It’s very common to hear other experienced moms talking about what to expect during pregnancy and even during delivery, but the less talked about part of having a baby comes during your postpartum recovery.
After having a baby, your body will have literally been stretched to its limit and been growing an entire little human being for several months. And of course, making and then giving birth to a baby takes its toll on a moms body.
But having some idea of what’s to come can help soon to be moms prepare for what to expect during their postpartum recovery after having a baby.
*This page may contain affiliate links, however, I will never recommend anything that I do not believe in and use myself. You can read more about my disclosure policy here. I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. This post simply shares my experiences with postpartum recovery after having a baby.
1. Leaving the Hospital Sucks
I absolutely hated leaving the hospital after having my babies – especially after my second baby. The biggest reason was that I knew that when I went home I would have no one to take care of me since I had just had a c-section delivery.
My husband had to get back to work since he was the only one bringing in the bacon and my other family members worked full-time as well.
But in the hospital, I had a nurse that I could call on for anything I needed or help me with getting up and down since I was still in pain. And after having my second child, I not only had to take care of my newborn but a rambunctious toddler.
So I stayed in the hospital for a full four days to take in as much rest as I could.
The second hardest part about going home for the hospital was that both of my babies were crying all the way home – even when I had just fed them. Now thinking back, this is very normal and I was probably overthinking it, but I felt like such a bad mom as we were being taken out of the hospital with a crying baby in my arms.
Of course, both of my babies calmed down as soon as we made it home and I breastfed them but being in that moment is very hard.
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2. Expect Crazy Emotions
Crazy emotions are kind of an understatement. If your spouse thought that you were emotional and hormonal when you were pregnant then he is really in for it after you give birth.
There will be moments when you cry for no reason and others when you are overjoyed and cannot stop smiling. These emotional changes are very normal after childbirth since your hormones are adjusting to not being pregnant anymore and being a new mother.
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3. Your Breasts Will go up a Bra Size or Two
Whether you plan to breastfeed your newborn baby or not, your body will prepare your breasts for making breast milk from the time you first become pregnant. And just before giving birth your breasts will likely grow in size.
If you do start to breastfeed your newborn after birth, your breasts will begin to get fuller and larger as your breast milk comes in. Most new breastfeeding moms have to go up a bra size or two when their breast milk comes in.
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4. You’ll Feel Movement Like When You Were Pregnant
Do you remember the little flutters that you started feeling the first time you felt your baby’s movements? Well since you were more aware of all of those movements in your body, you may still feel flutters in your belly after giving birth.
Don’t worry there’s not still a baby in there. This happened to me and it was totally weird, but those little flutters are only gas movements in your gut that feel a bit like baby movements. You’re just more sensitive to them after having a baby moving around in there for months.
5. You Might Feel Hot
Don’t worry, you’re not running a fever.
After giving birth, I have always felt like I’m hot and most of that comes from a shift in hormones. Many moms have experienced the same thing and it hasn’t gone away.
6. Painful Pooping
The first time you go poop after having a baby sucks. It doesn’t matter if you gave birth vaginally or through a c-section.
Unfortunately, after your body has gone through bringing a baby into the world, pooping just plain hurts and the only thing you can do is cry through it. Taking your time and drinking lots of water is also sure to help, but it truly does get better after this.
Hemorrhoids are often one of those annoying things that pregnant women experience, but some don’t have them until after giving birth. I was one of those lucky ones but still didn’t feel lucky since I got them anyways.
The worst part was that they never went away for me and got continually worse until I spoke with my doctor. Don’t feel embarrassed, they have seen and heard everything.
8. Heavy Bleeding
After giving birth your body needs to get rid of the extra blood and that means some heavy bleeding for you. And this is another one of those instances where it doesn’t matter whether you had a c section or vaginal birth – heavy bleeding is going to happen.
Huge overnight pads are an absolute must.
9. You Will Still Look Pregnant
Don’t feel bad about leaving the hospital looking about six months pregnant. Getting back to your pre-pregnancy body will take some time. Remember it took your body nine months to get to your fully pregnant body so it is only natural that it will take a while to get your body back to normal.
10. More Contractions
Oh did you think that the contractions were over? Nope!
Contractions are powerful and help the uterus to contract back to its normal size. And if you are breastfeeding then you may experience contractions every time you nurse your baby. This is caused by the release of hormones while you are breastfeeding your baby.
11. Breastfeeding Doesn’t Always Come Natural
They say that breastfeeding is natural – but it certainly doesn’t always come naturally to every new mom. This is especially true for those of us who grew up without seeing breastfeeding first hand.
I was one of those new moms. Of course, I wanted to breastfeed my baby but had no clue at all how to. That’s why I had such a hard time with my first newborn baby.
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12. You May Pee Your Pants
Just as with pregnancy, your body goes through some intense changes postpartum. After having your baby take up residence in your belly and pushing right up against your bladder things can go a little whacky down there.
You literally may pee your pants with any slight cough, sneeze or even when you laugh.
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13. Postpartum Hair Loss
Many new moms notice that they have some hair loss after having their baby and unfortunately it’s just another result that you can thank hormones for. However, it usually will grow back and return to normal.
14. Extreme Hunger
Giving birth is so much work on a new mom’s body, so it’s only natural to work up an appetite afterward.
And if you are breastfeeding, you will likely be even more hungry. Making breast milk requires a ton of calories that come from eating nutritious food.
15. You Will Feel Clueless
If you are a new mom, you will likely feel completely clueless and wonder if every little thing that happens to your body is normal. This is one reason that it’s good to have some mom friends that you can reach out to.
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