The truth about your after-birth recovery: 13 symptoms you didn’t expect

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Are you ready to face the ugly truth about your after-birth recovery?

You survived the icky 1 trimester feeling nauseous, hungover, and exhausted. Then you went on to turn up during your 2nd trimester because all your energy came back and that pregnancy glow finally kicked in.

Just when you thought you started getting your life back, the 3rd trimester slapped you in the face and left you wondering if you were wearing matching socks and if you were insane sending your honey to get you a pint of ice cream and some hot Cheetos at 2AM.

 

Then you spent the last couple of weeks of your pregnancy praying for it to just be over, while your sweetie prayed for you not to send him on another impromptu run to the convenience store in the middle of the night. Before you even knew it, your mucous plug came out and the contractions began.

Hours later, you gave birth to your precious little baby and both you and daddy breathed a sigh of relief.

After all of this, surely you deserve having an easy-breezy after-birth recovery?

Hmm.

Pin me for later!

What to expect postpartum and what you can do to make it easier for yourself

You’d think that after all of this, we’d be given a break right?

The symptoms you may experience after the birth of your baby can be really shocking. I shared with you how I pushed so hard during labor with my daughter that I injured my pelvic floor! I had no idea that this was even possible.

Of course, I’m fine now but it took a while for me to fully recover.


I was also surprised during one of our first nights home with our new baby. I woke up in a cold sweat with my entire side of the bed soaked. Ugh gross! I mean you read about these things but you don’t really expect that they’d happen to you…right!?

I don’t want you to be caught off-guard and think that there is something wrong with you like I did the first time around. With my son, I didn’t experience all of the same symptoms but still, I went through some things I really wish I didn’t, like back spasms and bad B.O.

In today’s post, I’ll be sharing with you 15 after-birth symptoms that suck and what you need to alleviate the suckiness (I might have just made up a word right there).

Here we go!

The 13 after-birth symptoms you didn’t expect

Bad B.O:

I was literally sick of my own smell after giving birth to both my kids. It didn’t matter how many times I showered or how many layers of deodorant I put on, I smelled so bad!

I had no idea it was common until I looked it up. Apparently, changes in hormones contribute to smelly BO and also newborns have pretty eyesight and God,

in His perfect design, made it so that new mamas carry a specific smell 😒 so that babies are able to recognize them.

My remedy? first rubbing half of an organic lemon into my armpits 5 minutes (kills odor-causing bacteria) before my shower and then putting on this deodorant.

This is the only one that has ever worked for me long term. postpartum. It took me going through 23496 deodorants before finding this gem.BTW I don’t stink any more people. Lol it all went away after a couple of months 🙂

Excessive sweating:

I remember waking up one night during around the time my husband and I brought our baby girl home. I woke u totally in a cold sweat. I was soaked, as was my bed! Everything was soaking wet! I don’t ever remember sweating that much in my life.

Of course, this is completely normal (hormones!) but it can be quite uncomfortable and troublesome to have to change all your bed sheets in the middle of the night. Here’s something you’ll need to protect your mattress during those first couple of days…weeks and months.

Temporary Incontinence

This is very common after giving birth. I remember after having had my daughter, there were times I needed to pee but couldn’t really hold it in long enough to get to the bathroom. This is why I wrote how to push properly during childbirth.

With my first baby, Samaiya, I pushed hard and strained my pelvic floor. It took a couple days for me to be able to hold back the flow of urine and several weeks of chiropractic adjustments for the pelvic pain to go away. How do you avoid this?

5 tips that will help you avoid tearing during childbirth

Well, push properly and don’t neglect to strengthen those muscles through regular adjustments and exercise.

You can seriously damage your pelvic floor during childbirth if you aren’t careful. The symptoms can range from temporary incontinence to organ prolapse.

I know this may seem counterintuitive to someone who may not have given birth yet (vaginally), but that’s why I wrote this post.

Farting/gas:

Remember those pelvic floor muscles we just talked about? A weak pelvic floor will have you toot toot tooting everywhere you go. Don’t neglect pelvic floor strengthening exercises during your after-birth recovery.

Childbirth can really do a number on these muscles, so really be mindful of this going into childbirth and do your best to strengthen them during your postpartum.

Once you have your baby, focus on strengthening your pelvic floor and your core muscles.

Mama's after-birth recovery essential printable (blog opt-in)

Lots of bleeding:

You thought your aunt Flow was bad? Wait till you experience your first couple of postpartum bleeds. After you have your baby, your uterus will begin to contract back to its pre-pregnancy size and those contractions will expel lochia aka: a combination of blood, mucous, and other gross things.

If you give birth in a hospital you will be given mesh panties and very thick pads (it’s basically like having a pillow stuffed between your legs). The heavy bleeding should only last a couple of days, and then you will go on to bleed mildly for a couple of weeks.

Taking some Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is not only beneficial during your pregnancy, but also during your after-birth recovery. It helps regulate hormones and it reduces bleeding. It’s a very powerful uterine toner. The one below is the same tea I drank throughout both my pregnancies!

Skin changes:

Again, raging hormones can wreak havoc your skin. After giving birth to both my kids, I went from having combination skin, to having Sahara desert dry skin.

I believe what helped save my skin was drinking a ton of water (I was always thirsty and I just love drinking water) and using a blend of cocoa butter and coconut oil. It goes on really thick and greasy but honestly, it gives me the relief I need!

Engorged breasts:

I went from a being a 34B to being a 36C and though my boobs looked great on the outside, they felt like death on the inside. Once my milk came in my breasts ached really bad.

I know some moms swear by frozen cabbage leaves in their bras to alleviate the pain, but what helped me other than nursing and pumping was actually being in the shower and letting hot water just run down my chest, and the milk would just drip out on its own.

I know this sounds like a waste,but the pain was quite bad and I couldn’t stand the thought of nursing or pumping at the time. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d want to do fear not! Many moms also swear by these!

Crazy mood swings:

 

I was a beast both during my pregnancies and after. Take it from me who has been there and done that, the hormones will still be raging once you’ve had your baby. From joy, to anxiety, to anger, to sadness, you will go through a roller coaster of emotions. What helps?

Getting some rest and taking an Omega 3 supplement. Studies show that there is a link between baby blues/PPD and the intake of Omega 3s. Having trouble resting? Create a relaxing atmosphere in your room by diffusing some lavender essential oil after you’ve had a warm shower.

Hair falling out:

I had to go dig up this sweet picture of when my now 2 year old daughter was about 7 months old. You can see that my entire hairline is BALD while the rest of my hair is super thick. I don’t even know what I was thinking wearing it in a ponytail! 😂

Those hormones that once had you looking like a hair model during your pregnancy, may end up betraying you and falling out…In clumps. What fixes this? Jamaican black castor oil.
This is the same stuff that I use it and let me tell you, it WORKS when used consistently! I’m actually in the process of testing this hair growth concoction I came up with that uses JBCO as a base.

I will share the results (including pictures) in an upcoming blog post. You can read more about its benefits here. I also took Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin & Nails and experience great results. After a couple of months I noticed my hair stopped shedding and my hairline started to grow back. And I also noticed my nails went from being brittle to being strong. I didn’t notice much of a change with my skin though.


Lower backache and back spasms:

I didn’t know what a back spasm felt like until one day, I was carrying my son and was gripped with such intense pain that I nearly dropped him. Backaches are one thing but back spasms are awful.

From what my chiropractor told me, my back spasms were a result of my core being weakened, especially after having had back to back pregnancies (my kids are 15 months apart). I had constant back pain and I experienced a couple of back spasm episodes, but those came to an end after a couple of months.

What helped was doing core strengthening exercises recommended by my Chiropractor, doing frequent chiropractic adjustments, and taking this omega 3 supplement. I also used a heat pack to help take the edge off the pain.

Hemorrhoids:

These are no fun. They’re itchy, they can be painful, and they’re gross. Childbirth can result in hemorrhoids due to the pushing which puts a lot of pressure on your rectal area. What helped me get some relief was a sitz bath.

I would pour some Epsom salt, coconut oil, and lavender essential oil into warm shallow water, and sit for 15 minutes, several times a day. After the bath, I’d dry my bottom with a clean piece of cloth, and I would apply some organic coconut for its antibacterial and soothing properties.

Drinking a lot of water and having a high fiber intake will prevent you from being constipated which can, of course, worsen your hemorrhoids.

Low libido:

Who wants anything to do with a penis after having given birth? I mean seriously. Not only will you not be allowed to have penetrative sex (Doctor’s orders!), you’ll be sore and extremely exhausted. I swear a was swatting and dodging my husband away for a couple of months.

Taking care of a baby all day is extremely exhausting. I remember not even wanting to be touched on the shoulder by my husband. I wanted my body to myself!

You never know how long it will take for things to feel somewhat normal again so I encourage you to keep the fire burning and try to explore new things. Learn each other’s love languages and find other ways to be intimate.

Exhaustion:

Nothing will ever leave you feeling as exhausted as giving birth to and caring for a baby round the clock. Pumping and breastfeeding, in addition, everything else really drains you physically.

The only remedy for this is to REST. Leave those dishes alone, put the vacuum down, accept help when its offered and REST. Nap whenever you can. If you have a hard time falling asleep, I recommend Taking a warm shower. This always helps me relax and sleep better.

What to expect postpartum and what you can do to make it easier for yourself

Mad Cravings:

Ever heard of the 4th trimester? This is the term used to describe the time between your baby’s birth and when he/she is about 3 months old. Remember the type of hunger and craving you experienced during your 2nd trimester?

They will come back during your after-birth recovery with a vengeance. Especially if you are breastfeeding.

Ladies, I ate more than my 6’2 husband and I had zero shame. That’s how intense the hunger was! I wish I could tell you I ate nothing but salads, grains, and lean meat but I didn’t.

Some days I ate healthily and on some other days, I didn’t. To me, it’s all about balance. Of course now that my kids no longer really on my body for nourishment I’m back to eating (mostly) healthy again.

Fruit with a side of french toast 😉

I would encourage you not to be too hard on yourself but try to keep in mind that your body needs the right vitamins and nutrients to be healthy and to recover quickly.

There you have it mamas!

I hope this list doesn’t freak you out too much! Nearly all of these symptoms can be temporary if you really take the time to recover.

Until next time!

Feel free to drop me a line at heymallaury@lifeofababe.com or via Instagram. Fill out the form below to join my EXCLUSIVE email list. By signing up, you’ll receive helpful tips, and get notified every time a new blog post goes up. You also don’t want to miss out on my *** FREE digital Fashion ~Summer Edition~ Lookbook*** which will launch on April 23rd 2018.  This lookbook will feature several styled outfits which are meant to inspire you to rock motherhood effortlessly, comfortably & stylishly (no cliché mom outfits here!). Subscribe now so you don’t miss out!

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What after-birth symptoms really shocked you? What did you do to make your recovery easier?
Comment below and help another mama out!

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Thank goodness you posted this I really thought it was just ME. Ibe experienced 5 of these symptoms after the birth of my son (March 2018 and almost none with my first daughter. Many of these things I was too embarrassed to ask anyone about. Thabks for the realness

    • Aw congrats on the birth of your baby boy mama. I hope you are doing well! I know, these things can be hard to talk about. Thanks for reading!

      xx

  2. Finally someone tells the truth about childbirth like me! After I had my first child I’m thinking why no one ever speak on the things us women go through when giving birth. I believe after I had my first child I had some slight pelvic damage as well. I still have pain once in awhile and he is going go be 8. I just deal with the pain but I may try visiting a chiropractor. Thanks for the real post.

    • I know right?! No one really talks about this and most doctors will tell you that “it’s normal”…hmm…no it’s not! I hope you get to see a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist soon. All the best and thanks so much for reading! 🙂

  3. I think you nailed this Mama! Im suffering a lot right now as you know with my psoriasis. Now I’m having back spasm and lower back. I haven’t see the chiropractor, but my gf told me it is good to see one to help out. Now I’ll schedule one and see what they have to say. Good read. I don’t think my body will ever be normal again. HAHA.

    • LOL =(

      Hey Renzi! I know what you mean! I just went to see mine today. You know with blogging sometimes I sit for long periods of time so I get back pain……I try and go see my Chiro at least once every 2 weeks. More than that if I have the time. I hope you get to go see one too so you can feel better. It will help you so much!!.

      xx

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