Oh, labor. A woman and her loved ones are waiting for this day from the moment she finds out she’s pregnant. But while she’s carrying her unborn child for up to nine months (give or take a couple, depending on when baby wants to arrive), there are things that she never knew would happen her first day after welcoming her bundle of joy. And some of these things, she would rather keep to herself or only share with women she knows have gone through the same thing.
Whether a woman delivers a child naturally or undergoes a C-section, the aftermath of labor is one that she could never be prepared for, no matter how many tips and how much advice she’s received from well-meaning loved ones and books she can’t put down. Still, "whatever happens in the delivery room, stays in the delivery room" has been an ongoing motto, probably since the beginning of time.
While these things might be very common and normal, there are women out there who would never admit that’s what their body experienced after stepping into the life-changing realm of motherhood. But hey, hopefully this article can serve as a testament that while some of these might be unexpected, they only makes motherhood that much more unique.
20 Mom's Figure Will Still Look The Same For A While
Who else growing up thought that once a woman gives birth, her belly will reform back to its pre-baby state? We did! Still, after stepping into adulthood and even becoming mothers ourselves, it’s very clear and obvious that’s not the case. Even though it makes perfect sense for the belly to go back down after thing that was taking up so much room is released, it takes quite a while for it to decrease, and there’s a major chance a mom’s stomach will never be the same. As for how long it will take to see any impact, that really depends on the mom and her body.
19 The Truth About Carrying Extra Water
While the baby bump might not go anywhere soon, it’s very possible for the excess water lbs, to start making its release sooner than later. Other extra liquid and fluids can also include swelling from an IV, for the ladies that had a C-section. Either way, a new mom can expect to start losing anywhere from 10 to 13 pounds shortly after delivery.
So for those who thought their seemingly never-ending trips to the bathroom would cease after childbirth, that’s not necessarily the case. Night sweats are also another way new moms shed their extra lbs, so it might be a good idea to bring a towel to bed along with the beautiful newborn.
18 Lots Of Red Stuff
This is probably one of the most uncomfortable aspects of post labor. So, it only makes sense for a woman to want to keep this part to herself. It’s painful, it’s uncomfortable, and it pretty much sucks. But, there’s really no way around it.
Whether she’s taken on a C-Section or natural birth, it is very likely for a woman to experience discharge, in the name of lochia, which can range from anything like red stuff and mucus, to tissue from the uterus lining. And unfortunately, this can typically go on for more than a week. But no worries, it will start to go away within a few weeks. She’ll just need to stock up on pads in the meantime.
17 Cramps In The Pelvic Area
It’s not the return of the period, but it could definitely feel like it. While the rest of her body might not respond to the baby’s delivery, the uterus starts to tighten and go back the size it was (it was up to two pounds but could go down to two ounces) and the location it was in before the beautiful and wonderful pregnancy.
Of course, this causes cramps in the pelvic area. Thankfully, they can go away in as little as a week. But hey, at least they’re a good sign that your uterus is on its way back to normalcy, if that even exists anymore.
16 A Lot Of Soreness
While any mom might want to wrap herself in the love of her newborn, it’s safe to say her body will be telling her to stay in bed thanks to some extreme soreness. One of the best things for mom to do is simply give her body time to heal and realize that it’s something that can only go away slowly but surely over time.
Of course, just waiting in the wings for the pain to go away can make it seem even more unbearable. For moms in this phase of post labor, try taking a sitz bath and using a squirt bottle with warm water after going to the bathroom. Ice packs and witch-hazel pads are also major wins for a small price.
15 Issues Going To The Bathroom
Constipation doesn’t stop after child birth, unfortunately. In the coming days, most moms will definitely have problems when they try to go to the bathroom. Plus, considering she just pushed out a baby, it’s no surprise that she’s not really looking forward to anything else leaving her body via a good old push.
Even for the moms who had C-Sections, peeing is a difficult task after the catheter is taken out, and the anesthesia that’s still in any mom’ s system can create constipation as it slows down the bowels. A painful bladder can also cause pain for a mom who had a V delivery when she wants to pee. Final word: hemorrhoids.
14 Mood Swings
Even though some moms won’t want to admit that they’re experiencing mood swings after birth, it’s still very possible. So no, those hormones don’t just go away after the baby is born. While she feels like she should be reveling in the joys of all things motherhood, it’s perfectly normal for a mom to experience the ups and downs of giving birth as early as the next day.
From changes in the hormone, to just being downright uncomfortable, to now having to service a new life at its every call, it’s a lot for a mom to handle. Interestingly enough, this is probably one of the factors that no mom should keep to herself as it’s the best time for her to lean on her support system and those around her.
13 Get The Jitters
Yes, those jitters experienced after giving birth are usual! No need to freak out or even feel embarrassed when your whole body starts to jitter beyond your control. It’s completely normal! And it’s in no way related to the temperature in the room. Instead, it’s a sign of hormonal shifts that happen just after giving birth.
But they could also be a result of any anesthesia or endorphins that Mom took during her multiple hours of seemingly scrutinizing pain. Fortunately, they don’t last and can resolve in as little as a few minutes or as long as a couple of hours.
12 Stitches Down There
Stitches down there are nothing to be embarrassed about after taking on birth, even if there isn’t an incision. That’s because tearing in the V area is very common and likely (after all, an entire human did just come out of there), more specifically for moms who have given birth for the first time.
Thankfully, if she has indulged in epidural, it’s very unlikely that a mom will feel the pain, but it doesn’t mean that stitches won’t be a must. For those moms that bravely took the unmedicated route, the doctor will probably have to numb the pain first before going to make fixes down there.
11 Baby Might Not Want To Nurse
Any mom would be excited to connect with her baby in another unique way after carrying him or her for months on end. Still, the baby might not be as ecstatic and enthusiastic to latch on to a boob after exiting the womb. While it’s important to kick off the breastfeeding process as soon as possible, don’t feel bad if the baby isn’t too interested in breastfeeding at first, especially in the earlier days.
Moms can try other forms of skin-to-skin action like holding her baby close, looking at him, smelling, and feeling. The OB can also offer other solutions if it continues to be an issue longer than normal.
10 Can’t Get Out Of Bed
This is especially true for those C-sections moms. They will certainly have to stay in bed for a minimum of 12 to 24 hours after the labor because of the epidural has the power to literally make a new mom too weak to walk. Don’t be embarrassed if it lasts a little longer (or even to milk it for as long as possible).
After all, the surrounding of family and friends and loved ones who have been cheering through this moment will soothe the idea of not being able to get out of the bed. Just don’t push it and take as much time as needed.
9 Tons Of Sweating
Yes, giving birth is a workout in itself that can result in tons of sweat dampening any chance of looking camera ready after the baby arrives. But there’s plenty more where that come from. Most moms also find themselves sweating for the first few days, and even weeks, after the baby comes. And this isn’t any sweat to just, well, sweat off, it’s tons of perspiration – including extreme night sweats. The reason? Hormones, which seems to be the reason for everything.
In this case, it’s the estrogen levels in the mom’s body taking a dip that causes the sweating. But just like other things associated with post-labor impact, this too will pass.
8 Midsection Feels Very Soft
Not only will the midsection prove it’s not going down without a fight, it will appear to have a Jell-o texture to it shortly after labor is complete and the baby has entered the world. Even the slightest things become a major task from twisting to reach something to giving someone who has come to send their congrats a small hug.
And yes, this still applies to those moms that had V-births as well, it’s not exclusive to C-section processes. But this squirmy feeling will go down soon enough, and the muscles will get strong again. In the meantime, it’s a bit awkward to feel.
7 Even More Contractions
Yes, you read that correctly. Unfortunately for some moms, the baby’s arrival doesn’t mark the end of contractions. From the uterus responding to the mom no longer being pregnant to bleeding while nursing, these contractions will be a pain (no pun intended). They typically go away within the first week.
But, if we’re completely honest, mothers will multiple children have confessed these contractions and afterpains can get and feel even more intense than being in the labor. So, the toughest part isn’t necessarily always over after the baby comes. But at least you’re a little bit closer to a complete and total healing.
6 Good Old Hemorrhoids
Even the word itself is just uncomfortable to look at. While hemorrhoids are normal to experience while pregnant, they are even more common a day after giving birth. But who wants to admit that their butt is pretty much bleeding? Hemorrhoids are basically swollen vessels that show up in the bottom area during labor. So, it’s only expected to experience the aftermath once labor is finished.
These can be treated with creams like Preparation H, sitz baths, medications, and specialized ointments. Keep in mind while it’s very tempting to strain during bathroom time, that isn't wise. The trick is to eat foods that are high in fiber and stay hydrated.
5 Sore Bottom
While a baby either came out of the V area or the stomach, the booty seems to be impacted just as much. That’s because when pushing out the baby, the space between the lady parts and rear is completely stretched, in an effort to clear the way for the newborn. So along with everything else being sore, feel free to add the bottom to the list.
Just like other pains mentioned in this article, the cures to at least ease the pain (if they don’t treat it completely) are sitz baths, spray cream, and even pouring warm water on the bottom area while peeing.
4 Sore and Swollen Girls
And another one. The chest will definitely be hurting after giving birth. For some, so much so that it’s painful to embrace visitors and family. Fortunately, it’s very likely they’ll understand, especially the moms who have experienced something similar. Still, that doesn’t make the pain of post-labor milks go away.
As much as we’d like our bodies to convert to normal as soon as the babies arrive, the girls are just one of the body parts that take longer than other (even more so for the moms who are nursing). Using ice packs, a support bra, and even pumping more milk can be at-home solutions. Plus, steer clear of underwire bras during this time as they could only add to the discomfort.
3 Swollen ankles, feet, and even legs
It only makes sense that it will take a while for pregnancy swelling to decrease. Still, after giving birth, the swelling could be embarrassing as many come to see a mother following her bundle of joy’s arrival.
Interestingly enough, while a mom might be eyeing her ankles, feet, and legs to see if the swelling is decreasing, there’s also a chance it could only get worse in the earlier days after labor. The reason? Apparently, it’s the flow from uterus trying to find a home. It could be even more intense for those moms who have had multiple children.
2 Stretch Marks Are Still Going Strong
The reality is, the body is stretched out, and it’s much more difficult to “unstretch” it than it is to get the stretch marks to begin with. So, the stretch marks, as much as a mom might not want to admit it, won’t be going anywhere.
They are very stubborn and will camp out for as long as possible, and unfortunately, there is little, if anything, any woman can do about it. It might be a good idea to just see them as a sign of being an amazing mom and what the body had to go through for the child to arrive. Instead of viewing them as scars, view them as honors.
1 The Need For Maxi Pads On Maxi Pads
Hopefully Mom stocked up on loads of maxi pads before giving birth, because once she does, she’s going to need them even more. Get ready to channel the inner Kris Jenner and question why there’s the constant peeing of the pants, even during the smallest tasks like going up the stairs.
Don’t be surprised 0r embarrassed when there’s a little squirt. Thanks to the pressure on the pelvic during pregnancy, the bladder is a bit more difficult to handle. Plus, both women who had V-births and C-sections experience this interesting aspect. Maxi pads are also necessary for the excessive bleeding we talked about earlier.
Sources: What To Expect, The Bump, Today’s Parent, Health Day, US News