After reading a recent article on the website Babygaga I was reminded of many things that can occur after you give birth. Some I noticed straight away, some more obvious things to occur than other things, and some I have come to realise as the time has passed.
Before I gave birth back in September 2015 I was unaware of many things that may occur after I gave birth. It all seemed a ‘secret’ when it came to talking about: problems/complications experienced during pregnancy, labour and birth, and what to expect after birth. 6 Things people don’t seem to tell you about after birth is an article I put together early on after starting this blog a few months after giving birth.
Here is the article from Babygaga :15 normal changes after pregnancy
- 15. Postpartum Bleeding: Lochia
- 14. Hair Loss
- 13. Changes To The Chest
- 12. Pregnancy Belly?
- 11. Pain In The Back
- 10. Decreased Intimacy
- 9. Loss Of Bladder Control
- 8. Constipation
- 7. Bigger Feet?
- 6. A Smaller Chest?
- 5. Excessive Sweating
- 4. A Wider Torso
- 3. Changes To The Skin
- 2. Changes To The Perineum
- 1. Mood Swings
As I mentioned above some things I noticed straight away other things I haven’t ‘noticed’ or more so pin pointed and recognised until now after reading this article.
15- Postpartum Bleeding: Lochia: I believe I was relatively lucky with not too heavy bleeding for about 2 weeks (like a normal none heavy period) and then had spotting for a further 1-2 weeks. However I wore a liner from weeks 3-4 till about 6 as I was paranoid about wetting my pants due to weak pelvic floor or leaking.
14- Hair Loss: This didn’t seem to be a very big issue for me. No mass loss or big obvious amounts breaking off. I got my hair cut a few months before delivering my baby so Perhaps this helped with the loss and maintenance of my hair.
13. Changes To The Chest: Wow oh wow was there are change in breast size day 3 before heading home (born Monday afternoon left hospital Wednesday mid morning) the morning my milk came in. I remember having a shower that morning in hospital before we head home and looking in the mirror after my shower and thinking wow whose are those?? ‘Porn star boobs’. They looked so abnormal compared to the rest of my body. It was the weirdest feeling. I went from a size B to a D after having my baby and while breastfeeding. As the months went on and the milk settled down they become more regular looking and less full.
12. Pregnancy Belly? : That firm round belly turns into a wobbly belly still looking pregnant for several weeks-months. I found breastfeeding very helpful in getting my body back however I wasn’t hugely concerned or rushed for it to return. I knew it would take time as it had been stretched out to fit my baby in for the past 9 months. I actually hoped to stay over 70 kg but with lack of eating enough at times due to having to feed baby or what ever I lost more and went back under 70 kg.
11. Pain In The Back: This wasn’t the only place. Your body goes through so much to stretch and make space for you baby. Things move out of the way, ligaments stretch, etc. Once the swelling and ‘shock’ of labour passes I found that I was in a fair bit of muscular and ligament pain in my back, hips, and groin. I remember being in so much pain around my tail bone, and groin about a week after birth once the swelling had calmed down.
10. Decreased Intimacy: Sex drive certainly wasn’t high on my radar for weeks/months after giving birth. After tearing and having a minor prolapse I was way to uncomfortable to be interested in having any thought regarding sex. However as the months passed and I become to feel more normal and comfortable things returned slowly.
9. Loss Of Bladder Control: This will never be the same after natural childbirth (can only speak from experience with natural and not a c-section). There is no holding on to a wee for periods of time while you do something first especially in the first few weeks/months. It’s more like “I need to pee, oh wow yep I really have to go NOW”. This can be tricky when you have a newborn and your tender as all hell after giving birth and not moving anywhere fast and your bladder says go go go!!!! Thankfully over the months your muscles become a little stronger again and the urgency becomes a little less. This doesn’t mean that you wont have the occasional accident.
8. Constipation: Ouch! Constipation and just being damn scared to poo after you have pushed out a baby are two big factors to worry about in the first few weeks. That first poo…. SCARY and something you want to avoid for as long as possible. Sitting on the toilet is painful enough let alone actually doing anything. As mentioned in the ‘Pain in back’ dot point your ligaments can be extremely painful after the swelling goes down so this also adds to the painful side of constipation and being scared to do a poo. METAMUCIL!!! This was my life saver. Highly recommend having it to help makes things a little easier post baby with constipation and just generally bowel movements.
7. Bigger Feet? : Really? this is a thing? well until recently I wouldn’t have thought so but I have definitely noticed that I no longer fit into some shoes I used to before I was pregnant. Seems my foot is longer, not ridiculously huge but is definitely longer as now my toes hit the ends of my shoes or just don’t fit as comfortably.
6. A Smaller Chest? :What a roller coaster it is as you watch your breasts grow to ridiculous size after you give birth and the weeks after they just keep growing as the milk comes in and your breasts get used to producing milk. Then as the weeks/months go by depending how long you breastfeed your breasts keep changing. How many times did your bra size change? 16 months on and I am still breastfeeding 1x a day before bed. The bras that fit me before pregnancy no longer fit me. The bras that fit me during early breastfeeding don’t fit me and I am now left not knowing what size to buy and what will fit and how long for.
5. Excessive Sweating: Doesn’t matter the season you give birth because after you have a baby you will feel hot and very sweaty. I had a spring baby in September 2015 (in Australia) and even on the cooler days I wanted to wear a singlet as I was feeling internally hot.
4. A Wider Torso: Again when it came to finding a bra that fit it wasn’t just the challenge of cup size it also was a matter of what size I needed to fit around my torso. I went up a size for a few months and then found I went back down to my normal size again once everything went back.
3. Changes To The Skin: Just like in early pregnancy my skin went all over the place with acne. Pimples broke out on my face, neck and back. Also I found my skin was very dry after having my baby.
2. Changes To The Perineum: Well this one depends on how labour and birth goes and the condition of your perineum after you give birth. I had a 2nd degree tear in my perineum about 1-2cm long and 2 vaginal tears that all required stitching up. The tears stood out for months and were very uncomfortable. I also had a minor prolapse which was pushing against the tears making it very uncomfortable. It took about 7 months for it to feel ‘normal’ and be ‘comfortable’ after giving birth.
1. Mood Swings: Oh how easy it was to start crying may it be happy or sad tears, or get upset over little things. Especially with the discomfort that came with the first few weeks of breastfeeding, the cluster feeds that were every evening for the first few weeks. “She can’t be hungry I just fed her!” I remember saying this to my partner every night during her cluster feeds. That was the main reason for my emotions to swing all over the place. Otherwise I was pretty lucky with my emotions staying pretty in tact and was just super in love and happy with my new life as a mum.
Did you experience any of these 15 changes?
By Clare at Relaxed Parenting