lot more and you will cry over things you never imagined you would. You will cry the first time your baby smiles at you, the first time they laugh, the first time you see your husband hold them, the first time they meet new family members and pretty much every time they learn something new. Keep the tissues handy!
- Your tastes may change: Before I got pregnant, I loved spicy food especially spicy chinese and hot wings. When I was pregnant, spicy food tore my stomach apart so I avoided it for a good 6 months. Now I still can't eat anything spicy and I've really given up on trying. I also now really don't like some of the foods I had aversions to while I was pregnant, like pork, brats and hot dogs. Just the though of eating them makes me sick.
- Intimacy: I won't get too graphic here, but the first time after baby is going to be a little awkward and possibly a little uncomfortable. You want to make sure you use your preferred method of protection if you don't want to have another little one in nine months. Breast feeding is not a form of birth control, or at least that's what my midwife told me.
Was there anything you didn't expect during the postpartum period, especially the momma's who had natural and/or vaginal births?