It’s likely that through all of the excitement, stress, joy, happiness, madness and general chaos of your pregnancy, especially if it’s your first child, that no one bothered to tell you about all the beautiful things you have to look forward to, post-pregnancy – and we’re speaking body wise.
We’re going to help you through just a few of the more commonly shared experiences that women face post-childbirth because, chances are – no one else has. (Which is something that we need to change, but that’s a different post altogether).
GETTING THE SHAKES
Nope, not the chocolate kind – although for some women, the cravings don’t stop. These are the physical kind. It can happen in the run-up to labour, through labour and post-childbirth, where your knees shake uncontrollably, you can get the chills or suddenly feel cold or a combination of both and at any time. Usually, this is nothing to worry about but discuss it with your gynaecologist anyway, just to put your heart at rest.
You’re going to be sweating like a prize race-horse post-partum, especially at night. This means that you want to stay hydrated to the max, on and as a bonus – your boobs are going to leak too, and you have about six weeks worth of bleeding (down there) to look forward to as well. Score! (You want to invest in some cotton pads)
It’s your bodies way of dealing with pregnancy fluids and rebalancing itself after the experience of labour.
YOU FEEL MORE AND MORE LIKE JELLY (LITERALLY, NOT FOR DESSERT)
Even with vaginal birth, for the first 72 hours or so afterwards, you’re going to feel somewhat unstable in your midsection. Don’t worry; this will start to firm up again within a few weeks, and once you’re healed and fully operational, hitting the gym will help bring that about a little quicker.
This doesn’t happen to every woman, but many women experience intense, sharp, stabby pains in their midsection and often while breastfeeding. This is your uterus realigning itself and returning to its non-pregnant size.
Remember that your body was growing and carrying another human for nine months. That’s not “nothing”, so it stands to reason that there is something of a “relocation” event that needs to happen to get your body back to its normal state.
BACK TO YOUR BOOBS
There is just no way that this event can be overstated; you will have leakage for around 6-weeks after your baby is born, and you start breastfeeding (and even if you don’t sometimes). Sleep with a couple of layers of towels to absorb the leakage at night and see if your partner really does love you in the morning.
You’re going to be learning so much about your body and your incredible, God-given natural instincts, and just like you’re going to get your children to learn new things and discover a new world, this is your turn, and it’s true if this is your first child or not.
Believe it or not, this all forms part of the experience, and it’s something that no one can live out in the same way that you can, so even though it can be challenging and less than glamorous sometimes, enjoy every moment.