Postpartum Surprises

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The fact of the matter is that, during your pregnancy, it’s easy to focus on plans for labor and delivery. After all, especially for the new mother, the prospect of childbirth is quite daunting. If much thought is given at all to the postpartum period, it usually is limited to things like making sure the baby’s room is all set, or determining when your maternity leave is going to end. This is unfortunate, as there are quite a few changes that can happen to your and to your situation once your baby comes that just aren’t thought about very often.

Setting aside postpartum depression (after all, many women do take the time to learn at least a little bit about it and how to watch for it), there are common events and feelings you’re likely to have that you may not think about. Here are some of the postpartum conditions that may surprise you if you’re not planning for them:

  • Bleeding. No matter whether you have a cesarean or whether you have a vaginal birth, you’re going to have a significant amount of postpartum bleeding. For the first few days, it’s going to be heavier than a period. From there, it’s going to last another six weeks or so. This bleeding is part of the process of healing up your body after childbirth.
  • Weight loss. You’re only going to lose around half to a third of your pregnancy weight gain when your baby is born. It’s going to take a while to lose the rest. Don’t be in too much of a rush, or you’ll be very frustrated.
  • Weeping. Even if you’re not experiencing postpartum depression, you are probably going to have some ups and downs. Your hormones are going to be all over the place. You might find yourself feeling very happy, yet still crying. You might get upset about truly unimportant things, as well. Expect at least a little weepiness for the first few weeks.
  • Joy. Along with that sadness, you’re going to have moments of pure elation. Enjoy them, but realize that they, too, are fleeting.
  • Sweating. You’re also going to sweat because of those hormone changes. Night sweats are most common. Be prepared to wake up with a soaked pillow and night shirt.

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This entry was posted in After Pregnancy.


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