Postpartum Recovery Tips: 7 Surprising Things that Happen During Postpartum
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7 things that total surprised me postpartum, and some of the best hacks for a good postpartum recovery.
I don’t why postpartum recovery was completely missed on me.
I was shocked. I didn’t know AT ALL what to expect.
I was so focused on what I needed to do for a newborn, that I totally forgot that I would be recovering from pushing a human out of me!
I mean, they make it look so simple on TV!
Well, it’s not.
There is nothing fun about postpartum recovery, and depending on how your birth went, it might be harder for you.
Luckily, both my labor and deliveries have been pretty routine and “normal”.
The only type of deliveries I can talk about are vaginal.
I haven’t had any C-Sections, although some of my friends swear by them. I’m kinda afraid of them.
So, if you plan on having a vaginal birth, (a lot of this still applies to C-Section births) here are some things to expect and some things you will need to survive!
(Warning: The details ahead are gruesome and unpleasant….you were warned! :)).
7 Surprising Things that Happen During Postpartum Recovery
So much blood
Okay, it just makes sense that after you push a baby out, you would be bleeding for a time after, but I was shocked by how much I bled after.
You can continue bleeding up to 4-6 weeks after. (Not consistently)
Typically, it will last for about 1-2 weeks. I bleed for about 10 days.
The crappy part is that you can’t wear a tampon, just pads. I’m guaranteed a rash by the end of my postpartum bleeding.
They give you these giant pads from the hospital.
You can get some yourself. These are the ones I bought.
You could also get the nice panties to go along with it. They are just so much more comfortable, and keep everything in place.
Sitting can be painful
After I’m pregnant, I still walk and sit like I’m pregnant.
It might help to have a donut pillow to carry around with you.
Some of the most painful cramping comes after you have your baby.
When your baby breastfeeds, it triggers the release of Oxytocin, which causes cramping in your uterus.
One reason for this is so your uterus can shrink back down to its previous size.
Let me warn you, these are painful.
Sometimes I had to stop breastfeeding to take a break from the pain.
It’s surprising every time!
Breastfeeding ain’t small stuff
Speaking of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can be hard. Some moms and newborns pick it up right away, which is great, but I seem to struggle every time.
It really is all about the latch.
Make sure you get a good latch, and if you can’t, there are lactation specialists to help. They always have them in the hospital after you give birth, and you can schedule appointments with them after.
One thing that helped my daughter was using the nipple shield. I really liked it, and it made it easier for me to breastfeed.
Tangent: I struggle with breastfeeding, mostly emotionally. I get a lot of anxiety around breastfeeding, and its super easy for me to get depressed when I’m the only one feeding the baby all day. (It didn’t help that my baby was colicky!)
I breastfed my girl for 2 months and then my baby boy for 1 month. Don’t be ashamed is breastfeeding isn’t for you. It is so good for your baby, but there are also really good formulas out there.
I know several babies and kiddos that never breastfed and they are completely healthy!
If you choose to breastfeed, it’s also good to have some breast pads handy. You can get the disposal kind, this is the brand I used.
There are several creams out there, they are completely safe for the baby and can provide huge relief!
Going to the Bathroom…
I think I took the longest poop of my life after I had a baby.
You have to poop, but you don’t want to push. It’s like having a baby all over again.
It helps to be on laxatives, and they will most likely send you home with one from the hospital. If not, talk to your doctor.
You want that poop to just slide out!
Wiping is a whole new experience… because you can’t!
You have to make your own personal bidet, which is where the Perineal bottles come in handy!
They might even send you home with one from the hospital.
Then you have to dab to remove the water.
I also used this spray to help with the pain after going to the bathroom.
This is wonderful!
You could also use the cooling pads! Put those on your pad, and it’ll provide some relief.
Tucks Cooling Pads
No Sex or Exercising
For the first 6 weeks they recommend not exercising or having sex, for obvious reasons.
I’ve heard of some people not sticking to the no sex rule, I don’t know how they do it. I’m off limits. 🙂
But I have started exercising before the 6 weeks is up, just walking and moving, but only when I’m feeling comfortable. I don’t push it.
Your hormones are literally all over the place.
This is why it’s easy to get baby blues, which can turn into postpartum depression.
There might be lots of crying. It’s okay, hand in their mamma. The first 2-3 weeks can be rough, but remember to give yourself a break. You just pushed a human out of you, and you are also recovering. It’s okay to be completely lazy and sleep, when you can.
Make sure to have your Netflix wish list handy, freezer meals, support from friends and family, and a stocked pantry.
Related: What is Postpartum Depression?