Congratulations!! If you’ve made it to this post, I am assuming you are nearing the end of your pregnancy journey.. or you’ve crossed the finish line and experiencing the level of crazy postpartum brings and trying to find your sanity in it. Let me tell you—-> YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! Postpartum is a venture in itself, and it can be a different experience for every woman which is what makes it so difficult to find sanity in. I will be the first to admit that I was NOT prepared for the journey into postpartum; my hopes is I can tell my story and my experience and hopefully prepare some of you wonderful mothers out there.
Let the list begin!!
1. Fear of using the restroom.. Yes. you read that correctly. The first few times you use the restroom, you may find yourself holding your breathe. This is a normal reaction considering you just birthed a whole human. Whether you have vaginal or c-section, the fear is in your head, but on the plus side- this goes away quickly (within a week or two most likely).
2. Ravenous Hunger.. Let me tell you…… the hunger is REAL!! Healthy snacking is going to be ideal, and I needed a snack every time I nursed- whether I just ate or not. Also- the craving for sweet is out of control. I just combat this by eating protein, and I also implemented intermittent fasting just to put a barrier on times I would eat. I do better when I am committed to a plan.
3. Milk Delay. Your milk MIGHT be delayed… don’t lose hope- your baby just needs to keep nursing and your milk will most likely be in before you know it.. Sometimes fully force with a vengeance.. more on this in a second. Don’t worry about your baby going hungry- they are THRIVING on colostrum. Just keep nursing (sing this to the Dory tune in Finding Nemo). The stimulation activates your body into gear.
4. Sweating in every temperature is a real thing. The amount of sweat I experienced at random with all 3 of my babies was nothing short of manly. Attempting to wear my hair down- fail. I would throw it up before even leaving the house because let me tell ya- the sweat was REAL.
5. Fevers and body aches. This is basically the body’s reaction to all of the changes it’s experiencing; your milk supply coming in can also bring a fever with it which tends to go away within a day or so.
6. Clogged Milk Ducts. These are really uncomfortable, especially if not dealt with sooner rather than later. Apply heat, gently massage, and nurse nurse nurse! At least this is the method I used to unclog a milk duct. I also took tylenol for the discomfort, and my milk duct also brought a low grade fever with it. It took about a day to clear up, but in some cases if they get too bad, see your doctor for antibiotics.
7. Emotional roller coaster. Your hormones are not on your side right now.. in fact they’re completely at war with each other and you. Sometimes they win.. Just know, this too shall pass and you will start to feel sane again when your hormones level. Unfortunately this time frame is different for everyone and can sometimes take additional help from your doctor to regulate.
8. Hair Loss. Your hormones once again are not on your side. I know with me, after a couple months postpartum with all of my pregnancies, my hair all along my face and the section of hair closest to my neck on the under side, completely fell out. (Such a bummer because my hair grew in so healthy in thick when I was pregnant with Knox).. all that progress- gone.
9. Skin/Hair dryness and overly chapped lips. With so many things going on in your body, nursing, weight loss, in my case trying to readjust from edema, you may experience really dry skin, hair, chapped lips, etc. Get your water intake in each day, rest, and make self care a priority with moisturizer.
10. Exhaustion. This seems like it would be a DUH.. however, I was NOT prepared for the amount of exhaustion postpartum brings. Basic tasks like getting ready for a relaxing day on the couch can still over exhaust you. Take time to sleep while your new baby is out.. the dishes can wait. I would also say drinking gobs of water, eating healthier, taking a B12, and walking have really helped me fight off exhaustion.
11. Wavering Motivation. With me, I am highly motivated by seeing the scale move. I also had pregnancy edema and would gain GOBS (40-50 pounds of fluid) then within 2 weeks of having my sweet baby love, I would weigh less than I did coming into the pregnancy. Then, as my body levels out, I would gain back some weight, and that is a bummer. I have learned to eat a balanced diet (not a strict diet because I nurse my babies and if I diet, so do they), exercise, sleep, and drink my water.. The motivation to do this does waver at times, but it is easier to stick to it when feeling rather than seeing the results from a scale…. Put away the scale for now is my suggestion if you are similar to me. You have your whole life to weigh.. Be gracious with yourself and take time to adjust. You’re more likely to stay motivated when you FEEL good.
Overall, everyone is going to have a relatively different postpartum experience. That’s just part of it.. Nobody told me about most postpartum inconveniences, so I just had to learn as I went, and each one of my pregnancies has been followed by a postpartum experience that differed slightly from the previous one. Fingers crossed these help you to not go into your postpartum blind. I’m on your team, sending all the positive vibes and prayers your way!!
Feel free to share about your experience in the comments! I would love to hear your story.