There are a few things that no one ever told me about (or in my pregnant daze, I didn’t pay attention to) about those few days following the birth of a child. I don’t like being surprised, unless it’s with awesome things.
- Labor is not over with the birth of your child. When your midwife or doctor mentions the part about delivering the placenta like it’s no big deal, listen carefully. I thought that something had gone wrong, because a few moments after I was done giving birth, I started having contractions again. It wasn’t nearly as strong as the ones that gave me my children, but delivering my placenta still involved a bit of pain and work on my part.
- Furthermore, you continue to have contractions for days after birth. These feel much like the contractions of early labor. Not painful, but uncomfortable. Your uterus is shrinking back down. Oh! That leads me to what was my next big shocker…
- After you deliver the baby, you still look about eight months pregnant. I had assumed that I would have to tone up. I assumed I would have flabby skin. I didn’t know I would look in the mirror for days and still look like I hadn’t yet delivered my baby. So, unless you want to be asked when you’re due, if you go out in public that first week, bring the baby.
- If your vagina was beaten up fairly well by your child, it will hurt more about a week later. After calling my cousin, an OB nurse, in a panic when I suddenly started getting sharp pains in my groin and labia about five days after delivery, she told me that this was my nerves in my area finally turning back on. This is why a sitz bath with healing herbs instead of just warm water is preferred. It speed healing and is very soothing.
Do you have any big surprises to warn new moms about? I’d love to hear your stories!