We have put together some useful tips for those all important days after you have had your baby. Things that google or your friends don’t tell you.
(Great pic from the very clever Sketchy Mama.)
We are kicking off the list with…
Bleeding.. It is normal to bleed up to 6 weeks after having a baby and in the first few days it can be heavy. There are brilliant things for this called Tena pants. They are disposable knickers with giant pads in them. They are great, comfortable, disposable and hugely unattractive.
After pains… These were a massive shock to me with baby number 2 as I thought another baby was coming! These are the feelings you get after baby is born and your uterus is contracting down to its pre-pregnancy size. Can get painful the more children you have but they are normal. Just stock up on your Paracetamol and Ibuprofen, especially while breastfeeding as this can trigger the uterus to contract.
Breastfeeding can hurt… Breastfeeding isn’t suppose to hurt? Who else calls B@*$@*??? Your nipples are a very sensitive area and unless you are use to something attaching onto your nipples at least 8 times a day then of course you are going to have some level of discomfort. Pain can sometimes be a sign of poor attachment (and other complications) so always ask a midwife or feeding consultant to watch your feed. Otherwise time and plenty of Lansinoh will be your healer. It does get easier!
You can use tea tree or lavender in your bath to help with healing your stitches. Just a couple of drops. It is also very relaxing. Arnica tablets can be used to help with bruising. The British Homeopathic Association says you can take a a high potency powder/crushed tablet of arnica at the start of labour, one in labour and then for 3 days after. It helps with reducing swelling and bruising from childbirth, now anything that helps with that gets the go ahead!
Night sweats… Around night 2 after having baby, I woke up thinking I’d peed the bed my mattress was so wet. However the smell of BO was unquestionable. Change in hormones around day 3 are responsible for this (and many other things!)
You may dislike your husband.. Showers on his own, toilets on his own, gets a hot cup of coffee to drink on his lunch break (whats that again?) at work. Although your hormones may be telling you to throw the towel (or kettle) in/at him, guys also need encouragement and support in their new roles after having a baby as it’s a major life change. Although they may show their struggles in different ways, it can be apparent nonetheless. Make time for yourself as a couple, even if it is something as small as eating dinner together or popping out for a coffee or walk together whilst baby sleeps in the pushchair. And just like breastfeeding, give yourself time to adapt. It does get easier!
Baby brain.. You’re swearing at your husband for drinking all the milk, he swears blindly he hasn’t drunk it all. Then you find it in the cupboard where you left it after making yourself a bedtime brew. My baby is now over one and I still find myself asking silly questions and saying daft things like, “Does Ireland have beaches?” Your mind is so full of important things like keeping a human alive that Geography, kitchen orientation and other unimportant information just fall straight out.
It’s OK to not be OK. The baby blues can happen at about day 3. They are caused from hormones, sleep deprivation and feeling overwhelmed. You may cry if the toaster burns your toast and your partner forgets to put a sugar in your tea. If these feelings last it could be something more such as post natal depression or anxiety. Now we are lucky to be part of a culture where these issues are spoken about. Speak to a mum friend and more often than not they may be experiencing similar feelings. If they aren’t then speak to someone else about it. You will find someone who will say…. Yes I know what you are going through. It will immediately alleviate any mum guilt or rubbsihy feelings just to know someone is feeling the same. It is also important to tell your GP, health visitor or midwife how you are feeling. They will not frown upon you or judge you in anyway, they will understand and are there to help you. It is Ok to not be Ok.
A Guest Blog from Beth Kitt
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