I don't know about you ladies, but there were definitely a few things about the birth recovery process that the elder ladies in my life definitely neglected to mention. So, to make sure you new mamas are not caught off guard when you have your babe (and to refresh the minds of you veteran mamas) I wanted to go ahead and make note of a few today.
What Moms Forget to Mention About Postpartum
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Once baby comes out the contractions aren't over! Within minutes you will start contracting again in order to deliver the placenta. It's not as bad as when your babe was in there but it isn't comfortable either! THEN, once you get the placenta outta there, come the after pains and they get worse with each successive baby! Basically, afterpains are a good thing because they help your uterus shrink back down to size over the next couple of weeks but they are wretched and bring no real reward. They get especially bad when you are nursing, so watch out and brace yourself! (I'll mention some essential oils in an upcoming post that can help with them.)
You will bleed for 5-8 weeks. Yup- it's like the longest period EVER! And you may think I'm crazy to mention this, but consider purchasing some nice quality washable pads, such as these. If you're not used to cloth diapers and such this may totally gross you out but… get over it- they are a heck of a lot more comfortable than being chaffed by disposable plastic pads for 5-8 weeks. Again, this is one of those “Ask me how I know” types of things!
Breastfeeding is natural but it doesn't always happen naturally. It is a learned skill for both you and baby and your nipples have to get used to it. It will hurt at latch on the first couple of weeks as your nipples adjust! You are forewarned! BUT it's worth it, a million times over- worth it!!! We will talk about this more in an upcoming post because there is some pain associated with breastfeeding that shouldn't be considered normal and requires assistance, but initial latch on pain is normal. Don't worry- we'll break it all down in a few days!
Grin and Bear It
So if you can just buckle down and commit to the discomfort for about a month the afterpains will go away, you'll stop bleeding (usually for at least a few months if not the entirety of the time you breastfeed) and your nipples will do things you never thought possible without the help of novocaine! You'll get get there and more over it will be a piece of cake! Just stick with it!
Join the Conversation
Are you keeping up with the entire 31 Days of Bellies, Birth and Babies from a Doula’s Perspective series? Go to this page for the full list of posts so far and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any more! Also, please come join the “Ask the Doula” conversation on the FB page!
You can also email me at boldturquoise at gmail dot com or go to this page if you would like more information about private classes, coaching and consultations (also available via FaceTime and Google+ Live Hangouts) or having me speak at one of your upcoming events!
You can contact me in the same ways I just mentioned if you would like more information about getting wholesale prices on Young Living Essential Oils as well as free personal essential oils coaching!
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*I am not a medical professional- just a mom and doula sharing from my experiences and research.