The baby is out! The hardest part is over and yet few discuss the things that happen after they are out. So we are bringing you 10 things they don’t tell you about after the baby is out.
We did lots of research before our son made his world debut and there were still surprises! After having 3 kids we have picked up some things along the way. Be sure to check out our birth infographic at the bottom of the page.
After you’ve had your little one (or for the experienced ones) I’d love to hear what the most surprising part of having your baby was for you!
Let’s get on with it then, the list (and a infographic!):
1. Fundal (Uterine) Massage
So you know how in the movies the baby is out and they put the baby on her chest and it’s happy ever after?
It doesn’t quite work like that. Potentially the worst part of this is the nurses coming by to perform a fundal massage. I wouldn’t put this in the category of spa-like massages either.
It involves a nurse pushing as hard on their uterus as they possibly can to help prevent a hemorrhage. This isn’t a one-time affair either. This will happen quite frequently to you and it never becomes more pleasant.
2. There could be stitches where you really don’t want them
You’ve been through hell and back again. A small human has come through a space that should never be big enough for that to happen. This was followed by birthing the placenta and you’ve just had a nurse punch you in the stomach.
Great! Now depending on how all that went you may have your doctor down there sewing you up like a ripped pair of jeans.
Tearing is somewhat common, as we discussed in our 10 things they don’t tell you about labour post. If this happens though, or you need an episiotomy, then you’ll need some arts and crafts time with the doctor.
3. The amount of bleeding is probably more than you think
I think everyone expects some blood during birth. But this is a lot more than you think.
I highly recommend stocking up on the biggest overnight pads you can find for the first while at home.
Bleeding can continue for over a month after you give birth! This came as quite a shock to me but is entirely normal. Why isn’t this talked about more?
Check out more of the things they don’t tell you about in our birth infographic at the bottom of the page!
4. You’ll probably lose some hair
So far this list has just been a bundle of good news hasn’t it?
But this one isn’t as bad as it seems on the surface. It can just be quite shocking when you get out of your showers postpartum. Healthline goes into this in more detail, but essentially you’ll be losing less hair through your pregnancy due to elevated estrogen levels. When your hormone levels drop postpartum you start to lose hair. Just instead of it happening a little bit each day as is normal, it happens a whole lot at once.
This doesn’t mean you’re going bald. Just simply making up for lost hair loss time during your pregnancy.
Want to calculate how much a new baby will cost over the first year? Check out our calculator here.
5. Sweating and the smell
Hormones are lovely things aren’t they?
Hormonal changes are happening in a big way after you’ve delivered your baby and the first few nights you could be in for some serious night sweats.
This also can come through in some strong smelling body odor too.
Do men realize just how easy they have this whole birthing process?
6. Peeing yourself could become a real concern
Many woman go through this so if you do too, you’re not alone.
Incontinence is a real problem for many women postpartum. Laughs and sneezing become dangerous at times.
A variety of factors play a part here. Weaker muscles from birth, a contracting uterus around your bladder, and, you guessed it, hormonal changes all can lead to incontinence problems.
By the way did I mention we have a great birth infographic at the end of the page?
7. Breastfeeding can be really hard and painful
Please, please keep this in mind when you start trying to breastfeed for the first time. I’ve even had nurses make out like this should be easier and that is not the correct approach. Every baby is different and some of them just damn well don’t want to.
Some babies latch right away. Others take longer. You’ll be exhausted and potentially stressed so don’t add this to your stress to your plate. They’ll feed when they feed and if you need to top up with some formula in the beginning there is absolutely no shame in that.
It also turns out it’s a lot more painful than you’d think. Until your nipples toughen up a little and get used to it all it can be quite painful for a while (and leaky). It wasn’t until my third that I figured out the nipple shield and I highly recommend it! They save a ton of pain and rawness.
8. Hey! Don’t take my baby
As we’ve talked about after the baby is out you need to get the baby up on your chest for some deserved skin-to-skin time. However, after that you have to birth the placenta and potentially have some reconstructive work done.
After the umbilical cord is cut they take your baby from you and run a bunch of tests. This is a good thing for sure, they are checking to be sure your baby is fully healthy and all ready to go.
No worries though, you’ll have the baby back in your arms in no time. But it is surprising when suddenly they tell you they need to take your brand new baby across the room for a bit.
If you’re a new parent make sure you check out our mega post of 201 Parenting Tips.
9. Stool softeners are a mom’s best friend
Many moms are going to have problems with constipation after birth.
There may also be a mental block about pushing especially if you’ve torn or had an episiotomy. Nothing like bearing down on your recently sutured nether regions.
If they offer you a stool softener I highly recommend you take the nurse up on the offer. It can make your first postpartum bowel movement a much more pleasant experience.
10. Like a bowl full of jelly
After all the festivities in your room and recovery room it’s now time to go home.
One other thing though, your belly might feel like a bowl full of jelly.
Keep in mind, that you just had a 5 to 10-pound human sitting inside your belly for 40 weeks. You’ve been stretched all out and this doesn’t just snap back into place the second the baby is out.
There is a very weird sensation of how your belly feels after this and my best description is borrowed from the “Night Before Christmas”, like a bowl full of jelly.
10 Things They Don’t Tell You About After the Birth Infographic
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If you’ve enjoyed this post, please check out our 10 Things They Don’t Tell You About Labour + Infographic here.