After you have a baby people, mainly doctors, like to tell you what you can expect or what to look for. Things like post partum depression comes up a lot.
You can check out those posts in the links above or my post on Recovery Differences.
But, what about the things that arent talked about?
For starters, post partum bleeding. After giving birth, either vaginally or by csection, your body immediately starts to rid itself of everything that your baby used in utero (minus the uterus itself). That means you will be bleeding anywhere from a week to 8 weeks. I hope you don’t have a weak stomach because the amount of blood you will witness is pretty gruesome.
You will want to take all the pads (you know the ones that are ginormous) and mesh underwear that the hospital is willing to let you have.
You will also want to be sure to keep the water bottle they give you to use everytime you go to the bathroom, otherwise you will be taking many showers.
**For those that don’t know, you are given a squirt bottle to fill with water that is used to rinse your lady parts off after you go to the bathroom.
For vaginal births, you will want to take any “bottom” spray/foam products that they offer. Trust me, take it all and keep it until it expires (I will get to why in a minute). For csection births, you will want to take all the cold packs that they will give you.
If you choose to breastfeed, for many women, they wind up not having their period during the duration of breastfeeding (once the birth bleeding subsides that is). However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get pregnant just because there is an absence. In fact, you can be extremely fertile right after having a baby.
**It is recommended to have 18 months between births for your body to fully recover.
During a vaginal birth, you may experience vaginal, perineal, or anal tears. Stitching those up is no fun. I know I was not expecting to have numbing needles jabbed at my lady parts immediately following Poppy’s birth. On the first initial poking I squirmed up and away from my midwife. Like, “what are you doing don’t you know this 8.5 pound baby just came out of there and its sore!?” I know they are just doing what is best, but ouchie! Once it is numb though, it isn’t so bad.
If you do tear, like I said, take as much of the products that they are willing to give you. You may use them for a week, or 6. One thing I have recently found, 10 months post partum, is that I can now tell when my period is coming.
I know it is common for women who have torn, to experience pain in that area during their period. I can tell you from experience, it feels like being torn all over again. The numbing spray has been my go-to during the duration of my period.
When you are starting your period your estrogen is increased and there is extra blood flow to that region. This can cause swelling of the vaginal area. Scar tissue from tearing is also swollen, thus causing pain and discomfort. Use those products! Keep them until they expire!
Nobody ever mentioned I would, or could, experience pain like that during periods. After talking with my mom (who had 4 vaginal births) and Googling, I have found it is very common.
**If you do become concerned talk to your health care provider.
Every woman will experience birth and post partum differently. You have to find what works for you and what doesn’t. What were some things that no one told you that you had to learn the hard way about post partum? How did you cope?
A little side bar here..
Yesterday my husband and I were talking. Mainly it was me complaining about the discomforts I have been having because of my period. I began asking him, why don’t men have to deal with any of the pain of childbirth and post partum? All they have to do is show up and have a good time and we do the rest. How fair is that?
Perhaps someone saw what happens when men have the “man flu” and figured they couldn’t handle it. I don’t think they couldn’t handle it, just as women can handle it because they don’t have a choice. You just deal.
My husband went on to say how he does go through it too because he supports me during this time. When I asked, “how the hell do you support me during my period?” He answered back with, “making sure you get the food you want and that you have the supplies you need.” Okay, fair enough, he does do that.
Do men take for granted what women’s bodies go through in order to have children? Men, I am curious how you feel about your partner and her ability to carry and birth a child. Plus all the pains that come along with it during post partum and her life there after. Let me know in the comments!