Having a baby and what happens to your body after childbirth are both by far the most unglamorous things that have ever happened to me in my whole life. I remember thinking I hated the way my nether regions looked when I was pregnant, all three times. However, when it came to pushing out all three of my babies, I didn’t really give a crap about who saw me. You don’t! All you care about is getting your baby out, everything being ok and the pain just going!
I pooped in the pool with my second, got blood everywhere with all three if them and myself got covered in my third baby’s poo, when he pooped in the towel after breastfeeding for so long. We didn’t put a nappy on him in time. I also thought I was going to throw up everywhere in the transition stage of labour with my little boy.
Labour and childbirth are raw and messy and you do really leave your dignity at the door!
However, what happens to your body after a baby really isn’t that much better. I don’t always think we talk about it either. I remember frantically googling a few things after the birth of my first daughter, wondering if something was normal! I didn’t know what was going to happen to my body after my babies at all!
This is what I mean.
What Happens to Your Body After Childbirth?
– The first wee – I was lucky. I didn’t tear but I have heard weeing after a baby can be so painful if you have. It’s best to pour water over your scares and drink plenty to keep your wee as dilute as possible. I do remember not being able to feel my wee come out just after having my first baby.
– The first poo – I was dreaded this. You are scared you are going to explode or pop! I remember sitting on the loo so nervously!! As I had eaten during labour and after I needed a poo the day after my first was born!! Luckily it was ok. For some ladies though, there can be some constipation.
– Bleeding – You do bleed like a trooper after a baby. Lochia it’s called and you pretty much need to wear nappies to cope with it! Huge maternity pads and reasonably good knickers to hold everything together. My bleeding lasted about 3 weeks but it can come back if you start to over-do it. It always did with me, as I started going for walks or cleaning!
– Clots – I had some really weird clots come out of me after my second baby. I remember having to check with the midwife as was a bit worried. They looked like pieces of liver! Luckily all was fine but definitely ask if worried.
– The night sweats – I genuinely didn’t know why I was waking up wet through after my first baby. I thought I had a fever; mastitis or something but I didn’t! The hormonal changes after a baby can cause havoc and make you sweat. Not pleasant at all.
– Recovery from tears – again I can’t talk from experience, as I didn’t tear during childbirth but I have heard from friends how painful it can be. How sore the stitches can be. You need pillows to sit on and lots and lots of rest. Also lots of checks from the midwife to see if everything is healing.
– You cry a lot a few days afterwards – do you know those days when you cry and you just can’t stop? This is what it is like a few days after you have had your baby. Hormones change and you just cry. I don’t remember getting this with my second baby but my first and third…oh yes! Exhaustion can play a part, as I had longer labours with those.
– Your milk coming in can be so unbelievable painful – Hot, sore boobs that take a good few days to adjust to the amount of milk your baby needs. This was the worst with my first baby. I was crying in pain and having my husband milk me in the shower. You do just have to feed your baby though and eventually your body will sort itself out and adapt. Just can be up to a week. Plus you can enjoy having enormous boobs for a while!
– Sore nipples if you breastfeed – wow the pain when your baby latches in the early days! I used to wince whilst each one got going and I got used to it. Your nipples do toughen up but it takes time. I did get a cracked nipple on one too. Fun!
– Mastitis – an infected milk duct. Oh the joys. I had this with my second baby. A hot, red patch on my boob and lightening pains when I fed her. A course of antibiotics sorted me out but not fun!
– The cramps – the cramps after all my babies were not so nice. As your uterus contracts, you do get pain. This gets worse with every baby you have (by the little man I was climbing the walls, asking the midwives for painkillers) and worse when you breastfeed, as your uterus contracts.
– The phantom kicks – I was so sad that I’d had my baby each time. It’s a weird feeling knowing I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I was so sad and what made it worse was the phantom kicks. I could of sworn my baby was still inside me! So bizarre but it is a real thing.
– Your weird saggy belly that’s left – after having a lovely bump you are just left with a saggy tummy and a gap between your stomach muscles. It does just feel a little sad and weird.
– The wind and funny pains – I guess as your uterus sorts itself back out again, you may end up with a bit of wind or niggly pains and I definitely did. I assumed it would go after pregnancy but oh no!
– Pains up the bottom – this was bizarre and I wasn’t sure if wind or a bit of tailbone pain after my second baby was born but it hurt like hell! I even spoke to the midwife about it and she advised chatting to the GP if no better. Luckily it stopped after a few days thankfully. I guess you don’t know what has gone on down there after birth.
– Exhaustion and not just from lack of sleep – I was shattered after my third labour and birth in particular. I slept okish (my baby boy was waking a lot but we co-slept) but I would still feel like someone was blowing in my eyes, I was so tired. This lasted for about 2 weeks and I think just plain old exhaustion.
I don’t think we are told enough about what happens to your body after childbirth. It’s messy and it’s painful. It’s exhausting and can make the first few days and weeks with a newborn that bit trickier.
But with lots if support, you can manage and those days become a newborn bubble of memories.