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Things to expect after you give birth, for the new mom

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 

I remember with my first child reading the books, watching videos to prepare for birth, which were great BUT nothing prepared me for the body I was left with after labor.

 

First off hemorrhoids, No one told me that there was a good possibility of getting hemorrhoids due to the pressure of pushing a little one out. I had never even had them before. ( My second child I didn't even push and got nothing)

 

Than there's tearing, again no one said that was possible and that you may need to be stitched up after and have trouble sitting on anything. I had to sit on the breast feeding pillow I had so that there was no pressure down there.....Lots of fun, not.

 

The big shocker for me was that I still looked 5 months pregnant afterwards. SOMEONE should have told me that one. I remember thinking, ok the baby is out and yet I look like there's something still in there, why and when will it get back to the way it was. (I had gained 25lbs so didn't really have a lot left to lose after, certainly not the the way my belly looked, which was puffy and soft.)

 

Lets not forget about your hips, apparently it took 9 months for them to widen and it takes time for them to return to normal.

 

These are a few of the things I encountered that I thought some of the first time moms might want to know and prepare for, just in case. Perhaps other moms will have some more info for you.

 

Good luck and congratulations to everyone

post #2 of 57

This is sort of an odd thing, definitely TMI, but it freaked me out:

I had an emergency c-section on Sunday. I'm having lots of bleeding still, as I expected, but what I didn't expect was that I am not bleeding into the crotch of my panties like a normal period--for some reason all the blood is working its way upward and soaking my pad above the top of my labial cleft. Right below my incision. I went through many packages of the stupid disposable panties before I figured out normal pads, even the giant hospital ones, have no chance of being long enough--the super long overnight pads work if I flip them around and have the long end coming forward.

I have no idea if this is normal, but if it happened to me, it probably could happen to someone else. My suspicion is it has something to do with pelvic bruising/swelling.

post #3 of 57
Hmmm...

Breastfeeding might hurt for the first few weeks, a lot, and it doesn't necessarily mean you're doing it wrong. If you have problems talk to as many LCs as you can, go on Kellymom, and stick it out because it gets better! (Of course you may have no problems at all, but be prepared to work at it just in case.)

Once your milk comes in, you might leak so much milk that it leaves a puddle in your bed. Milk can squirt out of your nipple several feet away! Use cold cabbage leaves as compresses on your breasts if they get engorged.

Afterpains. This is cramps caused by your uterus going back down for the first few days. Nursing triggers contractions. Some people experience more pain than others.

You will probably be CRAZY hungry and thirsty after giving birth and when you're breastfeeding, so it helps to keep lots of water and food right next to you in bed.

Your baby's cord stump might reek like roadkill, and this is totally normal. LOL! (Apparently the faster it falls off, the more likely it is to smell because the gangrene is working faster. DS's fell off on day 5, which is pretty fast.)

I'm sure I'll think of more later...
post #4 of 57

The toughest thing that nobody prepared me for (or could have really) after having my first was going from "me" time to baby time. I wasn't prepared for this tiny person to be so dependent on me, I babysat and nannied and it didn't prepare me for all of the emotions tied up in post-partum recovery, body changes, and being a mother but also the marital changes as well.

 

Motherhood has to do with a great deal of surrender and selflessness and there isn't the immediate gratification of a thank you from this tiny person, but it's absolutely 100% worth it. They find their own way of thanking you by growing and thriving because of your efforts, and there is no greater satisfaction than that.

 

Ask your DP/DH's for help. Don't expect them to be mind readers and know when to step in when you haven't showered in three days. And be prepared for them to feign ignorance. In any case, don't be afraid to delegate tasks and expect them to contribute to parenting (aside from lactating). Don't wait until you blow up on them because they don't naturally step in to help, they're learning along with you and they can't learn if they're not offered the opportunity. We have a rule in our house that DH has to comfort a crying baby before handing them back to me.

 

And get out of the house! I know it seems challenging but you will be so much happier because of it. Your get out of the house routine will become easier each time you do it. Don't be surprised if your circle of friends changes, but do look forward to making new mommy friends and finding opportunities through activities like LLL. Don't naturally assume that all your friends will want to run over and visit you, a lot of people don't want to disturb new moms and babies. If you want company, call up your friends and ask them to visit. You won't sound needy, I promise winky.gif

post #5 of 57

For me the biggest surprise was how immobile I was due to constant nursing.  They're not great nursers early on, and it felt like the slightest wiggle would cause her to de-latch.  It would also take a long,. long time for her to feed.  So I felt I was stuck, barely able to move, in this one spot on the couch for at least those first two weeks!  Even leaning over a little to grab a glass of water would jostle her too much!  I was calling DH in from the next room to hand me things which were five inches away, lol!

 

Of course, she learned to nurse better!  But I definitely didn't expect early breastfeeding to be so time/effort intensive.  I was picturing nurse, feed, put the baby down, move.  Nuh uh.

post #6 of 57

Great things to remember ladies! 

 

For me the biggest thing I did not expect this time was the post partum hormones making me so sad. I know a lot of it had to do with how I gave birth (emergency csection) but good lord I cried and cried and cried and snapped out at my husband and cried some more lol ( I still do cry, actually, and it's been 3 weeks, but it's getting better now) I didn't get nearly so weepy after my first, but still, that hormone shift after you give birth is killer.

 

And please god buy some nipple cream.  Those babies mouths have vice like grips.

 

 

post #7 of 57

Great tips!

 

Nobody told me that certain painkillers/epidurals/spinals can make you itch like crazy.

 

Hemorrhoids may never go away.  I'm still battling the same one since 2007.  And guess what?  He now has a twin!

 

Nursing makes you really sleepy.  I joke that I have nursing narcolepsy.  I can be perfectly awake one minute.  Then I'll have her latch on and 5 minutes later I'm falling asleep.

 

C/S give you horrible gas pains.  I've passed more gas in the last 24 hours than I have my entire life combined.  Also, if you don't get it all out, the air can move around to other parts of your body like your chest.  I had gas pains up by my clavicle today.  So weird!

post #8 of 57
I thought of something else today--it's not a physical thing but it's something I was kind of blindsided by. Be prepared for most if not all of your single and/or childless friends (even some of the ones you're really close with) to gradually drop out of your life and be replaced with other parents. I'm not sure why this happens so reliably, but it's happened to *every* new mother I know. Of course I've kept some friends from my life-before-kids, and I keep in touch with them somewhat, but it's just not the same. I guess it's harder to find common ground with them on a deep level when you've entered this completely foreign new life phase that there's no way to understand unless you're doing it, while nothing has changed for them. Kids transform your entire life and identity so completely, especially for the baby years. The days of doing anything without considering someone else first are over. (That sounds so dismal when I put it like that, but I don't mean it that way--I'm just saying you're about to become a new person, a mom.) smile.gif
post #9 of 57

I didn't experience any labor or contractions & ended up with a C-section after being 18 days overdue, so I can't comment on labor or post-labor feelings.  IMO one important thing post C/S is to take all of your meds on time until they run out.  You definitely should not itch from any painkillers, that is a sign of an allergy.

 

re: BFing: DS had a powerful sucking reflex so nursing in that respect went well, except he was very hungry by the time by milk came in.  In fact, the nurses nicknamed him "Barracuda"My nipples were sore & DS was having a lot of gas after nursing which I soon found out was due to my strong let-down (that I couldn't feel & never could).  Whatever BFing probs you have it's well worth it to stick it out b/c it eventually all falls into place.  I also remember that I not prepared for all the sweating in the days following the birth or having discharge for 6 wks (I had a C-section), blech!  

 

meander- That sounds strange. I did not experience that with my C-section 4 yrs ago...make sure to discuss with you OB/MW.  Maybe b/c what is coming out is more liquid-y than thick like blood. I had little to no blood but all orangey/pinky discharge for 6 wks.  I hope I don't have to deal with that again.

 

Also http://www.kellymom.com/ is an excellent BFing resource.  Any questions about BFing are answered there & don't hesitate to call La Leche or other breastfeeding support.  

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 57

Yeah, I second or third the sweating. My goodness, I was/still am a little bit a sweaty/hot flashy. Especially at night.  I had to shower before bed to cool down and then immediately upon waking, before I could sweat anymore. I was super sexy with the leaky boobs and sweatiness in the morninglol.gif. My hair has been in a ponytail for 3 weeks cause I keep sweating out any styles :)

 

Although, the plus side to the sweats was that I was below pre-pregnancy weight in a week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #11 of 57

Yeah Not looking forward to the PP sweating and Hot flashes this time. The last 2 times it was the middle of Winter. I am going to be dying in the Summer!

 

 One thing that happened to both my kids that really scared me the first time, that I never ever had heard of in all my research and still haven't ever happened to come across, I actually had to look it up and do research on it was this: At a few days old, before my milk came in it looked like the baby had Peed Blood! There was a pink spot in the wet diaper. Scared me to death with my first because My milk wasn't in and I thought he had a bladder infection from being dehydrated or for bleeding for some other horrible reason. It was so scary and I was panicking! It was Uric acid, a normal cell breakdown, and while it could have been from him being dehydrated, it's usually normal and nothing to worry about! You can tell the difference cuz uric acid tends to be powdery or crystally, and will stay pink as where blood will turn brown.

 

 I was so afraid of Nipple confusion or him rejecting breastmilk, that I l didn't let him have a small bottle of formula or a little water when my milk took too long to come in. It came in around the normal 3 day period, but I didn't have a lot of colostrum, and he was slightly jaundiced, and I was well, new and had no clue what to do to help me or him. Take Fenugreek or Alfalfa supplements to increase your milk supply. Also Eat a ton of Oats/Oatmeal and that helps tremendously! Beer (The Brewers Yeast) Is supposed to help too but I can't stand beer so I make cookies with brewers yeast and Oats. Recipe: http://igottarememberthat.blogspot.com/2010/09/milk-maker.html

 

It's perfectly fine to give your baby a little water or formula if they seem dehydrated or hungry. Use your mommy Instincts. Instincts are the best resource you have as a parent. Rely on them instead of the books or what you have heard.

 

Here is a list of Strange, Helpful Sometimes unknown Info On Newborns/kids: http://www.mindspring.com/~drwarren/pearls.htm

post #12 of 57

On the contrary, morphine can make you itch like crazy, its a side effect and is combined in most spinals nowadays. You will itch your nose, especially.

 

Adding if you have a c section a tip to wear a pad over your incision lightly(dont stick down to anything) this helps a lot, and also putting a pillow over your stomach while coughing/sneezing/laughing, etc if you have a c section.

 

If you give birth vaginally, you may develop a yeast infection, especially if you have a water birth, was not told this and had a horrible one 3 days post partum.

post #13 of 57

 Hmm let's see- things I dealt  with was postpartum sweating (with only a few of my births) and with one birth a feeling of extreme weakness/fatigue that was a bit scary (evened out after I started on herbs though). Third child hadn't latched on well and it caused me some nipple pain but I resolved it in a few days. I wasn't prepared for the level of fatigue/birth high in combo with each other- that made it difficult to get enough rest as I was too excited.

 

Also after my first birth with twins my hair got so messed up from the tub and since it's long it was in tangles for 10 days until I had someone come over and wash it that for my next births I made a point of putting it up during labor/birth so I wouldn't have to go through that again.

 

I was also totally unprepared for the meconium poops after first birth, in fact I was so tired I forget to change their diapers and when the midwife came around the next day I told her the babies hadn't stopped crying and she asked me if I had changed their diapers and I had a blank look on my face- sure enough they were full of mec and once changed the babies stopped crying- DUH.

 

I also had vulva swelling after the twins and couldn't sit down anywhere for 2 weeks, that was awful, never had it with my other births and felt completely normal down there afterwards, such a contrast from first birth.

 

 

The afterpains are also agonizing to deal with despite all the afterease herbs I used, hopefully liquid cal/mag will help with that too this time around.

 

And for me there is a general feeling of feeling completely out of sorts that lasts for quite some time. That's a bit scary in itself. Just all the adjusting.

post #14 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmama66 View Post

 

And for me there is a general feeling of feeling completely out of sorts that lasts for quite some time. That's a bit scary in itself. Just all the adjusting.


Yes, just out of sorts! that is my most vivid memory of those 1st 3 days PP. I lost a lot of blood after birth and i'm sure this contributed. I went to a store to buy nipple cream a day or two after being home and a girl I totally knew was there and started talking to me, I didn't even recognize her until I was driving home!!! I talked to her, but didn't acknowledge that I 'knew' her. It was just such a surreal feeling. I'm hoping to not be as much of a space case this time around for DSs sake.

 

Definitely remind yourself that BFing will get easier. It takes forever in the beginning and it hurts. But after a few weeks it will become a normal part of your daily routine. I wanted to give up so badly the 1st couple weeks, but kept on keeping on. Glad I did. I just don't think I realized that struggles would be short lived...

 

 

post #15 of 57

I forgot how much a newborn poops.  She'll poop while we're nursing, when she's done nursing, and pooping will make her hungry again.  It's a quick cycle too.  DH was trying to change DD and she just kept pooping on him.  I had to tell him just to stop and wait 10 minutes because he went through so many diapers and wipes it was ridiculous. 

 

I forgot how you have to ask people to help or they just tend to leave you alone.  My mom & sister came by yesterday to help out and to celebrate my bday.  We didn't eat cake right away (I was still full from my hospital lunch) so they left like an hour later.  Things started to fall apart quickly.  DH took the kids with him to run an errand and give me time to rest with the baby.  While he was gone my cell rang, but I couldn't reach it.  I tried to, but it fell off the side table.  This woke up the baby who then pooped and started to squirm and cry.  This sets off the dog to start barking.  I missed my pain meds time so I was in so much pain I couldn't get off the recliner.  I finally get up and see my neighbor's dog tearing through my backyard garden.  I stumble to the back door and yell for her to get out.  The next thing I know the dog is running up my steps and I can't close the sliding door fast enough (bc it uses my ab muscles) so now I have this dog in my house.  DH walks in and is like yikes2.gif  I started sobbing because I was so sad that everyone left and I'm just not ready to be on my own yet.  I was so sad that my mom & sister didn't want to sing happy bday to me and just left like it was no big deal that I was home.  Crying hurts my c/s area so much though that I couldn't even keep going past a few sobs.  It was agonizing.  I wish I would have just spoke up.

post #16 of 57

This is such a helpful thread!  Thanks for all the posts and reminders of what to expect with a newborn and pp body!

post #17 of 57

Awwww!!!  This story had me giggling and wanting to come over and hug you!!!!   Good lesson.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuburbanHippie View Post

I forgot how much a newborn poops.  She'll poop while we're nursing, when she's done nursing, and pooping will make her hungry again.  It's a quick cycle too.  DH was trying to change DD and she just kept pooping on him.  I had to tell him just to stop and wait 10 minutes because he went through so many diapers and wipes it was ridiculous. 

 

I forgot how you have to ask people to help or they just tend to leave you alone.  My mom & sister came by yesterday to help out and to celebrate my bday.  We didn't eat cake right away (I was still full from my hospital lunch) so they left like an hour later.  Things started to fall apart quickly.  DH took the kids with him to run an errand and give me time to rest with the baby.  While he was gone my cell rang, but I couldn't reach it.  I tried to, but it fell off the side table.  This woke up the baby who then pooped and started to squirm and cry.  This sets off the dog to start barking.  I missed my pain meds time so I was in so much pain I couldn't get off the recliner.  I finally get up and see my neighbor's dog tearing through my backyard garden.  I stumble to the back door and yell for her to get out.  The next thing I know the dog is running up my steps and I can't close the sliding door fast enough (bc it uses my ab muscles) so now I have this dog in my house.  DH walks in and is like yikes2.gif  I started sobbing because I was so sad that everyone left and I'm just not ready to be on my own yet.  I was so sad that my mom & sister didn't want to sing happy bday to me and just left like it was no big deal that I was home.  Crying hurts my c/s area so much though that I couldn't even keep going past a few sobs.  It was agonizing.  I wish I would have just spoke up.



 

post #18 of 57

Big hugs to you SuburbanHippie.  That is just too much. hug2.gif

 

I agree with the others about feeling totally out of sorts.  For a week I was in a haze with few moments of clarity.  That was unexpected.  There was just so much going on, so much transition to mommyhood, so many visitors, learning to do baby stuff on a 24 hour schedule, trying to catch up on sleep...It was just a whirlwind of newness.  

 

Also, all the bodily fluids.  I had no idea at all that they would be so....present.  Leaky boobs, pp bleeding, baby pooping, baby peeing on the bed during diaper changes, baby throwing up/spitting up amniotic fluid, me crying lol.  It was a mess.  Thankfully we figured out how to manage everything better in a few days.  It was nice to have everything nice and dry (besides the boobs, there's no controlling those. haha!).

post #19 of 57

Oh Suburbanhippie, you do deserve a hug after that. I'm sorry!hug2.gif

 

Happy birthday!

post #20 of 57

I don't think we've mentioned the gushing.  Bleh!  For the first 12 hrs or so after the birth, every time you (well me anyway) laugh or cough or move, there's a gush.  It's good that things are clearing out, but not something I was prepared for the first time around.  And this time I'd forgotten until it started happening again.

 

And then there's the crime scene in the bathroom for that first 24-48 hrs!  Makes me glad I was in the hospital using up their towels!  ;-) 

 

But, by the 3rd day, it didn't look like someone had been murdered in the bathroom when I had a shower or bath, so it slowed pretty quickly.  Just makes for an interesting couple of days...you know, on top of having just given birth!!  The good news...it's been 7 days now, and minimal PP bleeding.  So it can clear up pretty quickly.  Every now and then a surprise bit, but nothing crazy.

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