Welcoming a new life into the world is a momentous and joyous occasion for any family. However, along with the incredible journey of childbirth comes the lesser-discussed but crucial phase of postpartum recovery. This period immediately following childbirth can be physically and emotionally challenging, yet it is often shrouded in silence. But it shouldn't be that way.
12 Things Nobody Tells You About Postpartum Recovery
Today, think of us as your postpartum recovery BFF. We're spilling the beans about everything your IRL friends might not be talking about.
1. Contractions after birth happen.
After giving birth, you may experience mild contractions, especially while breastfeeding. These contractions help your uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size. While they may cause discomfort, they are a normal part of the recovery process.
2. Night sweats can become a regular thing.
As strange as they may sound, postpartum night sweats are a very common thing to happen during your postpartum recovery. In fact, according to The Cleveland Clinic, 35% of women who have given birth report to have night sweats. You are not alone!
3. You will smell things and it's not a dirty diaper.
Body odor happens, and it's completely normal. It can be caused by a lot of different things, but it mostly is impacted due to weight fluctuations, hormonal changes, and extra sweating.
4. Postpartum bleeding is real.
Many women are taken by surprise when they experience postpartum bleeding, also known as lochia. This discharge consists of blood, tissue, and mucus from the uterine lining, and it can last for several weeks after childbirth. Prepare yourself with sufficient postpartum pads or disposable underwear for added comfort.
5. Hormonal changes can be like riding a roller coaster.
The postpartum period is characterized by significant hormonal fluctuations, which can lead to mood swings, anxiety, and even postpartum depression. Reach out to your healthcare professional if you find yourself struggling emotionally during this time.
6. You might lose some hair.
Around three to six months after childbirth, some women may experience hair loss due to hormonal changes. While it may be distressing, rest assured that this is often temporary and will resolve on its own.
7. It might take some time for your bladder and bowels to recover from giving birth.
Temporary bladder and bowel control issues are common postpartum. Pelvic floor exercises, such as Kegels, can help strengthen the muscles and improve incontinence over time.
8. Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Recti)
Diastasis recti, a condition where the abdominal muscles separate, is common after childbirth. Gentle core exercises can aid in closing the gap, but consult your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise routine.
9. Delayed recovery can happen, and that's okay!
Postpartum recovery is unique to each individual, and it's essential not to compare your progress with others. Some women may recover faster, while others may need more time. Be patient with yourself and listen to your body's needs.
10. Tattoos and body piercings can change
We all know about stretch marks as your body changes to carry your baby, but we don't always stop and think about how the stretching of the skin during pregnancy can change things like tattoos and body piercings. It's not uncommon for them to look a lot different after the baby is born!
11. Your feet can get bigger.
A lot of women report going up a half to a whole shoe size during pregnancy and for many, they never go back to "normal." If this is the case for you, embrace your new normal and go to some shoe shopping!
12. Three words: body weight shift.
You know how people tell you that your body will never be the same after giving birth? This is true! While many women find it easy to lose the pregnancy weight, any find it challenging, but one thing is for sure: your body weight will shift. The numbers on the scale might be the same, but in many cases, women carry their weight differently after giving birth.
Looking for more on postpartum recovery? You will enjoy these:
- Postpartum Tips To Help You Through The 4th Trimester
- Productivity Hacks For Work At Home Moms With A New Baby
- Top 10 Health & Wellness Essentials For Your Baby Registry
- How To Handle Breastfeeding When Sick
- Self-Care Tips For New Moms
Postpartum recovery is a journey of healing and adaptation, physically and emotionally. By shedding light on the lesser-discussed aspects of this transformative period, we hope to empower new mothers with knowledge, understanding, and the reassurance that they are not alone. Remember that seeking help, guidance, and support from healthcare professionals and loved ones is essential in ensuring a smooth and successful recovery. Embrace this time with patience and self-compassion as you embark on the beautiful and challenging path of motherhood.
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