I am about 5 months out of giving birth to my third child, Oliver. Since he was my third, I definitely knew what to expect this time around. But looking back on my first delivery and postpartum period with my oldest, Annabel, I wish someone would have given me some important advice to get me though the first couple of weeks with a newborn.
I have asked a handful of my best momma friends as well as put together some of my own advice on how you can survive the first few weeks after giving birth. I hope this helps you to prepare just a little bit more for when you bring home your little bundle of joy.
Take care of yourself – Your body has just gone through the most incredible experience of your lifetime, and it needs time to heal in more ways then one.
There will be lots of blood – You will bleed for up to 6-8 weeks after delivery. Buy some cheap comfortable undies that you wont care if they need to be thrown in the trash. Stock up on super maxi pads and Depends to get you through the heavy bleeding until it tapers off a bit.
Take it all home – Take home all of the mesh undies, the ice packs, and the big fancy adult diapers that the hospital gives you, because trust me you will need them.
It will burn to pee – take home the squirt bottle they give you and use after each pee. It will really help! You can also place a Tucks pad on your maxi pad to help with the pain and inflammation.
Hemorrhoids are a pain in the A$$ – invest in Tucks pad, hemorrhoid cream, and Epsom salts for soaking in the bath.
The night sweats are real – keep an extra set of pajamas, or two, close by so you can easily change in the middle of the night when you wake up soaking from head to toe.
Pooping is the worst – drink LOTS of water!! Make sure you take colace in the hopsital and when you get home for the first few days.
Breastfeeding is hard – When your milk first comes in use a pump or breastfeed often to elevate some of the pressure and eliminate the pain.
Nursing contractions – You will experience “after birth” pains when your uterus contracts back to its normal size. Take advil or a pain reliever to eliminate the pain. Breastfeeding will bring on some of the cramping but it shouldn’t last more then a few weeks.
Hair loss – I can’t even tell you how much hair I have lost but it is everywhere! The hair loss starts around 3 months and ends around 6.
It takes a while for ‘down there’ to feel normal again – expect to pee when you sneeze or cough before your pelvic floor strengthens again. Do those kegels mammas!
Your vag will probably never look the same. Trust me don’t use a mirror to look down there. Its not pretty. I made that mistake once and spent the next few hours on the internet googling when and if it would return to its pre-delivery state.
You will feel all the emotions – from the sleep deprivation to the hormones you will be an emotional rollercoaster. However, pay attention and speak to your doctor if you are feeling really down, anxious or angry. There is a big difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression. Please know that this is very common and you are not alone. Speak to your doctor and get help!
And then after all of this… you will forget about it all and want to do it all over again because it is ALL worth it!! Being a mother and bringing a child into this world is a truly amazing gift.
Did I miss anything? I never had a cesarean so if you have any advice on that please leave it below.