10 Strange Postpartum Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

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Having a baby is an incredible experience. Many new mothers are anxious or fearful over pregnancy, labor, and childbirth. But when you think about it, delivering the baby is just the beginning. Holding that precious new little person in your arms for the first time is the beginning of many memorable moments as a new mother. It’s also the start of some less-than-glamorous side effects of having a baby. Here are 10 strange postpartum facts you likely didn’t think of:

  1. Saggy body parts – You probably already expected your body to undergo some permanent changes due to pregnancy, and these can be different for everyone. Stretch marks and varicose veins are very common, along with saggy breasts and abdomen.
  2. Stool softeners and hemorrhoid cream – If you had a vaginal delivery, it can be painful to push when the perineum is so sensitive. Stool softeners and hemorrhoid cream are your new best friends.
  3. Emotional rollercoaster – Your body undergoes massive hormonal changes during and after childbirth. Because of this, women feel extra emotional and moody during the postpartum period. You may feel like you’re on top of the world one moment and buried in a cave the next. Crying, irritability, and mood swings are just a result of all those hormones.
  4. Postpartum depression – If the “baby blues” don’t dissipate after a few weeks, or if you feel unbearably depressed, talk to your physician. Postpartum depression can be treated. Having a newborn baby is wonderful, but it’s also very overwhelming. Help is available – get the support you need.
  5. Clothes don’t fit – Pregnancy changes a body. Just as it’s often necessary to purchase clothing to wear through pregnancy, the postpartum period comes with it’s own special challenges. It’s tough to wear pants directly after a C-section (you don’t want anything touching that incision!), and most women can’t fit into their pre-pregnancy pants. Have some loose, comfortable clothing on hand, such as nightgowns or sweat pants.
  6. Maxi pads to the MAX – You’re going to need some heavy-duty maxi pads to get through the first weeks of postpartum. Some moms swear by Depends underwear to help keep the mess under control.
  7. Still look 6 months pregnant – You’d think that once baby is born, there would be nothing left in your belly to make you look pregnant, right? Wrong. Don’t be surprised if you still look 6 months pregnant after your baby is born.
  8. Nipple cream – If you decide to breastfeed your baby, it’s a good idea to invest in some nipple cream, such as Lanolin, to relieve chapped and chafed nipples.
  9. Hair falls out – Many new mothers are surprised to find hair falling out by the handful when brushing or showering. Don’t be alarmed. It’s just a temporary shedding caused by diving estrogen levels and should discontinue within 6-12 months.
  10. Contractions continue – Aren’t contractions only during labor? Unfortunately, no. After childbirth, the uterus will continue to contract to shrink down to it’s usual size.

Postpartum life can be wonderful – just don’t be surprised if it’s not all snuggles and sunshine. In taking care of a newborn baby, it’s so important as a new mother to take care of yourself. Talk to other new moms, go for walks with your baby, accept help from friends and family so you can rest. Before you know it, your body will begin to feel normal again and the postpartum days will be far behind you.

What advice would you give new mothers about postpartum?

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9584534

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/tc/postpartum-first-6-weeks-after-childbirth-coping-with-emotions

https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/hair-loss-in-new-moms

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