:WARNING: This post is filled with post-partum TMI. If you’re squeamish, easily grossed out or would just prefer to stay blissfully unaware of what happens after you have the baby, proceed with caution! Slash just go check out pictures of my adorable babe instead. Over and out.
So all throughout your pregnancy, you sit around and think about what your baby is going to look like. You read about how to prepare yourself for labor and delivery and how to take care of your newborn child once they actually arrive. The big day comes, you have your little bean and can’t stop staring into his face. Slowly, as you come out of your baby coma, you realize that there are things going on with your body that no one warned you about. Things that, despite all of your preparation, you are certainly not prepared for. So being the good gal pal that I am, I’m going to prepare you for exactly what to expect once you’re no longer pregnant.
1. There is a constant flow of fluids coming out of your body. I’m not talking about a couple days where your body releases all the water bloat you gained over the last month of pregnancy. We’re talking blood and gore for weeks. And it smells – which is made extra apparent by your still-sensitive sniffing capabilities. My advice? Buy stock in a pad company. And find a delicious smelling air freshener (I like the fall scents of Febreeze plug ins) to put in every room of your house. Smelling something lovely will make you feel less…stinky.
2. With how much your body goes through to expel an actual human being, it takes some time to get back to normal. That includes getting back to…regular. My advice: stock up on Milk of Magnesia. Or you could suffer pain that could seem worse than the actual labor and delivery thing. Not that I have experience with that or anything.
3. Even if you’re not planning on breastfeeding, your body thinks you’re going to breastfeed. So be prepared for major engorgement and major leakage, and for the latter to last for a couple of weeks. If you’re formula feeding (like me), pick up a few compression sports bras.
4. Remember when you were pregnant and you got bloated and then couldn’t wait to have the baby so that you could de-bloat? Yeah, that doesn’t happen right away. Yes: you lose a lot of fluids during labor + delivery. BUT: then you body thinks that it needs to start hoarding fluids. So you might actually end up more bloated for your first few days as a new momma than you were while you were preggo. Ain’t nature grand?
5. And finally, something that’s actually a post-pregnancy positive that no one tells you about: you do actually get used to the whole non-sleeping thing. After a week or two of getting four to five hours of sleep a night, your body adjusts. And poof! You find yourself feeling REFRESHED from just a short amount of sleep. And as a girl who can’t seem to find enough hours in the day right now, it’s nice to not be feeling so many effects from the whole new-mom-lack-of-sleep thing!