YOU Bleed A LOT! I certainly did not know that I would bleed for that long- no one ever said. I figured that it would just be like a normal period- 5 day or so…. I was greatly mistaken.
Also, the clots were something I also wasn’t prepared for and the first time I had quite a big one (as big as my palm) I panicked – and rightly went to seek medical help as I wasn’t prepared.
Everything was fine. Then as time went on I had a few smaller ones too- 50 cent piece size. The blood changes as time goes by and can change from day to day and week to week. The blood may move through lighter to darker colour and then change to a mucous brownish. Towards the end of your bleeding it will be a similar discharge like when you ovulate but still may have some pinkie colour in it.
If you are ever concerned or it smells unusual just ask your midwife or go in for a check-up. Pads and managing all the mess was a trying time for me and often there would be leakages.
The big old maternity pads weren’t that soft and were so inflexible. I always felt in secure that I was going to leak out or through. Just another stressful thing that you don’t need in your life when you are trying to recover from birth.
When I saw Modi Bodi’s maternity range – I was actually excited to see that someone was taking maternity recovery, health and comfort so seriously. Finding a product that works, is comfortable, feels secure and doesn’t make you feel like you have a giant surfboard in your pants is just awesome.
SAVE your Squeezy Tomato sauce bottles It really hurts to wee- particularly if you have had stitches. A real-life saver is getting those squeezy sauce bottles and keep it next to the toilet- filled with water and squeeze it over yourself when you are weeing- it can really help to alleviate the stingy feelings.
Recovery- Takes time. 6 weeks to be exact- that is why in non-western cultures they often have a ‘sitting in’ or ‘confinement practice’ where the mother and baby- basically stay in bed for that period.
Whatever type of birth you have had your body has just don’t one of the most incredible I things and created a new human. It needs lots of time to rebuild its strength and energy.
This coupled with sleep deprivation and constant demands on your body as you try and set up a breast feeding routine really takes its toll. I actually remember sitting on the toilet (as I sprayed water all over my bits as I weeed) a few days in to postpartum and just saying to myself. ‘I feel like I have been run over, by the biggest truck in the world’, every cell in my body was exhausted, everything ached and it seemed that it would never end.
It ends and I did recovery well but it does take time- so be real and listen to your body. Be practical with your commitments and how much you entertain people in those early weeks. Make sure your guests are helping and not hindering your recovery process.
Nipples will hurt Whether your latch is good or not- your nipples are going to hurt and most likely at one stage they may actually bleed too. I wish someone had told me how hard breastfeeding was- no one actually said- it’s not as simple as shoving your baby on your boob. I also found a lot of mixed conflicting information around feeding –so the sleep deprivation, breast tenderness and uncertainty was at times overwhelming.
Get help from one source and trust yourself. Try and watch as many people breast feed before you have your baby- I went to a breastfeeding clinic- before my son was born and this normalised my struggles when I had them as I had already heard other’s issues.
The HUNGER is real Your body is busy healing and recovering so you are STARVING constantly. Your body is super busy, using so much energy repairing itself and supporting your breastfeeding so it is really important to eat well.
Eat simple nutritious snacks and often. Have a protein rich breakfast to get your milk production off to a good start for the day.
ALSO, if you are hungry eat/ drink- stay nourished and hydrates as it doesn’t matter what time it is- If you are up at 3am been feeding and need a replenish- DO it listen to your body ☺.
At the last WonderMums Club- the mums were sharing about what they eat in the middle of the night- one handed snacks are essential as you only have one free- protein balls, cookies, lactation ones too were all popular. For bigger meals eat warm and hearty foods- soups, stews and lots of easy to digest soft cooked vegetables are easy for the body to digest and are warm and healing. You want to repair the body with warmth and nourishment, rich with broths and casseroles are just the key.
These also can be made before you have your baby and frozen. Eating cold foods and a lot of raw foods can slow recovery down as the body needs to use more energy to process and digest them. Drinking really cold may actually slow the repairing process of the body. Have you seen the book The First 40 days by Heng Ou it is a beautiful book full of recipes and tips for postpartum recovery.
You really miss your bump Despite having your baby right next to you or even attached to you- pretty much 24/7 for the first few weeks- you can really miss your bump. Its soo weird to rub your belly and realise they have left your womb.
We have such a connection with our baby even before they are earth side. Women speak of suddenly feeling really alone, especially if they leave the house by themselves.
This period of adjustment is real and just be kind to yourself.