There are so many lovely pictures of motherhood that every soon-to-be mom has visions of. Holding your baby for the first time, the moment that sweet little newborn looks into your eyes, or the big announcement to friends and family after the birth. But what about the little things that no one tells you about? And the not-so-little things that are too awful to talk about in polite company? Read on to find out the honest truth about 5 things that nobody tells you after birth.
You will still need maternity clothing.
A gentle way of saying that you will still feel fat. While you will instantly drop at least ten pounds due to the placenta and the human you just birthed, the rest of the weight? Still there. Only celebrities somehow manage to leave the hospital with a flat belly! The good news is that maternity clothing is even more comfortable once the baby is out. So please don’t pack the skinny jeans in your hospital bag just yet. Instead reach for the panel leggings, and ride home from the hospital in relative comfort.
You will go through a, um… second labor.
When that nurse hands you a little cup of pills and tells you to swallow? Do it. One of those pills is a stool softener, and believe me, you will need it. That first after birth poo is no joke. Some women dread it so much that they put the pushing off until the last possible second… which is the wrong way to go about it! Eat plenty of fiber, drink all the water you can handle, and take the stool softeners. The longer you hold off, the more painful it will be, and no one wants to go through a second birth just days later.
You will have the longest, heaviest period of your life.
Although the doctor might clear you for sex several weeks after your birth experience, you might not feel up to it quite yet. The main reason? You might still be bleeding! And not just bleeding like a normal period. We are talking minimum two weeks, clots the size of a fist, menstrual pads that are bigger than diapers… the list goes on. Bleeding after giving birth is completely normal and expected, but if no one tells you what really happens you might be surprised at just how much blood there is and how long it lasts. It isn’t uncommon to bleed for 6 weeks straight. So don’t be shocked if the bleeding has a couple of false starts and stops, and hold off on the sex until you are completely healed.
Your hair will fall out.
It doesn’t matter if you had a vaginal birth or a c-section, if you breastfeed or formula feed, if you took your prenatal vitamins or not. One universal truth after giving birth is that once your hormone levels start to drop, your hair will start to drop as well. Drop… as in fall out. All over the floor of your bathroom, and it will probably clog your shower too. There isn’t much you can do to stop your hair from falling out postpartum, but just know that almost all women go through it! Instead of getting upset, consider going for a post-birth hair chop. Shorter hair takes no time to style and will be less noticeable as it thins out for a few months after baby arrives. And we promise, it does grow back!
You will smell like sour milk.
Another fact of life that no one tells you, is that when your milk comes in, it will probably leak. All over you, all over your clothes, and if you are breastfeeding, all over your baby. And once it spills out, it starts to sour. Both you and your baby will smell like soured milk for the first few weeks or months, until your supply regulates. Isn’t motherhood glamorous?
The main thing to remember as you read through and come to terms with the 5 things that no one tells you after birth, is that you will probably be so wrapped up in admiring your adorable newborn that most of these possibilities won’t even bother you. Luckily, after a while, you will hardly remember the bleeding or the pain or the pooing! You will just be left with many sweet memories of your tiny newborn, enough to last a lifetime.