Too Much Information!
Motherhood is beautiful. I thank God every day for the ability to bring my sweet little girls to life, especially when so many women are praying for this opportunity. But, there are definitely some experiences that come with pregnancy and post-partum life that are honestly not all that pretty and I don’t think we talk about them enough. As a new mom with Diari, I experienced so many changes and struggles post-partum that made me mad because I was like, “why didn’t anyone tell me my nipples are going to blister or that my vagina was going to tear??” This post isn’t meant to make you uncomfortable. It’s to help us all see that a lot of these struggles are normal; it’s to help the new mom reading this know that she’s not alone; and it’s to show everyone else what we go through. So this post will be TMI (Too Much Information) but I promise it’ll help with understanding and adjusting to post-partum life.
- Whether or not you’re lucky enough not to have vaginal tearing, you’re gonna go home and you’re gonna be bleeding. And it’s more than just period bleeding. You just had a baby so even after you push everything out, there can be flesh-like discharge that comes with your blood. You will probably have accidents, which makes you feel like you’re back in middle school. So make sure you stock up on granny panties, adult underwear, and even diapers because I definitely had some close calls (I put a towel down everywhere I sat or lied down because I was afraid to make a mess). Oh, and the stitches from tearing are painful AF. You can’t sneeze in peace without peeing yourself. Pray you don’t get constipated because you’ll basically tear all over again.
- Waking up to milk leakage from your boobs is no fun but it will happen, so just keep using the breast pads and pump as soon as you feel like you need it. There will be a lot of discomfort around that so make sure you also use nipple balm to ease the pain. I ended up with blisters around my nipples (and it hurt like no other) until I started using the nipple balm.
- You will wake up sometimes with pain (feeling like your stitches came out, but they usually haven’t). Your lady parts can feel like they are on fire and the stomach cramps aren’t any better. The first poop can hurt like hell (God forbid you become constipated). Definitely stay on top of those stool softeners.
- You will stink: yes, you read that right – YOU WILL STINK. No matter how clean you are, you are covered in blood and leaking so don’t beat yourself too much over the smell. Just change your pads as much as you can and take a few showers a day if you are up to it but let’s be honest, you probably won’t be just because you’re a NEW MOM and THAT’S OKAY! So stink away, mamas!
- Discoloration is real. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any stretch marks or discoloration until I went into labor or gave birth both times. The first time, I looked into the mirror and not only did I gain tiger stripes post-partum, but my stomach and hips area looked like 50 different shades (I’m only exaggerating a little bit).
Baby TMIs – Don’t Freak Out!
FYI, while us moms are experiencing our own changes, there’s actually a lot of stuff that happens with the babies’ bodies too that isn’t common knowledge. For women who have baby girls, there could be a possibility that you see milk coming out of the baby’s nipples. Also, baby girls can have little periods. And they can have clear discharge, so don’t freak out if you take her diaper off and see or feel it. It’s not common, but it is normal. It’s crazy! These are facts that most of us don’t know, so just avoid freaking out and seek advice from your doctor and other moms you trust.
Lastly and most importantly, crying and mood swings are okay. This is not a “TMI” but sometimes I don’t think we get to feel our post-partum feelings the way we want to. Your emotions can be all over the place after labor. From waking up angry to crying for no reason… it’s normal, it’s the post-partum hormones. Just watch for it because if it continues then you may be experiencing postpartum depression (which is REAL!) and it’s okay. Just talk to someone and seek help. You are not alone. Remember to be kind to yourself and know that this too shall pass.
Post-Partum Lessons Learned
What are some things you wish you had known before you gave birth about post-partum life? Share some of your best post-partum advice in the comments to help other mamas out!