baby

"I bled through my hospital bed." Exactly what happened to my body after a baby.

I can’t praise a recent post I saw on Instagram enough.

Influencer, writer and speaker Sarah Nicole Landry, aka @thebirdspapaya, got real and shared her postpartum discoveries without the need to glamourise or sugar-coat it and I. AM. HERE. FOR. IT.

I’ve always been here for it, and always will be, because I missed the memo on a lot of postpartum advice due to being one of the first of my friends and family to have kids. 

This is not to be confused with being negative about the postpartum phase - it’s about bringing to light the very real struggles women can experience which can be minimised, or at least normalised, with knowledge. 

It’s an experience like no other, and for reasons I am still yet to understand, we’re expected to birth children and carry on with our lives as though nothing has changed. 

F*ck that.

Everything has changed, and it would be easier to embrace and adapt to our new lives if we shared our honest experiences to help others. So, read on for some more honest postpartum encounters based on my first birth.

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But first, here's our questions about childbirth, answered. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

The first poo.

That dreaded first poo felt like the ass apocalypse and I was not mentally prepared for it. 

Holding my stitches together, I tried to find the balance of pushing with enough force to evict this lump of concrete my bowels seemed to be harbouring, while begging all my organs to remain inside my body. 

I required prunes, laxatives, water, and an exorcism, but we got there. And you will too. (You can read my full account of said poo here.)

Stitches.

Yep, I got ‘em and one tore open. 

Not everyone can just birth and get back to business, so can we just normalise that a bunch of us need to birth and rest too? The expectation for women to appear like a boss bitch after birth is ridiculous, especially when you are quite literally being held together with some thread.

You’re still amazing mama, forget those expectations and rest that thread. 

Women's physio.

Book in. Do it. Please.

Your body can experience problems with your pelvic floor muscles, abdominal separation, and back pain, all as a result from pregnancy. 

Ignoring them can result in a prolapse, and my mother-in-law (thankfully) was insistent that I see a women’s physio post birth. 

She was right, and I fully recommend this for every woman after every pregnancy now. In fact, I wish all women received a complimentary session after birth, because so many haven’t even heard of abdominal separation! I know I hadn’t after my first.

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Image: Supplied.

Haemorroids.

Harry the haemorrhoid was so excited he had popped out to congratulate me on the baby, and I didn’t even know because I was too nervous to investigate the battlefield. 

They exist, ladies, and the cream is a godsend (though make sure you check with your doctor if you’re breastfeeding). Send Harry back to his Cave of Wonders where he belongs so you can rest your toosh a little easier.

Bleeding.

I bled through my hospital bed the first night of moving up to my room from the birthing suite, and I’ll never forget the nurse who made me feel like I was such a hassle for it. 

You bleed, a lot. Plus, sometimes pads like to move which leaves us leaking in places we wish we hadn’t. It’s normal, you’re not a hassle, and your body did great things. 

Although I do recommend researching period undies. I discovered them one year ago and I’ve never looked back! 

Overwhelming feelings.

I was overwhelmed AF. 

Visitors came by every day, I was learning to breastfeed, I was barely sleeping, my entire downstairs felt like a volcano on the verge of an eruption, one of my stitches had torn, and I could barely sit, stand, or walk for a solid two weeks. 

If your birth wasn’t easy peasy vagina squeezy, speak up! I don’t know why we get the guilts for either asking for help or wanting to be left alone for a day or so. You matter just as much as that baby.

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Image: Supplied.

Anxiety.

I had this constant anxiety that something had gone wrong during the birth and I was going to unexpectedly die, coupled with the anxiety that something was going to happen to my new baby.

I had never heard anyone else talk about feeling this way, and I felt really alone, so I kept it to myself so that I could appear strong and capable just like everyone else. 

Reach out, find support, and know you’re not alone!

We’re high on that fresh baby smell, loved up on the little burrito we swaddled them into, and we’re navigating a whole new world - the world of motherhood.

So shun the shame and exile and any embarrassment. Let’s unlock the postpartum ‘secrets’ vault and normalise postpartum truth, because together we’re an online village with a wealth of knowledge to support each other through it.

What postpartum truths would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image: Supplied.