I read a lot about labor and what to expect while I was pregnant. But I never really read too much on what to expect right after delivery. And there were a lot of key things left out of anything I did read about after childbirth.
I didn’t want other moms to go through the WTF is happening to my body moments like I did. So I figured I would make a list of things that I did not expect right after childbirth!
I hope this helps you be a little more prepared than I was.
Post-Delivery: What Happens to Your Body
You will experience a LOT of vaginal bleeding
For about the first 10 days after birth, you will encounter some pretty heavy bleeding. It will start to lighten up after the first 10 days, but you could continue to bleed or spot anywhere from 2-6 weeks after birth.
“Did you think it was nice not to have a period for 9 months… here bleed for 4 weeks straight, Mwahaha.” — The female body
Even if you have a c-section there will be vaginal bleeding.
Before I got pregnant this info shocked me, because I thought the bleeding was linked to the vaginal trauma of delivering a baby.
But actually, the bleeding that occurs after childbirth is called lochia. Which your bodies way of getting rid of the extra tissue and blood in your uterus.
You will notice more bright red bleeding on days where you move around too much or do too much extra work. Rest is important to let your body recover after birth.
You’ll still pee yourself
You no longer have a baby resting on your bladder causing you to pee every time you sneeze or cough. But instead, you now have weakened pelvic floor muscles from giving birth. So coughing and sneezing can still result in some incontinence.
Better start doing them Kegels!
Your belly will be one big ole’ squishy thing.
Seriously, I could not stop playing with my belly. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact for the last 4 months of pregnancy I was used to a hard, round baby bump, and then after birth, my belly was more like a weird deflated balloon.
I COULD NOT STOP TOUCHING IT!
Even though you lose about 12 pounds right after birth (baby, fluid, blood), you won’t be back to your pre-pregnancy weight and you will still have a pooch right after birth.
It can take up to 6 weeks for your uterus to shrink to pre-pregnancy size and to drop most of your baby weight.
HOWEVER, hang in there if you still don’t feel like yourself or that you have gone back to your pre-baby size. Remember each woman will lose their postpartum weight at their own pace.
Your first poop will terrify you
Two words… STOOL SOFTENERS!
Start taking them right after delivery. You want to make pooping as easy as possible, trust me. I thought peeing sucked right after birth.. then I remembered that I’ll eventually have to poop. And that terrified the hell out of me. It’s like a flashback of the burning ring of fire and pushing out a gigantic baby head out all over again.
That first poop is however not as bad as giving birth again, but without stool softeners, it can be a close second.
Emotional hot mess
The first few weeks after delivering your baby can be confusing. One minute you’re happy the next you are sad.
Sometimes I would start to cry for absolutely no reason. For Real I was an emotional rollercoaster.
This fluctuation is caused by the hormone changes happening right now. There is no need to be ashamed of these feelings. It even better if you have people close to you that you can talk to, talking about it can help you feel better.
Postpartum is serious and is different than baby blues. Postpartum depression is when you have feelings of hopelessness and make you unable to function. If you think you may be experiencing postpartum depression you should speak to your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
I knew I would be sore after delivering my baby, but I don’t think I was quite prepared on how sore I was.
The day after delivery I felt like I ran 50 miles uphill. My legs, back, and obviously my lady bits were killing me. Once I was standing up I was fine, but it was the getting up, sitting back down, and the shifting in bed that was the worse parts.
Icing your lady bits with padsicles is SOOOOO helpful the first few days! You can make some yourself by putting which hazel and alone on pads and then sticking them in the freezer. Vagina saving for sure!
Getting up and moving around frequently helps with the pain and healing process as well. Just listen to your body, if you think you are doing too much, you probably are.
No matter what, each woman will experience things differently after birth and there will be a lot that you didn’t expect to happen. But I hope after reading this you can feel a little more prepared!
What was the most shocking thing for you right after delivery, that you experienced or heard about?