8 things I wish I knew would happen postpartum






Before Olivia was born, I didn’t give very much thought to what would happen postpartum. The extent of my worrying into that period was limited to my mental health, as I was already suffering from antenatal depression. But, actually, there are a lot of things that I wish I had known about what I would experience in the days and weeks postpartum. Warning, some of them are gross, but childbirth is gross so I’m not apologising!

1. The first poo

Sorry to start off on possibly the most cringeworthy one, but holy mother of Christ... the first poo is a bitch. I tried to go for days. Days of needing it but not being able to get it out... it’s such a glorious and magical time... not. 

A friend of mine who has just qualified as a midwife and was training at the time recommended that I try Lactulose (a liquid laxative). Hey, presto! It worked! But it takes a few days to kick in - so if you’re expecting, get some in the house ready for when you need it! 

2. The first wee

I promise these aren’t all toilet related...

You may or may not know that you will be expected to produce a certain amount of wee in a bowl and present it to your midwives. However, if you’ve just been stitched up down there, and even if you haven’t, it bloody stings! So for your first wee, I recommend sitting on the toilet backwards and leaning forwards over the tank so as to angle the wee away from your very sore lady parts.

3.  You’ll be expected to leave the hospital ASAP

It’s no secret that the nhs are in crisis and need beds to be available, but sometimes it can seem like the midwives are simply trying to discharge you as quickly as possible. It didn’t make a huge difference to me either way as I wanted to go home the following day, but if you are struggling with any aspect of your postpartum physical or mental wellbeing, breastfeeding or your newborn’s health, then STAY IN THAT BED! Don’t move until you get help from someone. They cannot kick you out before you’re ready (unless you’re obviously taking the piss), so make sure you’re comfortable to leave those hospital walls because once you do, assistance is that little bit further away.

4. Don’t wash your hair

Thankfully after giving birth, my midwife could tell how much pain I was in and I was still pretty weak and shaky from throwing up throughout my labour. So she, being a wonderful kind soul, gave me personal wash down so that I didn’t have to go and brave a bath just yet. That being said, I did take a shower the next morning... and I washed my hair... with shampoo. Am I an idiot? I’d like to think I’m not, but it was pretty stupid to think that as I washed the shampoo out, I would form a magical protective bubble around my vagina that would prevent any shampoo going near my stitches... Think again!!!!!

5. Maxi dresses are your best friend

I wish I’d had more, because that first week, at least, postpartum, is so painful downstairs that you need to have absolutely no pressure on the area. A maxi dress will also conceal the hairy legs you’re 100% not going to shave and is just the most comfy thing that you can possibly wear after just giving birth.

6. Stock up on maternity pads/mats

For the car journey home from hospital I had to borrow maternity mats from the ward to put on the seat of the car. I say borrow... I didn’t give them back, don’t worry! I hadn’t even considered that. Even more shockingly - I hadn’t even considered that I might need them for when my waters broke on the way into hospital! They didn’t (they broke over a midwife’s hand instead), but it is still a possibility and you really don’t want to be cleaning that out of your car when you’ve got a newborn.

7. You will need separate bags

I don’t think I was quite realistic about the hospital stay. I assumed my birth plan would be totally accurate and so only packed one outfit for me, far too many for Olivia and absolutely nothing whatsoever for Jamie. Obviously, he then had to leave me with Olivia’s godmother in the hospital while he went home for provisions. Put whatever you want in your bags, but do pack separate ones for each of you!

8. Finally, it will go too quickly

All of the pain you feel and the sleep exhaustion will make the days and nights seem never-ending. But I promise you this, I wish I had known that it flies by in what feels like a blink. I don’t even remember my baby as a baby - she is a completely different child in both appearance and personality. I’d give anything to go back to having my tiny Olivia again and at the same time I love the way she is now (except the tantrums). For all of the stress, emotion and being so physically and mentally drained, it is worth it, and you’ll realise that all of those people who really pissed you off by saying that in your last weeks of pregnancy we’re absolutely right.

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Comments

  1. how times change, when I had my first son 26 years ago I was in hospital for 5 days as he was my first and that was the average time, I didn't know if I'd asked I could've gone home after 2 days. thanks for linking up with #pocolo

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  2. Oh it's so true about hospitals wanting you to leave asap. I had my son by planned c-section 4 months ago, and I was in the shower before I could properly feel my feet, and home after 24 hours of having my baby. They try to do this with all c-section mums at our hospital, and call it 'enhanced recovery'. I'm not sure it is, as recovery took me much longer this time than it did when I had my first by emergency c-section almost 4 years ago, and stayed in a full 4 days.... #kcacols

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    1. oh goodness! I haven't had a c-section but it's obvious that you need more medical help! It's major abdominal surgery for heaven's sake! Thanks for commenting

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  3. I imagine that it's easy to overlook what happens after the birth, am sure this post will help others know its normal. Thanks for sharing with #PoCoLo

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  4. They do tend to rush you out quickly these days. I love the idea of a maternity home where my mum had me. You get looked after and shown gently and with time how to look after baby. Not like when I had mine and they said they had no beds but they were sure I'd be fine to go on home. Times sure do change, maybe it will go back to that someday:) Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time. Mainy

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    1. Ooh that sounds really interesting! I wonder if there's scope to set one up in the UK :)

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  5. I definitely agree that it'll go too quickly! My birth was an emergency section so the rest of it doesn't really apply but it whizzes by, that's for sure. #kcacols

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  6. it's funny because at the time it feels never ending and then before you know it, they are at school! i'm due my second next feb and have mixed feelings about doing it all again!

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  7. Oh GOD YES! Also remember to take more than one pair of PJ's into hospital with you especially if youre having your third child are bleeding profusely and sleep for 24 hours straight after the birth. This was me and I was soooo sweaty smelly....:D #KCACOLS

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  8. I used no more tears baby shampoo for the first week or so after each of mine to avoid the dreaded stinging! #KCACOLS

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  9. Oh yes there are so many things that I forget when I had little lady. I wish I was blogger before having her. I would have been prepared. Thanks for linking up with #kcacols we hope to see you next time.

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