Updated on June, 4th, 2019
DISCLOSURE: All the experiences I give below are mine. I didn’t exaggerate anything. Maybe I did write it too boldly and someone may get uncomfortable reading it. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to discourage you. The purpose of this article was to show the “real stuff”. However, it doesn’t mean that you will experience all of it. Your postpartum can be night and day from mine. Please, don’t write comments a la “you show postpartum recovery in dark colors” and stuff like that. That’s how it was FOR ME! And I want to remember how I felt when I have my second time around. I encourage you to share your story in the comments below. Feedback is always extremely important for me and all the mommas reading my blog! Thank you for stopping by. Enjoy the reading (if you can! :))
Can I just say “Oh, boy! I wish I knew all this stuff before I gave birth to my baby”. I was SO unprepared. Physically. Mentally. In any possible way! And how could you be anyway? I guess it’s one of the experiences you could never imagine until you fully sink into it.
I remember how proud I was when I got all the things for the baby ready for my due date. I only forgot that I should have taken care of one more thing. Myself! Looking back, I now realize why I didn’t pay attention to my needs. Simply because I didn’t understand there would be anything like this (mentioned below).
You see, when you’re pregnant with your first, you get the wrong idea that motherhood is natural, everything will come to you easily. I mean, okay, I realized postpartum would be tough, but didn’t even think close to what I would have to come through. I thought breastfeeding was the easiest natural thing every mom is capable of doing. No special preparation needed, it will all come.
Oh My GOD! How wrong I was!
And there were plenty of other things I couldn’t see coming. Even though I read plenty about postpartum in order to prepare myself (at least mentally), I have never seen anything that is relevant on the web. I guess, there’s just not enough information about the postpartum experience and how brutal it actually is because nobody talks about it.
It’s all hidden behind the closed doors or in the mind of a new mother. And this is NOT GOOD. I want you to be prepared for your postpartum. I want to share everything that I’ve learned in my postpartum recovery. So that you know what to expect after giving birth.
Here’s what you should know.
20 THINGS POSTPARTUM YOU SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR
1. You will be extremely weak after delivery…
Da-h! Well, no surprise, you would say. Yes, I agree, weakness is the first thing you think will happen after you give birth just because the labor is hard work. I expected it, too. But I didn’t realize how EXTREMELY weak I would be and how my body wouldn’t listen to me for the first few hours after delivery.
I remember how I wanted to go to the bathroom and once I stepped on my feet I nearly fell my face down (thanks to my husband who was quick enough to catch me in the process). So don’t show heroism and ask for help if you need to go somewhere.
2. …And extremely overwhelmed from how your life changed in less than a day
Too many feelings, emotions, physical and psychological changes that make you vulnerable both physically and mentally. That may also interfere with your sleeping abilities (here comes the paradox where you’re exhausted but unable to fall asleep)
3. You may have a severe drop in blood pressure (and hemoglobin). You may faint
You will bleed after the delivery because your womb starts to contract to shut off the blood vessels where the placenta was attached. On top of that, you will feel extremely week and may have a drop of blood pressure, which can all lead to falling into a faint. Especially, if you choose to have an epidural (it tends to lower blood pressure).
I remember going to the bathroom right after delivery (with my husband holding me, of course). The next thing I know is I’m standing in front of the sink hearing my husband’s voice somewhere far way asking me if I was okay and seeing purely nothing. I could tell he freaked out. I did, too. I didn’t know what could happen and how I could help myself.
Now I know. I should have eaten something. At least a chocolate bar or anything that could raise my blood sugar and give me a go in energy levels. But I was too overwhelmed to remember I had to eat. That’s what you should teach your husband to do. Tell him to offer you some food after you give birth.
DON’T MISS THIS ARTICLE: 12 THINGS YOU CAN DO WHILE BREASTFEEDING TO PREVENT BREAST SAGGING AFTER WEANING
4. You will still look nine months pregnant
This was a shocker to me. I thought my belly would be down by half after giving birth. Not that it actually bothered me until I asked my «roommate» to make a picture of me with the baby and sent it to my husband who texted back something like this: «Wow, you still look like you haven’t given birth yet». Not the greatest thing to say to a woman who has just experienced nine circles of hell, I know, I know.
And let me be honest with you, at first, I was really worried about my huge belly. But then I started digging in and found out that it’s actually quite physiological for a woman to look «pregnant» after giving birth. You’ve been growing a baby inside of your belly for 9 months, don’t tell me you were thinking of going out of the hospital with a six
5. Your boobs become so heavy right before the milk comes in and start leaking when let-down
It’s a new weird feeling. Yes, there will be more to come in terms of bizarre postpartum things that happen to your body and mind. Much more. But this one you get soon after delivery. I didn’t realize my breast would leak like crazy every time I breastfed, so a good thing would be to stock up with some decent Nursing Pads.
It’s so important to pick only good-quality breast pads, like Lansinoh Nursing Pads (they are my fav) because they will save you money, clothes,
I know what I’m talking about because in the beginning I didn’t pay attention to the quality of breast pads and I ended up with the sweating, bad attachment to my bra, leakage while breastfeeding, dirty clothes all covered with milk spots and the overall feeling of absolute discomfort. I hate being wet (even when my sleeve gets a little wet while I’m washing my hands, I start to freak out and want to change my shirt immediately).
Imagine this hell I’ve gone through when I was sitting all wet while breastfeeding without having a chance to even move, not to mention the possibility to change my clothes because there was none! And when you’re breastfeeding a newborn, he usually starts snoozing at the breast. You don’t want to wake him (mine was a bad sleeper). So you end up sitting there where you started your breastfeeding session for quite a long time with no chance to do anything but stick into your cellphone.
6. You may suffer from plugged milk ducts when the milk comes in
In order to avoid it, you should massage your breasts with coconut oil. The ducts may get clogged because the colostrum, a pre-milk substance that is rich in vitamins, minerals, antibodies and other important agents for the baby, is rich in fat and can plug your not-quite-ready-for-the-milk-flow milk ducts. Massage and frequent nursing should help here (and don’t forget to change the breasts while breastfeeding).
YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS: 8 Quick and Easy Ways to Treat Plugged (Clogged) Milk Ducts
7. Making your baby latch in the right way is hard
It happens for a reason (actually many, but here’s a few most common ones). Newborns are sleepy, sometimes weak, maybe they suffered from a slight oxygen deficiency during labor or they just not quite adjusted to the new roughly changed living conditions.
There might be many reasons why your baby can’t latch effectively right away. But don’t worry. It’s the one that takes time. And sometimes it’s better to call out for the help of the lactation consultant.
RELATED: 3 STRATEGIES TO A PERFECT BREASTFEEDING LATCH
8. The new level of sweating like never before
Oh Gosh, there are so many things about postpartum changes nobody even think of mentioning. This is the one from the «I wish I knew» list. Because if I did know how my perspiration system had worked after child birth, I would at least take a couple of extra clothes to wear and sleep in.
But why do we sweat so much after childbirth?
The pregnancy hormones are to blame. Another physiological mechanism of your body to get rid of all extra fluids it built up for your baby’s nourishment.
How bad is this?
Although I’ve never had a menopause, I’m guessing it’s close to what menopausal women are experiencing. First, you experience a hot flush (and an urge to drink a gallon of water), then your underarms, your chest and back become all wet (like, REALLY wet!) so that you feel uncomfortable and want to change the clothes you were wearing.
How long does it last?
They do happen at night quite often. But the first couple of days after childbirth you may experience them during the day, too. The sweating will stop naturally as soon as your body eliminates extra fluids.
How to ease the episodes of sweating?
- Drink plenty of water. Your body may be dehydrated after you sweat a lot. Water will also help the milk to come in faster and support an adequate level of milk supply. Water will also flush all the toxins out. Actually, there are so many benefits from drinking pure water that I highly recommend you to keep a water bottle right next to you.
- Wear loose clothes and have a couple of extra tops (or t-shirts) with you.
- Air the room. Whether it is an open window or an air conditioner, doesn’t matter. It’s better to keep a cool temperature in a room (but make sure it’s not too cold or drafty for the baby)
- Have a clean cloth in your bedside table to absorb the extra body moisture
9. Breastfeeding is painful
Holy cow! It’s painful. It’s messy. It’s a whole lot of work. You feel like your boobs are going to explode for the first couple of days. Your nipples are in shock. Your body is adjusting to the new role. And it may take a while.
The key here is to stay calm, rest as much as you can, eat healthy foods and stay hydrated. The road down to the established lactation is not easy (especially if you’re a first-time mom). You will get to the point of established lactation at around 8-12 weeks postpartum. Just BE PATIENT. You can do it! 🙂
DON’T MISS THIS ARTICLE: HOW TO BREASTFEED LIKE A PRO
10. The letdown may give you a strong tingling sensation
Either that or you may not feel any letdown at all until you get to the point of the established lactation. As I mentioned above, it usually happens 8-12 weeks after delivery.
11. Your uterus will be contracting every time you breastfeed
It feels like you’re going in labor. ALL OVER AGAIN! No kidding. The best thing you can do is to nurse frequently so that your uterus shrinks much faster. The pain will ease off pretty quickly. By the end of the
12. Your nipples may crack and be sore. Constantly (I mean it)
The nipple area of your breast is soft and sensitive. It takes time to get used to constant sucking. I didn’t take this problem seriously at first and skipped using lanolin for my nipples in the first day of breastfeeding. So I found myself having sore and cracked nipples soon after and breastfeeding was super painful.
Every time my baby latched on I felt the pain through the nerves. I started using Lansinoh 100% Natural Lanolin Nipple Cream right away before and after breastfeeding (you don’t have to wash it off before each nursing session which is great!) and my nipples showed a great difference in just a day of applying lanolin (This is a God sent, indeed!).
RELATED: BREASTFEEDING BASICS FOR MOMS WITH FLAT NIPPLES
13. Your energy levels will be down for days (you need helpers everywhere!).
Don’t hesitate to ask for help or even better – preplan it ahead of time. Delegate. You will need help with the household chores, cooking, doing laundry, buying stuff. You will want to be cuddled and said nice words to. (Don’t forget to tell this to your husband and relatives, because they might not think how important this will be to you).
The thing is, when the baby arrives, all the fuss is usually about him. And you are the one who takes a back seat. You will want people to pay attention to YOU, not only your baby! I would even say, ESPECIALLY to you! You will want to stay in bed all day long having a stress-free recovery, where you won’t have to worry about unnecessary stuff. So you’d be glad if you managed to pre-plan every help you need and delegate it beforehand.
14. You will bleed heavily
Oh, dear! Where does all this blood come from? I mean, I get it. But, seriously…that much? For a person who has always had a poor discharge during periods, saying “surprised” is not the right word. Shocked suits better in this case. And, yes, it’s okay to bleed. It’s relatively common for women to lose between 500-1000 ml of blood after birth. What is not normal is the severe bleeding when you lose more than 1000 ml of blood and requires emergency treatment.
How can I know if I’m bleeding severely after delivery?
Severe bleeding cannot go unnoticed. These are the symptoms you may get:
- a rapid drop in blood pressure
- feeling dizziness
- a raise in your pulse rate
If you suspect to have a severe bleeding a couple of days after delivery (when you got home), call your doctor immediately. You need emergency treatment.
15. Tearing is a bitch
You may suffer from a lot of pain down there if you tore in labor (and you can’t take a painkiller, because you’re breastfeeding). You’ll never know if you tear in labor or not, so a great idea would be to prepare some
I personally didn’t tear myself in labor, mostly, I think because I was taking Evening Primrose Oil for getting more elasticity of vagina muscles and tissues (a piece of great advice from my midwife. This brand is the one she personally recommended for me to buy because she saw the difference with it).
My friend, on the contrary, tore herself pretty roughly and since we gave birth one day apart, I personally saw her suffering. So tearing is no cool. Try your best to prevent it. The best advice from my midwife was taking Evening Primrose Oil and massaging myself down there with the Motherlove Birth Oil in labor.
16. Stitches are a pain in the ass (Literally!)
Again, the experience is not mine, but my friend’s. Seeing it is nothing around having. I know. But here’s what I figured out. If you have stitches:
- You can’t sit down for a week or so
- You have to take care of them
- They are a whole lot of pain
- It’s painful to pee
- It’s scary and painful to poop
To put it in other words, the stitches add quite a lot of stress, pain,
- Overnight pads
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Witch Hazel
Making these padsicles is as simple as that:
- Take an overnight pad, unwrap and unfold it (keeping the stickers in place)
- Add aloe vera gel to the whole area of the pad (be generous with that)
- Add a couple of tablespoons of witch hazel on top of that and jam it all with the spoon
- You can also add 5-10 drops of the lavender, rosemary, and geranium essential oils.
- Fold the pad back and put it into the package.
- Put several ready-made pads in a freezer bag and into your freezer.
And you’re done!
17. You will have a weird feeling in your guts
The first thing you get, your tummy feels so empty inside after you give birth. No wonder, right? But this feeling is far beyond physical. It has psychological roots. You feel empty, lonely, unnecessary, unimportant, even used (but that’s only me. The funny thing with psychological stuff is that every person has his own unique feelings and emotions on the same problem, based on his own psychic background and traumatic childhood experience. Yes, it all comes from childhood. Most of it.)
Then you get the feeling that your intestines start to move. And that is exactly what is happening because all your organs want to get back to where they were pre-pregnancy. Let me just tell you, never ever in my life have I felt so gassy, bloated and uncomfortable. It was one of the most embracing postpartum experience. But you can’t get away from it. The best thing you can do is eat a healthy diet, stay hydrated and wait for the gassiness to pass. It took me almost a month! God. That was long.
18. Sleep-deprivation is no joke
It’s brutal. It interferes with your mood. It may trigger postpartum depression. It makes you angry. Like, REALLY ANGRY! I remember this feeling. It was so strong and so unfamiliar. I’ve never experienced such severe negative emotions before. I was scared of them. How can you help yourself in this situation? (When you feel like negative emotions start taking over)
- Sleep! Forget about everything (expect to care for the baby, of course) and get some sleep as soon as your baby’s snoozing! Learn to take short naps. You will feel such a difference! I mean it.
- Speak your mind! Tell it all to your husband, or your mom. If you’re afraid of judgment (which you shouldn’t, of course), schedule an appointment to a psychologist. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings. You need to get them off your chest.
- Sob it out! It’s okay to cry. Actually, sobbing was the first thing I remember to be doing postpartum. I was crying heavily. I went through a lot mentally. All these pregnancy and delivery stuff is nothing like getting through an emotional rollercoaster first couple of weeks (or even months!) postpartum. You can’t be prepared for it. You just have to embrace the fact you’ll be really vulnerable.
- Have time for yourself. Go for a walk or head to the cafe and drink a cup of tea and read your favorite book. Go get your nails done, or change your hairstyle. Do everything that makes you happy. Allow some time for yourself. No, it’s NOT selfish! It’s healthy. For you. Period.
- Stay out of
drama. I know there are a lot of hormonal changes involved in your constant mood swings and sometimes it’s so easy to give way to negative thinking. But it’s the road to ruin! Each time you catch yourself at negative thinking, change your physical activity and give yourself three positive affirmations. For example, go wash your face (change of physical activity), look into the mirror and say “I can handle all the difficulties. They will pass. I am grateful for my new role in life as a mother”.
19. You will be starving and thirsty like never before
Thanks to breastfeeding, which burns 500 extra calories a day. And since breast milk consists 80% from water, and you will be making 1-1.5 liters a day, should I tell you anything about how thirsty breastfeeding makes you feel? A Water bottle will be your favorite accessorize while breastfeeding, so make sure you get a good one and take it with you everywhere (in the house included).
This water bottle is great because it can keep your beverage hot (as well as cold) for up to 12 hours, which is great in terms of inducing a let down while breastfeeding. When you’re drinking hot fluids 15 minutes before or during a nursing session, it helps you to get more let-downs. So keep this bottle full and at your breastfeeding station (or just around yourself). Aim to drink half of your body weight in oz. and plan a nutritious extra snack a day (to get extra calories you need for making milk!)
YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS: BREASTFEEDING DIET GUIDELINES
20. Your libido will retire (for a long-long time!)
Seriously. Don’t give yourself false expectations that your desire will revive soon after delivery. It’s just not gonna happen. You are not going to want your husband. Not-a-chance! The basic instincts are to blame here. Your mind switches to a different role – taking care of your newborn. It’s new, it’s stressful and exhausting. And that is not a bad thing, actually. You just MADE a new person!
Give yourself some grace. When you become a mother, everything else fades into insignificance, including both your husband’s needs and your libido. You can wave them goodbye since your main agenda is the grunting little human you made and brought to this world. Desires are so not important. Not until you get used to the new role and learn to relax.
21. Sex will hurt like hell for the first couple of times (or months as it was in my case)
First of all, the six
- you don’t WANT to have sex (because of numerous reasons: you’re exhausted, too emotional, you don’t have time for yourself, you don’t think you deserve having pleasure at the moment, you’re too alert for the baby cries, you’re nervous, sleepy, hungry, angry, tired, just not in the mood – the list is endless. The truth is, sex is going to be way back in your agenda (not in your husband’s, though)
- eventually, you’ll feel guilty because your husband is unfairly forgotten, and you’ll go for having your first postnatal sex
- and it will hurt. A LOT!
Why does the pain happen?
- If you tore yourself inside the vagina, and you haven’t quite recovered yet down there
- If you’re breastfeeding, you will experience vaginal dryness. It happens due to high levels of prolactin that support lactation. While prolactin is up high, estrogen, on the contrary, is down low. It’s the latter that makes you feel pleasure during sex because it helps to lubricate the vagina. Otherwise, it feels like you are riding a wooden stake (yep, it’s as bad as that!)
- The weakened tonus of vagina’s muscles and its expansion can leave its imprint on the sensations during the first sexual intercourse. However, this phenomenon is temporary, and the problem will be resolved by itself within a few months postpartum.
What can you do about it?
- Check with your doctor if the stitches are fully recovered. Otherwise, it’s better to postpone having sex until you feel completely healthy down there.
- Try using a lubricant. After delivery, most women experience a sharp decline in the level of female sex hormones, estrogens. As a result, the amount of natural vaginal lubricant production is dramatically reduced. For this reason, sexual intercourse can be uncomfortable and even painful for a woman. In this case, you might want to stock up a special lubricant.
- Do Kegel exercise. It’s great in terms of rapid recovery after delivery. Aim to do the exercise every hour for 3 weeks. The technique is very simple:
- you need to strain the muscles of the perineum and anus (as if you really want to go to the toilet) within 5 seconds
- hold them for 5 seconds in the state of maximum tension
- then gradually relax them for another 5 seconds.
- Have a 5-second rest, and repeat the exercise.
- 30 reps
isa wayto go – it only takes a few minutes.
YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ THIS:
22. You will be VERY EMOTIONAL
I have already mentioned it. You will feel like riding an emotional roller-coaster every single day. It’s exhausting. But you will have to adjust. Try to explain to your husband that postpartum is a hard period with many bumps on the way (you usually have no idea of until you bump into them!).
There were days when I cried my eyes out and I first couldn’t explain why. What was the trigger of all that emotions coming out of me? But then my really good friend gave me this book as a present (which I now consider the BEST present a friend could ever give to a first-time mom) because she knew what I was going through, that I couldn’t explain or share it and I needed a stable ground not to go crazy with all these emotions and to know that IT WAS NORMAL TO FEEL THEM.
“Mama, Bare: The Birth Of Mother” was my stable ground. I read all those stories of mothers postpartum. What they felt, what they were going through physically, emotionally, and mentally. I had NO IDEA every woman had, to some extent, the emotions and thoughts I was experiencing at that moment.
I felt taken care of while reading this book. I felt understood. It made me cry. It made me feel different. It made me accept my new body and soul of a mother. It made me reborn and become who I am right now.
And, God, how am I grateful to this amazingly talented woman, Kristen Gale Hedges, who gathered all these stories into one piece of a very emotional reading every mother needs so much to touch upon.
I would like to say one BIG Thank You from the bottom of my heart to you, Kristen! Because your book showed all I was going through was NORMAL. Because it made me feel so fragile, yet so strong inside. Because it made me accept my new life and role of a mother.
What about you?
Hey, mama! Share your postpartum experience, too. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and provide feedback for many other mommas reading this blog.
Sharing is caring!
Don’t forget to share this post if you found it useful.
Thanks so much for the heads-up Jane.. I’ve got 2months to go and had no clue what to expect.. Gues I’ll now go in stronger than I would have. May God bless your work
Dorothy, thank you so much for your nice words! 🙂 This is a true inspiration for me.
Mums to be please keep in mind this is one Mums personal experience or actually not even hers in some parts. I had a forceps delivery with my Bub and 2 second degree tears and while I was sore, I certainly wasn’t in agony and also you can definitely take certain over the counter pain relief just check with your midwife or doctor. It never hurt to go to the toilet as I drank a lot of water, pour lukewarm water over it after and patted dry with a clean face cloth. I also made sure to lie down a lot.
Personally, my libido returned after 3 weeks and sex wasn’t so much painful as it was uncomfortable when we had it 2 weeks later once the bleeding had stopped ( otherwise there’s a risk of infection) we just use lots of lubricant and took it slow, so please don’t think it will be necessarily be as awful as described in this article! It scared me and I’d already had my baby
Absolutely agree! This is my own experience and it doesn’t mean that every woman will feel the same. It is all very personal. Any I certainly didn’t mean to scare anybody. I’m sure for some women postpartum may even get much worse that what I wrote about and, of course, it can be much better, as well.
Anyway, thanks for sharing your postpartum story. It’s always great to get feedback! 🙂
This is a very extreme and negative take on postpartum. It is not like this for everyone and you do not need all these products to help you. Yes, some things mentioned here can effect a mother but definitely not all and in the exaggerated version they are presented. Everyone is different.
I agree, of course, that every person is different and the experience of each mom is different, too. So it’s great if you had a much better and easier postpartum. But hey, I’m sure, for some it may be worse than that. So, I consider, the best thing is to be ready for the worst but hope for the best. But again, this is just my opinion. And I definitely not agitating every mom to buy all the products I mention in the article. Everything I write about is given for informational purposes only. So it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with it next.
Thank you for your comment! 🙂
Definitely experienced many of these. I have 2 girlies, so you’d think the second time I would have had a better idea, but some of them still caught me off guard. The second time, that feeling of an empty jelly belly was quite surprising! I must not have felt it as much the first time. Also, the nursing cramps we’re way worse the second time around. TTC #3, so third time’s the charm? Haha!
I don’t know. It seems pretty realistic to me! Postpartum is not for the faint of heart.
These are definitely things i wish i had known before giving birth. And after each of mine i experienced new and diff issues. I would have loved to have been prepared for them. I was looking for something to help prepare my friend a little just in case. This is perfect. It contains almost everything i wish someone would have told me before! Ha ha
On the contrary, I found this to be VERY realistic and openly vulnerable. While having a child is a beautiful experience, it IS painful. It IS emotional and it IS taboo, to an extent, to even discuss these things because EVERYONE will have an opinion about your experience. Kuddos to the writer of this because, after two children of my own and a third on the way, YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD.
OMG, Tiffany, THANK YOU for this amazingly supportive comment! You just made my day! Reading comments like this makes me want to continue writing more and more helpful articles for mommies. XO
Jane, please keep writing these! You are so kind to all these negative people and I admire that. However, the truth is, you’re being very honest and vulnerable about your experience that is likely extremely similar to that of most women! Very few have the courage to share those experiences and I would hope that everyone would applaud the time you have taken to write this out rather than saying you’re exaggerating or that this is not true. I thank you for your honesty and your bravery and encourage you to ignore the negativity that people are sending your way.
I’m so flattered by reading your kind words of praise and encouragement! 🙂 Thank you so much for finding time to write this amazing comment.
All you say is true! The biggest fear is writing articles such as this one because they are always taken both pretty well and not so good. However, I still consider that writing upon your own experience and being honest about everything is the best because it gives the perspectives many mommas need so much.
This is very similar to what I experienced. I have given birth to 5 babies. Every one had varying degrees of each of these points. Would I not have babies because of this? Of course not… after all, I went on to have 4 more after my first. I will not downplay the reality of how hard it can be on our bodies, but it is also incredibly empowering. Look at what you did! You made a person! That is amazing! And each birth and each postpartum period and each baby is so different. I was terrified after my third because I didn’t eat well, only gained barely 20lbs total, and then hemorrhaged over 2 litres within an hour of birth. I could barely climb stairs for over a month. And when I got pregnant again, I had panic attacks and had to work through the anxiety. I had her with zero meds. Not even the gas, which is what I used with my previous 2. I felt so empowered by that experience, even though it was hard. I did hemorrhage again, but it was much less as I focused more on diet through pregnancy. Gained 40lbs with her. My 5th I followed the Brewers diet, and that was the best experience of all. I had the nutrients and energy needed, no hemorrhage, less bleeding after birth than a period, and even the breastfeeding was painful, but that was because he was different than my other kids. Everyones experience will be different with similarities. Birth is scary, amazing, empowering, beautiful and raw.
I found it shocking in these modern times you really have never heard of these things happening post partum. While it’s not a trip to Disney Land these are natural, quite common things most women go through and not nearly as dramatic as posted here, and yes I experienced every single one except #15. Where was your doctor’s input during your pregnancy, mother, grandmother, aunts, friends etc.??? These people described allll of these things to me in vivid detail pre-baby, almost with delight in their eyes , lovingly that is. None of these things were pleasurable for me but they weren’t nearly as dramatic or devastating as described here, either. They’re just a natural part of the whole experience. And I’m sorry if they really threw you for a loop. To those readers freaking out just remember if post partum is as bad as described here every mother that bears children would only do it once and obviously that’s just not the case. Be prepared, it’s probable you will at least experience some of these things but you’ll bounce back and be just fine, even your Vajayjay will be good as new relatively quick, that sucker IS amazing! Side note, none of my statements pertain to post partum depression. Keepin’ it real ~G
Thanks for “keeping it real”, but the writer’s experience was a lot like my own and because so many mothers, aunts, friends, doctors DOWNPLAY the real, nitty-gritty parts of pregnancy and post-partum there’s pretty much no way for a new mother to know what to really expect – its not perfect, its not pretty, and it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. I had my daughter on October 28th, just under a month ago – 13 hours of active labor, 2.5 hours of pushing before they tried to vacuum my baby out and when that didn’t work I had to have an emergency c-section. My entire “birth plan” flew completely out the window and we had to readjust our expectations pretty much on the fly! I came home after an entire week at the hospital with a new baby, an unrecognizable body, and I just felt entirely deflated and traumatized… I took all the help I could get from my partner and in laws, but it took weeks to settle into the new normal and even feel remotely like myself prior to pregnancy. It’s a lot to handle, absorb, and adjust to and I wish I had read more honest blogs like this to give me a full picture and realistic expectations! Do you bounce back? Yes. Will it eventually become a blur once you connect with your baby and settle into your new life? Also yes. It takes time though. We women are amazingly resilient and STRONG, it’s just a matter of embracing it all and powering through ❤
Thank you for opening up and sharing your tough story of delivery and postpartum experience. I’m really sorry for you! I know how hard it might be to recall all that you’ve gone through and talk about it. I appreciate your sincerity and positivity.
Gina, your comment was rude and condescending. Not all mothers know what to expect and to get a real view of what one mother and her friend went through goes a long way to gaining valuable knowledge. No one talks about what happens after the baby gets here. My mother didn’t and I’m sure my grandmother didn’t but for my girls, I tried to give them some small idea. This article made it much easier to explain. While not all moms may go through half of what’s in the article, at least they aren’t completely naive thinking it’s “Disneyland”.
Wow, 26 days until my due date and I wish I hadn’t read this. Can’t wait to give birth *sarcasm.* I may not have had the postpartum experience yet, but I can’t imagine that all of these things are so horrific especially with your baby finally in the outside world! I hope I’m at least a little happy, despite the discomforts I may be experiencing.
@Tori – giving birth was the best thing in the world for me! (& I tore)… had ZERO pain from it. No discomfort peeing, nothing. I would do it all over again tomorrow! Don’t let this post get you down. Giving birth is incredible & beautiful!!! You will do amazing. ????
This was absolutely true, i have 3 children and i can say that all of these were true for me, thank you for this
You are welcome! 🙂
I can understand all of this, as I experienced the same shock after my first baby 9 years ago.. plus I had a big episiotomy (still remember the crazy scissors, grrrr..), healing from wich I would put a top of this list.Of course, everyone is different, some moms doesn’t even tear.But I think it’s good to share this kind of experience too, because i was totally devasteted after my first – no one even told me I could feel so bad (“could” but not “definately would”!). Nevertheless, I have given birth 3 more times after this and expecting another one in a few months, and each time it gets easer and I’m better prepered for all that stuff mentioned in the list ☺️
Thank you for your comment and reassuring words! This feedback is important for moms.
I’m 34 weeks pregnant with baby #4, so this is not my first rodeo. Some of the things listed were true for me with my first. I was definitely shocked at the amount of blood, the pain from tearing and the insane amount I sweated during the the first night or two after giving birth. Not sure what that was all about. But it was definitely all worth the pain! Hence why I did it again, and again.. And am doing it again! You will not believe how in love you are with this tiny human. The breastfeeding was insanely better with each baby. I didn’t tear with my third and the recovery was so much faster and easier. Each birth and postpartum period is different, as is each baby and mother. The only thing I’m worried about with this postpartum time is the after pains, which have gotten worse with each baby. With first baby I didn’t even notice them. Last one they were worse than labour. I’m hoping somehow they will just be over with faster this time and I’ll have some good ways to cope with the pain and relax. Happy birthing everyone!
I’m so sorry it took me eternity to answer your comment. First of all, thanks for sharing your story! It’s nice to know that postpartum recovery after every new pregnancy is getting easier. I really hope my second time around would be better (or at least I will know what to be ready for!)
I was wondering about the after pains you’re talking about. What do you mean? The pain when your uterus is contracting to get back to its pre-pregnancy size?
Hi Jane..yeah absolutely true..i’ve experienced most of it. Nipple crack and bleed were very terrible for me everytime i have my newborn. I’d rather having labor pain than nipple pain ? coz u will feel like having electricity shock whenever the baby start to latch at the crack nipple.This painful will last 1-2 weeks after delivery..My solution was..i bought some nipple cream & sometimes put the milk itself at the crack part would heal it.
– Mummy with 3 amazing kiddos –
‘Electricity shock’ – it should be in wiki for nipple cracks! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tips.
Hi Jane I recently had my baby girl(first girl by the way) Oct. 4th I have two boys at home 10 and 7 and there’s a big gap in between the 7 year old and baby so yes it’s been a good while, I want to share my story I hope is not too long! So I had my baby girl and we were so happy we couldn’t wait for her to be here, well when I was at the hospital I started feeling anxious the night before we were discharged, I got up and went to my husband we started praying, so I want to say that I’ve had several anxiety attacks before and I don’t know why sometimes when I feel that way or when I don’t eat right when I get hungry my stomach feels so empty and I feel short of breath, but that’s not all we got home and it felt total loneliness my boys were out with family and I tried to sleep because I didn’t sleep at all at the hospital, well I couldn’t sleep even if I felt like a zombie I just couldn’t I felt like my eyes wouldn’t close they even hurt. Several days later I started feeling so overwhelmed with family members going to see baby I couldn’t take a nap because they would be there and they were carrying baby, she would sleep for a good while, while I tried to eat and get hydrated, I wasn’t sleeping good at all. My husband was such a big help when he was here he would do laundry, cook bring food to bed and whatever I needed he’ll bring me I have 5 steps to go down my living room so he didn’t want me going up and down either and I really thank him for that but once he went back to work I started freaking out thinking now I have to clean here and there I couldn’t see anything dirty because I’ll get so stressed and feel so anxious and if I don’t eat I start feeling short of breath and that gets me even more anxious, well I don’t know what it is but I want to say that yes it is very hard you barely have time to cook and have no time for yourself, there’s times when I feel like a homeless woman all stinking like armpits and spoiled milk your hair all messy sometimes you don’t even feel like changing because you dont feel in the mood to take care of yourself, you feel so overwhelmed with kids homework and baby is crying again and there’s no time to cook and now you’re worrying about all this things that you feel like you can’t do, but hang in there I was told not to worry is my house is dirty right now my body just gave birth to a baby, I’m still trying to recover and gain strength I will have time to clean and do all this things later on whatever the kids and husband do is enough but we have to try and rest, sleep and eat well because baby is getting all the nutrients and energy from our body! God is good all the time, I pray for all those mothers who are going thru depression and anxiety I just want to say that you are not alone same thing I’ve been told! So be strong and hang in there it’s only temporary !
I’m really sorry for all that you’re going through right now with your new baby girl.
Yes, postpartum depression is real and sometimes it gets worse than just having some occasional baby blues. Please, do know that you are NOT alone! Many moms are going through the same thing here. It’s just that the majority of them don’t want to open up and share it with others because it will make them vulnerable and they might feel even more hurt.
I was depressed after I gave birth, too. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. I was crying my eyes out days after days, usually when my husband didn’t see me. And the worst part was that I was afraid that he would notice I felt this way. I was afraid he would judge. I didn’t even acknowledged I had depression myself, because I felt so insecure, I needed a stable ground to get myself together and this stable ground at that time was denial.
I cried and I scolded myself for that. I didn’t let myself do it, tried to hold myself and pretended everything was normal, but the fact was there was nothing normal when your life’s changing 180 degrees in 24 hours! Where can you find this strength to accept this abrupt change?
This is hard. Postpartum is hard. Especially when you are a first time mom. I still don’t want to realize how I managed to recover mentally because a part of me didn’t want to look back.
This is probably one of the reasons I still haven’t written the post about the postpartum depression and baby blues. Because I don’t want to recall it. I don’t want to feel vulnerable again and I’m afraid that some people may get me wrong and hurt my feelings by saing something bad.
Now, I would probably say the most evident thing, but it DOES GET BETTER over time! And you WILL recover! You will have time to do everything and look great and smell roses, never doubt that! You will feel sexy again. You will feel a woman (not a milk farm, not a mom, not a multi-tasking homecaring person, but a woman who is loved, taken care of and adored by all memebers of your family!) I am absolutely sure about that. Please, don’t let your negative thoughts get to you. Things will change to the better before you know it.
And know that I’m here for you if you need to talk!
The most surprising thing for me post parfum was the sweating and the feeling of my rib cage and pelvis going back into place. So weird! Great page.
This is exactly what I forgot to tell about in the article! My postpartum was two years ago. It’s hard to remember all the things. Thanks for reminding me about this.
Glad you liked my article 😉
I have to say that I agree with what was written. I was an only child, and didn’t really have any ‘girlie’ friends to input the postpartum care for me. My mother was able to help some but of course at the time that was 27 years ago. I had my first child 6 years ago and had no clue what I was in for. The Doc didn’t even forewarn me how bad it would be. I tore, and pretty bad. My daughter ended up having a milk allergy, so I was engorged and my breasts hurt horribly. I’m now married and ttc #2. I’m doing all the research I can to be better prepared cause God nows the last time I was not. Ladies, as long as you prepare yourself for your labor you will be okay. Things might happen that you didn’t prepare for, but know that somewhere one of us has been there and you can always ask for help. Rely on family and friends for support. I had really bad depression after my daughter was born, so I know that this time I will expect that. I think it has to do with the separation during labor for me. I emplore you do research and ask questions. I didn’t the first time because frankly I was scared shitless. Good luck to all you mommies and God speed.
Thanks for your comment! I’m sorry you had a rough experience with your first postpartum recovery. I hope it’s gonna be much better this time. You’re absolutely right, knowledge gives you power and confidence. And that’s exactly what every momma needs!
Good luck with labour and postpartum recovery!
Omg am so scared now of this.. Sometimes i think am not gonna can do all that!!!!! Its that Hard so crazy i have 32 weeks my fisrt baby wish me luck. Thankss for share ur experience
I know, the first pregnancy may be really overwhelming. I’ve been there, too. Only nobody ever told me what’s gonna be next. And I wish I knew, because, frankly, it’s not that scary at all but only when you’re aware of it in advance. I can say for sure having experienced all that I would go for another baby and another. Because postpartum could ever spoil what coming with the baby – the miracle of birth, bonding with your baby, breastfeefing experience and just the new mommy part of you.
I wish you luck with the rest of your pregnancy, labour and delivery!
When did you start taking the Evening Primrose?
I started taking Evening Primrose oil in pills (500 mg each) from 36 weeks.
The scheme is the following:
1st week – 1 capsule a day
2nd week – 2 capsules a day (a took both at once with my breakfast)
3rd week – 3 capsulea a day
4th week up to the delivery – 4-6 capsules a day.
But make sure to consult your doctor if he/she approves this before taking primrose oil in the dosage mentioned above.
My doc told me that usually they prescribe primrose oil to pregnant women one month before the due date to make sure it does the job that it’s meant for.
Hi Jane, thank you for you honesty. I too was surprised at how hard post partum recovery is. Of course you prepare, but I was so disappointed at how difficult the experience is for me. In the Netherlands you get government funded post partum help at home for a week, and I learned a lot from the nurse, but once she was gone I felt so alone and helpless. Especially after the first unbearable crying session that literally took HOURS! Your patience is tested to the max and I felt like I was failing for not being able to calm my own baby down.
And I hate how everywhere it says your mother instinct will kick in, when this to me is not something that happened like magic. I had such a perfect pregnancy, but the delivery (October 31th 2018) was brutal and I was not prepared emotionally for this. I’m usually a very rational person, but I hardly recognize myself these days. It’s comforting to read these stories that are not about pink clouds and perfect experiences, because it’s not! Thank you
Thanks for sharing your experience! The postpartum support you have from your Government is just amazing! I wish there was something like that in our country. However, hiring a doula for postpartum care is now becoming more and more wide-spread, which makes me happy, because, unfortunately, many women don’t really understand the care they need to get after they give birth and this is probably even more important than labor. Well, at least I think so.
As to the mother’s instincts, I’m not sure mine has kicked in yet *lol* (and I have a toddler, so-to-speak). So don’t worry about that. And never ever think that you’re doing something wrong or you’re a bad mother, because, believe me, you aren’t! There are no grades! Nobody has the right to judge you as a mother. And if the person is sane enough, they wouldn’t.
I’m flattered to know that reading my story brought you comfort. Please, do know that almost all women experience postpatum discomforts, both physical and psychological. Many moms out there have postpartum depression and it is not something to be ashamed of. Our bodies and our minds go through so many changes overnight, it’s almost impossible to fathom and fully embrace. We need time to adjust.
It’s okay to feel broken. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to want to be taken extra care of.
Try to share your emotions with your husband. I was shocked when I finally decided to open up to my husband how supportive he was. And it really helped to overcome all the fears and discomforts new moms tend to have.
Take care and if you have just about any question, you can always write to me.
Hi! I was wondering when and how often you started massaging the Motherlove birth oil and where? I saw the comment above about the Primrose oil and will ask my doc about it. I’m 29 weeks with my second and I had a second degree tear with my first and that was awful for me. I appreciate this post because I experienced a lot of this and was not prepared for it. Breastfeeding was the toughest thing because my daughter had a tongue tie. Im hoping my little guy doesn’t have it but at least I’m more prepared if he does. I really related to the comments about anger and emotions. My goodness I felt like a huge failure and was soooooo exhausted. I had such a hard time sleeping during the day. The first 6 weeks were so exhausting for me.
We found out my husband will be deploying after the baby is around 6 weeks old. Im hoping I have a decent handle on things before he goes. Anyways, thanks again for sharing. Yes others might experience sunshine and rainbows but for some of us that have an experience like yours, at least we don’t feel so alone now.
My midwife advised me to massage my perineal with this oil and drink Primrose oil starting from week 36. However, I only did the latter. My midwife was actually massaging me down there during delivery (I think this really helped me to prevent tearing) and you can talk about this with your midwife.
Although, I know that perineal massage is really benefitial for you and you can definitely try it out. Here’s the link to Mama Natural https://www.mamanatural.com/perineal-massage/ – the resource I have a high trust in. You can read the instructions for perineal massage + learn the benefits.
p.s. Thank you for leaving a comment and sharing you experience. I appreciate it!
I am due in 2 months (Feb 2019), and this was everything that I needed to read!
Thank you, Cass! 🙂
Please don’t let this blog overwhelm you or allow it to consume you. Yep, there are hard parts and amazing parts to labour and post partum.
Ladies who are yet to give birth, you will be amazed at what our bodies can do after your baby is born and how much you will want to persevere when things get tough 🙂
It’s hard to explain now. I didn’t “get it” until I gave birth.
I was very lucky and the worst I copped from the above list was pain during breast feeding. I have a feeling many women experience this. Those poor sensitive boobs of ours are about to have a little milk monster try to attach. It’s a learning curve for both you and baby.
Jane, your constant use of the phrase “you will” does unfortunately imply that you are telling the readers that they will experience everything you did. If the narrative was from your experiences then using “I” would be more appropriate. You also mentioned two topics that you did not experience.
There’s nothing wrong with being honest but you don’t want to scare the bejesus out of first time Mums. 🙂
Hi Mama Jo,
Thank you for your comment! 🙂 When I was writing this article I was too absorbed by the recalled postpartum experience. I’m guessing that’s why it turned out to be so emotionally charged.
I will think about changing the narrative to a softer degree. Thanks for pointing that out!
Jane, Thank YOU for your honesty and for being the first voice in the interwebs that has validated the hard part of this journey called becoming MOM. I am petite by nature and I am 39 weeks with a large baby boy. You have given us the biggest gift in your post. Blessings.
Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I hope this article will help you overcome the postpartum difficulties that may happen. At least you know you are not alone and everything that will happen to your body after you give birth is normal.
I wish you an easy labor and fast postpartum recovery.
Thank you for sharing your story! Sorry you had such a tough time! With my first it was nothing but magical from conception until now, 6 years later. No sickness, no long excruciating labor, easy recovery despite needing a c-section, breastfeeding was easy, she was an easy baby all around. This time however, maybe due to being older, I’ve been hit with all day sickness, aches and pains, and we are only just beginning. I feel like it’s the first time all over again and reading about the endless possibilities is helping me to prepare for what might happen this time around. My pregnancies have been night and day so far so I’m thinking it won’t be such a breeze post partum.
Thank you so much for sharing your postpartum recovery experience with your first daughter.
I’ve been talking to my friends who have two and more babies about their pregnancies and postpartum, surprisingly, all of them told me every pregnancy was unique and felt like the first time. As for the postpartum, most of them said every other time is easier. I’m guessing, this may be because you’re better prepared for what might happen and armed with postpartum care kit.
I hope your second time would be a breeze, too. A lot depends on our attitude and positive thinking.
I definitely experienced much of this with my son’s birth, I wish I would have read this real of an article before hand! At what week did you start using the primrose oil and how much? I’m definitely going to talk with my Dr. about using it!
I started using Primrose Oil from the 36th week of pregnancy with 1 capsule (500 mg) once daily during the week. Next week the dosage was raised up to 1000 mg a day (I took separate it during the day), week 38 – 3 capsules daily (1500 mg), week 39 and up to birth – 4 capsules (2000 mg).
Make sure to contact your doctor before taking this supplement.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and helping prepare me for what to expect. Of course everyone’s experience is different, but wouldn’t you want to hear all the differences so you can be best prepared? This has been helpful to discuss with my husband what to expect (especially emotionally as I *tend* to be a little over emotional and dramatic) post partum so he can understand and feel a little less overwhelmed with me (and our boys) as we’re facing our induction tonight. Thank you for sharing!
You’re welcome, Tina! And I wish you an easy labor and fast, stressed-free postpartum recovery.
Hi. I am a mother to a 10yrcold daughter and a 9weeks old son. I know feels like starting all over again. I tried to google a lot of things with my 2nd child but I am much prepare with him. With my 1st child everything was great no morning sickness or anything labor went well the only thing I have a big tear that I needed stitches . I guess it is expected because it is the first child. I did not breastfeed my daughter for so long and doing both breastfeeding and formula. With my 2nd child I am much more prepare to breastfeed even it is how painful it is. From sore nipple and milk duct espywhen he has this hubby when he is asleep and kind a bite my nipple and pull it. It was so sore I do not let him latch on that side and just do pump. Oh and I did not mention with my 2nd I work until the day before I got induce at the same time it was not easy pregnancy because my back is in pain and bending at my work was not good idea especially if you work with toddler children who keeps you busy in toes. But anyway I was so thrilled and excited for the day of the arrival of my son but I admit I am nervous too I do not know what will happen in delivery room. I did ask for epidural but after few hrs it wore off when I start feeling the contraction before I know it I am in 10cm so the Dr need to deliver the baby so I could feel the pain that you feel you are constipated and needs to poop (sorry for that but it is true). I guess that’s how it feels the pain without the epidural. It takes 20mins for me pushing until my son comes out. But tell you even how much painful it was worth it and would not change a thing and would have another child again in a year or so… I am glad I only have a small tear so he do not need to stitch me. As you said you should tell ahead with your partner what to be expected and you needed but I guess I am being tough I did not and try to do everything on my own even I just had the baby. So one day my partner stays home with me and on 2nd day I did told him to work and I do things at home cooking and laundry. I should ask for help but thinking I can manage it as long I am not doing it too much and lifting heavy. My son is almost 10weeks old now and I do love spending every single day with him until I get back to work in a month and he will be at my work day care. And not to mention I am glad he sleeps 7-11 hrs now. Depends on the day and he is still in swaddle at night which that helps him sleeps longer through the night. As what you said postpartum is not easy I am in different mood that you do expect to get a good word from your partner or from other people. This is the thing I did not mention to my partner that depression is normal but I do try to handle it my own and as what you said I tried to cry it out when I needed too. But this things changes once I hold my son and see a smile from his face I forgot any sadness… Right now I am enjoying every single day with my son and I wish I could stay home with him and take care of him but I need to get back to work and provide our needs. Another thing besides the breastfeeding it was not easy for me to produce milk as much I want to breast feed atleast my son is 1yr old and hoping I will I tried a lot of thing drinking so much water, lactation cookie and so other. I am hoping one day I could produce more milk as my son do gets hungry like every 2-3hrs.
My number one piece of advice to new moms post partum is research and prepare for post partum depression. 1 in 4 mom’s will experience this after birth. It goes beyond baby blues.
With my first I went untreated too long and had to be hospitalized with psychosis. With my second I was ready and avoided it all together and was much better off as a mom.
Ask your family and doctors for help if you feel depressed, are both connecting with your child, or have thoughts of shame and guilt.
Thank you for your advice!
Postpartum physically was a breeze in comparison to the fog, emotions, sleep deprivation, and feeling of completely being overwhelmed. My daughter was born in November, after Christmas I was in such a horrible state. The holidays were over, my husband was back to work, I was exhausted, I wanted to be back to work and a routine, the weather was horrible and cole, my daughter had the most horrific reflux and cried 90% of the day. I was afraid to take my daughter out and stayed home most of the days. It drained every ounce of my soul. I didn’t take time for me. I didn’t take help. It was quite frankly the most horrible experience of my life. It lifted once I got back to work, got out of the house, talked to my mom about it and took help. Self care is so so so so so important and I think your article does a great job at reminding us moms of that!
Wow! What a read! Most of my girlfriends have now had babies. But nobody talks about these things in detail. Only my sister has told me parts, but I’ve never really heard a full, open, honest account of what happens (so thanks!). It’s really eye opening, also kinda scary. I’m sure many birth stories are different, but also more-or-less the same. Me and my husband have decided to start trying for a baby. What a mother’s body goes through is a shocking thought (and amazing), but most mothers seem to usually have more than one kid, so it must be worth it…!
How soon after you found out you were pregnant did you start the primrose oil?
I started to drink primrose oil supplements from the 35th week of pregnancy (approximately 4 weeks before the due date)
Thank you so much!! I am 12 weeks with my first baby, I’ve never been pregnant before. This helped me so much I know i have so much to go and to feel. But I am so emotional now and reading this was so eye opening. I know it’s not going to be easy but I love reading your personal life experience. It makes me try to mentally prepare myself and what I still need. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I’ve read other ones but not as blunt (which I loved) as you it’s exactly what I need.
Thank you so much for your praise. It means a lot to me. Very motivating 🙂 I’m glad you liked my narration with an honest twist to all the things that await new moms down the road.
I wish you to have a great pregnancy and birth experience, and easy postpartum recovery.
I’ve got a long ways to go but I believe in preparing yourself as much as possible for all scenarios! My sister had such a similar experience as what you posted with both her kids and I was there to help her but now that I am preparing for my first baby I was looking for even more realities behind this because I’ll admit it I’m scared as hell for labor! Lol Your article didn’t scare me more it just helped me come to realize this is just what some many woman go through and while there are different cases for everyone it’s good to get all the details. I really appreciate women like you not afraid to express what you went through and open up like you did. Very helpful article thank you! *October2019baby*
Thank you, Brianna. I know what you’re going through right now and that labor can be daunting and intimidating, especially with your first baby. However, I’ll tell you this, you have to trust your body and nature. During labor, the biggest problem of many women is that they can’t turn their brain off trying to control everything that is going on. So wrong! Just remember that your body gives birth, not your brain. Trust your instincts, you’ll know what to do. Your baby is no less scared to be born than you are to give birth, I assure you 🙂 But you have to be brave and you’ll do it! We all do it and want to do it again and again because this is one amazing experience only women can go through.
As to what you can do to prepare for labor, read as much as you can (search through Pinterest, YouTube, books on Amazon), go to birth courses, talk to moms, hire a doula – their help is tremendous! Start to meditate to feel your body, as well as doing yoga or pilates; eat well, sleep well, try to relax and be calm, write out a birth plan (how you see your labor, all the process from the start till the end), find a good doctor you trust.
To be honest, it’s all about knowing what it’s gonna be like. Information is power here 🙂
Only, when it’s your first time, it’s kinda hard to comprehend the whole process. It’s not easy to be prepared physically but mentally is totally possible.
I wish you all the best.
Hi Jane. Thank you for this article, I’m due in two weeks and it was really helpful. I just want to know how do I use the evening primrose? Do I take the capsules or use the oil, and how do I use the oil?
Thanks for stopping by and reading my article. I’m so glad you found it helpful!
I used Primrose Oil in capsules 500 mg. I ordered it in iHerb. So I started to take 1 capsule on my 36th week of pregnancy, 2 capsules on the 37th week, 3 capsules on the 38th week and 4 capsules (2000 mg total) starting week 39 up until birth. You have to gradually increase the dosage. But if you’re due in two weeks, ask your doctor, maybe you can already start taking 2-3 capsules this week.
Thank you for the article. One thing I never I see in articles about post labor is discussion about how our bodies may go into shock after birth resulting in your body involuntarily shaking for 5-15 minutes, any may happen multiple times before stopping. I was so unprepared for this after the birth of my first child. Doctors and nurses reassured me it was common but it was really scary. I was thankful at the time I wasn’t holding my baby but feared what would happen if I was. I am due any day now with my second child and still remain sad that articles like this don’t talk about these experiences. I feel more prepared knowing what happened the first time but others should know it could happen and is a common experience. To let your body do it’s thing and to try breathing through it, eventually it will slow down and stop. That your bday just went through a traumatic experience although good, still traumatic, as such our bodies respond like this.
Dear Jane, thanks for sharing your experience. Few women are brave enough to do so. Of course the experience is different for every woman. However few women choose to talk about the hard parts. I am 5 month pregnant with my first child and I am suffering from depression during my pregnancy. I have never had any depressions before and it came as a shock to me. I felt so alone since I thought nobody else was going through what I am going through. I thought there was something seriously wrong with me. I wanted to be a mother, I was ready for this and did not expect something like this to happen. Why would I feel depressed, when I should be happy and grateful to be pregnant. It took me a while to find professional help. I learned that depressions during pregnancy as well as post partum are more comman than one would think. It helped me a lot to find out that I was not the only woman going through this. Therefore I think it is important to share the hard parts of motherhood and pregnancy. Thanks for sharing your very personal experience.
Thank you for writing this article! I must say, I’m rather disappointed in the women who are downplaying your experience as “dramatic” or that you “should have known”, and scolding you for being “too dark”. Every pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is different, and I think you made that very clear before continuing with your personal experience. I personally rather be prepared for the worst, and be mentally ready as possible, than have everyone tell me it will be sunshine, daisies and beautiful. I am due next week, and thankfully very aware of what I may or may not be in store for, but that’s due to lots of googling, and having had a horrible pregnancy. My sister just had her first baby two months ago, and she had a fast easy birth and recovery, and my best friend was the same with her two boys, and my doctor has not ever mentioned how painful and difficult birth may be. So no, not every woman has people to prepare her for these things, and that’s why people like you write these articles, and I am grateful, otherwise I may not be as ready as I am!
I personally feel like my doctor and labor & delivery class prepared me well for labor and delivery as far as what to expect…but I was NOT prepared for postpartum recovery.
I think, as a new mom, you should read and listen to as many postpartum stories just like this one to better prepare yourself (if you want to be prepared). I was not prepared—and honestly—I found that there was very little help/support from my healthcare providers for it and no one really understands what you’re going through.
And it was ROUGH, let me tell you.
If you’re lucky, you’ll have it easy and reading experiences like these will just be a waste of few minutes for you–but that’s not the case for a lot of us!
Thank you for writing about your experiences!
Hello! I’ve just found out that I am pregnant. Yaay! Although I am excited, I’m also overwhelmed with what could happen before my baby comes then after. I am a first time mom and my support system is pretty good but I still feel I could learn more. I know everyone experience is different, but if anyone could give me tips or suggestions I would be really thankful. I love the article I just read because it shows me a should prepare way ahead and just get ready for my new role as a mother. Things I have notice so far are the cramps, sickness, and the types of dreams I’m having. They’ve gotten a little weird so if anyone could help with suggestions, please do. Thank you:) congrats to all the mothers who had gotten threw it! You Rock:):)
Congrats on your pregnancy! Really happy for you 🙂 It’s great that you’re already studying all the information that you will need so much to encourage a healthy pregnancy, labor, and postpartum experience. I will never get tired of saying – knowledge is power. It gives you the right support and reassurance.
As to the advice, I’d say, relax and cherish every moment you have during your pregnancy. Nine months will fly too fast. So be here and now and be grateful! 🙂
I would be cautious about using Evening Primrose Oil. I had been on that regularly, but as soon as I mentioned my husband and I were trying for a baby, my Dr. took me off it immediately as it could be harmful to the baby. So PLEASE be sure to check with your Dr. before you begin anything new!
As far as I know, Evening Primrose Oil is recommended only from the 36th week of pregnancy to make ligaments more flexible thus it will give you better chances to avoid tearing during birth. I also state every time that every woman should consult her OB-GYN before taking any supplements when pregnant.
Tnx for sharing your experience, anyway!
I appreciate this article so much! I’m pregnant with my second one, 10 years after my first…and I still vividly remember the postpartum pain. I remember being completely caught off guard. I had prepared myself mentally for labor pain but had no clue just how much pain I would be in during postpartum. I was upset that nobody fully prepared me for what I was going to go through. This time around…I’m much more anxious about postpartum than giving birth. Labor only lasted 15 hrs whereas the postpartum pain lasted 6 weeks.
Thank you for your comment!
My first intention to write this article was to have a reminder for myself in the future because I wasn’t planning to have a second child soon after my first baby. This is also why I was writing everything with an honest twist, hiding no details. And this whole experience of pregnancy, labor and postpartum is really quickly erased from the memory, so having some cheat sheets is definitely a great idea. I wish I was documenting my pregnancy, too. I will definitely do it with my second baby.
Thanks for being realistic. For me, I tore but did not have a lot of pain associated with it. I didn’t have some of the other things you went thru. However, sex was painful for months. I commend you for mentioning the emotional part of it, but wish you had also mentioned the possibility of post part depression more. I think everyone goes thru some emotional rollercoaster but PPD is times 10. I feel like if more people were open and honest about the normal emotional upheaval and woman goes thru after and also when it’s time to realize it’s more than that and it’s PPD, maybe we won’t have mothers killing their kids and being demonized for it because they lost all control of their mind and no one helped them. I went thru PPD and I thank God I realized something was wrong before I hurt myself ( because I started having suicidal thoughts) but I’m scared to think of what would have happened had it not. I had no idea what PPD was. And I personally know someone who had PPD and unfortunately their child now is mentally challenged from injuries and the mom is dealing with repercussions from that for the rest of her life. Because no one checked or assumed it was “baby blues”. Anyways this is something very close to my heart because it was the dark reality I went thru. I’m glad for your article and women need to be more open so that new moms can be more prepared in every aspect. Having a baby is not all rainbows and butterflies and it seems we often forget the reality of it.
Thank you so much for sharing your story and bringing up the PPD topic. I’ve had it myself and I remember those times as dark and scary days when I couldn’t believe it was me acting weird and having terrible thought and screaming at my crying baby and actually wanting to get out of the flat through the window (I live on the 17th floor) 🙁
This is the part of my life that has so much suffering and pain and I feel uncomfortable and hurt even from thinking of digging in into that again. But there have been so many moms mentioning PPD that I feel obliged to share my experience with an honest twist.
Although, our memory is made in a way we forget the worst times of our lives, PPD is something you should not only live through but also look back at and realize it was okay to feel that way. This is definitely what every mom-to-be should be prepared for in order to keep her sanity and know the ways of getting out of this scary nightmare and traps of dark thoughts.
So thank you for bringing this up. I’m considering to write a detailed article about PPD any time soon.