10 Things No One Told Me About Postpartum

There’s so much info out there about pregnancy but once you have the baby, it seems like the resources go a little dark.  I felt like at the hospital, you have so much help and then they’re like, ok bye, here’s your baby.  Now you’re home with a new baby and your body is doing some weird stuff.  So, let’s talk about it.

  1. You’ll cry.  Oh, will you cry.  There’s a tremendous roller coast of hormones after the baby comes out and it’s a LOT.  Your body just went through something major, you’re not sleeping great, and you have a new life to care for…crying is the least you can do right now.  And you might not even be sad (I cried for various reasons the first few weeks postpartum.). You might even cry because you love this new little blob so much.  Side note: Postpartum depression and anxiety is most definitely a real thing and is much more serious than the postpartum baby blues, so please please please speak to your family and doctor about how you’re feeling.
  2. You’ll be sore.  No matter how you delivered, prepare to hurt somewhere.  Maybe you tore.  Maybe you got cut open.  Maybe you’re breastfeeding.  Maybe you’re trying to dry out your milk.  Soreness happens but it’s nothing a little OTC can’t help when it catches up to you (so don’t be afraid to take it and rest!).
  3. You’ll bleed.  Yes, even if you had a c-section, you experience postpartum bleeding for up to six weeks.  Diapers for baby AND you.
  4. You’ll sweat.  At night. The little windows of sleep you get will be interrupted by the sweats.  You’ll wake up drenched.  For me, it went away at about 8 weeks.
  5. You’ll shed.  At about 3 months postpartum, the glorious hair you had from the prenatal vitamins starts to fall out and it’s extremely depressing.  I personally get little bald patches on my hairline and it always comes back but it doesn’t make it any less scary each time it happens.
  6. You’ll smell…?  No?  Just me?  I feel like it might be the night sweats but all of the sudden, I felt myself wanting to switch back to anti-perspirant.  Luckily, the BO appeared temporary but it was a surprise, nonetheless.
  7. You’ll still look pregnant.  The timeline of this obviously varies by woman, but I’m 5 months postpartum and when I got off the Peloton the other day, my 4 year old asked if we were having another baby.  God love him.  No, son, that’s just my leftover baby pooch.  
  8. You’ll cramp.  “Breastfeeding helps you lose weight!”  Ok, not for me, BUT I think they reason they say that is because breastfeeding helps shrink your uterus.  In those early days of breastfeeding, you might experience the most shooting, painful cramps and be like, WTF.  Don’t worry–it’s just your uterus snapping back into place!
  9. You’ll be a little unrecognizable.  Again, you just grew a human for months.  All of the sudden, I have these huge boobs that don’t seem to produce enough milk for my starving baby, a huge line down the center of my belly (that was faint when I was pregnant–why is it prominent NOW?), and my butt couldn’t be flatter if it tried.  Who is this person?!  It’s ok to mourn your body.  But also, give yourself a little grace (easier said than done, I know).
  10. You’ll fail, you’ll succeed, and you’ll be a wonderful mom.  Motherhood is easily the most humbling thing I’ve ever done.  But I would do it over and over again.  Those kids are my heart outside of my body.  And I’m not a perfect mom and I make so many mistakes, but they know I love them and that’s what matters most.  

Hope you related or that I perhaps conjured up a smile or memory. And if you’re a new mom to be, just know that this is definitely the small stuff in the grand scheme of things and you’ll be chatting about it with your girlfriends soon!

Be sure to check out my C-section recovery tips, too!

  • #9 is the most perfect summation of a postpartum body I’ve ever read — could not agree more! This is such a good post — it should be mandatory reading for all moms!

  • I’m not sure that cramps have anything to do with breastfeeding? The reason why breastfeeding helps you lose weight is because the body needs a lot of calories to produce and replenish the milk

  • I had my first baby just under four months ago by c section… why does nobody tell you about the swollen feet and legs after a c section (I had no pregnancy swelling) and the trapped wind…holy Toledo, you have to burp baby and yourself…the trapped wind in my shoulders and neck! The blur as well…12 weeks in and I suddenly realised I had a baby as the fog lifted as you just do everything on auto pilot…if I didn’t have a c section scar I’m pretty sure I would think my son was delivered by a stork to my home!

    • The trapped gas is INSANELY painful (I talk all about it on my c-section post)….it made me cry in the hospital…a pain like no other!

  • The smell! I didn’t have it with my first but definitely did this time around despite showering every day (baby is 6 weeks) though seems to have gone away now. Everything else is pretty spot on!

  • I’ve had three births, one of which was a c-section, and I nodded all the way through this. Thank you for writing it all down. I wish I had seen honest posts like this eight years ago! 🖤

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