If you’ve read enough pregnancy and birth books, you might be surprised to know that there are a quite few things that happen after giving birth that don’t seem to get a mention.
It’s like some secret club where no one tells you what you are in for until it’s too late…
Well here at The Healthy Mummy we are sharing the things you didn’t know happened after giving birth. Be warned, most of them aren’t pretty!
15 Things You Didn’t Know Happened After Giving Birth
1. It still hurts after they are out
I had an epidural for my first son so I missed the immediate after birth experience where everything still hurts like hell. With my second son (and no epidural) I remember commenting to the midwife that “it still hurts” about 30 minutes after he was out. Her response… “Well you did just push a baby out”.
Anyone who tells you the pain is completely gone once they are out is LYING! Sure, comparatively it hurts less but it still hurts.
2. There are more contractions to come
Well technically they call them “afterpains”, but they sure feel like contractions.
Oh and they usually occur while feeding your baby. So basically while trying to breastfeed a small alien, while leaking milk, blood and who knows what else, you also get to revisit labour. Good times!
3. A LOT of people will look at your bits
If you thought pushing out a baby from your vagina in the presence of near strangers was the end of it, you were wrong. Leave your dignity at the door, for the next few days every midwife in town will want to have a peak at your bits. Probably several times a day.
4. Doing a poo is terrifying
When the urge for that first poo comes, try not to panic. You might feel like you’re about to push out what is left of your insides but in reality, the thought of it is way worse than the experience.
Make sure you stay well hydrated and maybe consider some Metamucil for the hospital bag.
5. There will be giant scary looking clots in the shower
Most women know they will bleed after birth (even if you’ve had a caesarean). What you may not know is when they say bleed, they really mean pass giant scary looking blood clots.
The shower will look like something out of psycho for the first couple of days.
6. Babies make weird noises
Expect to spend the first two weeks constantly checking your baby isn’t choking. Newborns are noisy and make weird choking sounds designed to keep you from ever sleeping again.
7. Belly buttons are disgusting
After a few days your babies belly button will start to turn black and crust up. The clip holding it and the gross left overs will eventually fall off. It’s disgusting. Prepare yourself.
8. Newborns poop tar
If you’re expecting normal poo in that first nappy be warned. Newborns poo tar (yes seriously, black sticky gross looking tar stuff) for the first few days. They then poop weird grainy yellow stuff. At least it doesn’t smell too bad.
9. You’ll probably pee yourself
I remember being horrified the day after birth when I coughed and completely lost control of my bladder. It’s normal but make sure you start doing your pelvic floor exercises!
10. You’ll still look pregnant
Don’t expect that belly to go away straight after birth. You’ll still look 6 months pregnant for at least the first week. Even if you’re a celebrity!
11. It’s normal to cry a lot
Your emotions go a little crazy around day two after birth. Be prepared to feel a bit blue and cry a lot.
Don’t go heavy on the visitors if you’re not feeling up to it. It’s important to look after yourself.
Remember that if you continue to feel down, talk to your midwife or doctor. Postnatal depression is extremely common and treatable.
12. Your hair will probably fall out
No, not all of it, but big enough clumps to make you wonder what in the world is happening!
It’s very normal in the weeks after birth for your hair to thin out, sometimes in fairly big clumps. You won’t go bald or anything but expect to clog the shower drain pretty frequently.
13. Boobs leak
Be prepared that once your milk comes in, your boobs will leak… a lot.
Make sure to wear breast pads and expect to wake up with a soaked chest a few times.
14. Every random person you’ve ever known will come out of the woodwork
There’s something about a baby that brings out every lost friend and relative. Most of whom will suddenly want to visit at hospital (even if you’ve not seen them for years!).
Enlist the support of your husband in turning away visitors and make sure the midwives know who to let in and when.
15. It’s impossible to stop staring at them
Despite all the gross after birth stuff, the main thing you probably won’t be prepared for is how long you spend just staring at them.
To think this little human was inside only hours or days earlier is crazy. Enjoy!
The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Pack
Did you know the Healthy Mummy has a Pregnancy Pack?
The Pregnancy Smoothie is designed to complement, not replace, your prenatal vitamin intake.
Our nutritionists ensured that the vitamins and minerals in the smoothie are at a low level so there is no risk of doubling up on any pregnancy vitamins.
It is ideal as a high-protein, high-calcium snack in pregnancy. You can download the Pregnancy Smoothie Label here.