Labor & Postpartum Pregnancy- What No One Tells You
Being a first-time mom is overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. But what’s even worse is going through postpartum pregnancy and not having a clue about how your mind or body are feeling and if these feelings are normal.
During your pregnancy, I’m sure you googled a million things: pregnancy snacks, exercises, pelvic floor health. As a first-time mom, you want to be as prepared as possible when your new baby comes, and It feels like you’re entering the unknown.
Unfortunately, we only google the aspects we’re told about and not all the other stuff.
The areas of postpartum pregnancy and labor that are swept under the rug.
First Time Mom
Dear first-time mom, this is my gift to you! It’s not fancy and I’m not sure it’ll make you feel better. But you’ll know.
Recently one of my best friends had a baby girl. I got to snuggle her at only 12 hours old. Of course, during our visit breastfeeding, pumping and all things postpartum pregnancy came up.
And I couldn’t even count the number of times she said, “I didn’t know that”.
I remember feeling the exact same way after my first was born.
Everyone tells the first-time mom about the scary labor stories. About what will happen, how it will feel and how after you can’t walk (umm what?).
But no one tells you all the other important stuff. Your OB doesn’t mention your uterus contracting during postpartum pregnancy.
You hear about postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum hair loss. You learn a bit about your postpartum pelvic floor.
But there are lots you don’t hear about.
So here we go.
Postpartum Pregnancy – the things no one tells you
I’ve placed the aspects I had never heard about into this list and I asked all my friends what shocked them about postpartum pregnancy.
We did out best to roundup all the feelings, both mental and physical that scare the sh*t out of you in those early postpartum days.
I hope it helps. I hope that knowing helps ease your mind and prepare.
And I hope your support system rocks.
And mostly, I hope that you know you’re not alone. Not even in the slightest. We’ve got your back mama because we’ve been there too.
So, order up a postpartum box (they’re honestly just so freaking comforting as a new mama) and settle in.
What You Didn’t Know About Labor
- Puke is a thing. Apparently, it means labor is “progressing” but really, it’s still vomiting. For some people the say the body deals with pain is vomit. Personally, I puked over 26 times with my first. It sucked and I had zero clue that was a possibility
- Labor is gross- far ickier than you think. And not to turn anyone off here but with every contraction, you tend to leak some water. Again, some more than others. But really, you’re just squirting a lot. And depending on how long labor is and how much amniotic fluid you have, there could be a lot. No one prepares you for the mess. Not the sexiest moment.
- It IS possible to have a baby so big you can’t get it out and a c-section will be needed. It’s okay mama. Nothing in labor and delivery is a reflection of you.
- It’s okay to have an epidural. It is okay to have one because you need one. It’s alright to have one because you want one. And finally, it’s okay to tell the rest of the world to eff themselves if they make you feel “less” for having one.
- Ignore your delivery plan. Babies don’t go according to plan and then you end up with major guilt. Just roll with it.
- Meditation goes a long way in birth. One fact I never believed. But you definitely need to find your zone or have a mantra.
- Go WITH your contractions. My first labor I tensed up to get them over with. I basically tried to be a rock and wait until they were over. Not only does this suck more but it doesn’t help labor progress. You need to move WITH your contractions not against them.
- Focus on unclenching hands, slackening your jaw and being looser. I always rocked.
- There are lots of labor positions so try out a few before you settle on one. I always thought I’d “squat” my babes out, but my body preferred the hands and knees approach.
What You Didn’t Know About Postpartum Pregnancy – Physical
- Your uterus goes back to its old size in about ten days (don’t quote me on that). To do this, it contracts to shrink…. Just like in labor. So, when you get cramping, pain and you double over. Remember that your uterus is contracting!
- Breastfeeding and pumping make your uterus contract. So, when you pump the first week or so you may induce cramping. Heads up.
- Your uterus contracting can make your bowels hate you. It’s fun really: pump for milk, uterus contracts from pumping, bowels contract from the uterus, you run to the bathroom… all with a pump. The joy. But seriously, it can make you have some not so fun feeling bathroom moments.
- Your vagina will be swollen and hurt. Padsicles are a great option for this. However, I found they were too cold for me. Instead, I made the padsicle ingredients into a spray and sprayed it on cloth pads as needed.
- The swelling (especially in feet) does not go down immediately after birth. Most women know their body doesn’t just go back to normal, but no one really thinks about the swelling. Be prepared for that to hang around a bit.
- You can get back contractions after the babe is born when pushing out the placenta and from the uterus contracting. This is normally pretty unexpected but definitely possible.
- Heartburn keeps kicking you in the throat for a while after pregnancy. Thanks, kid.
- You’re going to bleed. Many women think that after you have the babe you have a regular period and you’re good. In reality, you bleed for on average 6 more weeks. Not always heavy but definitely bleeding.
- Also, you can’t exactly wear a tampon or diva cup postpartum- prepare for that.
- There’s a massive amount of hair loss after birth. You’ll think something is wrong with you. You’ll notice hair on your pillow, your clothes, the shower. It’s common as your hormones shift.
- Night sweating is a thing. As your hormones flip flop, you end up waking up drenched in a puddle. That’s fun.
To be honest, postpartum is a bit different for everyone. What mamas need during this time is rest and care. One of my new favorite things to buy for new mamas are gift boxes from 4T, a postpartum company with all-natural, holistic products for mamas and babes.
My favorite one to give is the “Favorite” Box. It contains healing items for mamas and natural bum balm and spray for babes!
What You Didn’t Know About Postpartum – Mental
- Most people know your hormones are out of wack. But no one prepares you for how sensitive you’ll be. To people’s comments, do small things in your routine being off. It’s hard.
- It takes a few weeks sometimes to be in love with your baby. It doesn’t always come naturally and often you’re fighting all your own body and change stuff that you’re not quite there. It’s normal, be patient.
- Mom guilt is a real thing. You will basically become a milk cow stuck in a chair for %75 of waking hours for months. and you will still feel guilty for the one hour you took to yourself. Mom guilt is more powerful than any emotion I’ve experienced, especially in the early postpartum pregnancy phase.
- You’ll be mad at your body at some point. Don’t compare your postpartum pregnancy to anyone else’s. once you let go of that stress it’s easier. You grew a baby and that’s a big deal, thank your body don’t fight it.
- Most people don’t realize how long it takes to truly feel like themselves again, physically, mentally and emotionally. The average is about ten months. Embrace this.
Remember It’s Okay
- It’s okay to not love breastfeeding. We all believe it should come naturally but the truth is, it’s hard to learn. It hurts like a b*tch and it’s okay to not love it. There are SO MANY other ways to bond with your babe. NEVER think that you are failing because you are choosing not to breastfeed.
- Don’t let people frighten or bully you with numbers and weights. Spend quality skin time with your babe and if breastfeeding isn’t working- it’s okay.
- It’s okay to formula feed your ten-pound baby to keep his weight up. Breastfeeding does not always work.
Don’t forget to pin these tips on postpartum pregnancy for first time moms!
It seems overwhelming at first, “all the things”. But every one of these points are ones I wish someone went into detail about for me.
And I’m sure there are lots more out there. So, if you have a postpartum pregnancy experience, I missed… please drop it in the comments below so I can add it!