Childbirth recovery: 6 things possibly no one has told you

So you've – just about – weathered labour. Or else you've battled against the trauma of a caesarean. Either way, you might think that is largely that – you've earned your mama stripes.

However, and while basking in the warm glow of a new person certainly helps, an awful lot of first-time mums are simply never told about the bodily trials and tribulations that go on AFTERWARDS.

You spend 40 weeks working towards the arrival of your baby; you consider where they're going to sleep, and decide on breastfeeding. You pick car seats, buggies, and rompers. You're probably even aware of hormone fluctuations and post-natal depression.

But it's really important to know that physically you will also need recover from pregnancy and childbirth.

Here's the stuff that no one may have mentioned:


1. Don't forget about the placenta:

Healthy baba is here – you're finally DONE… but not quite. Because there's the placenta to deliver too. We file this under 'adding insult to injury'. OK, it's not sore (especially as you've just been through labour) but it is weird.  A bit like giving birth to an octopus. And if the midwife creeps over and jabs you with something, that's a syntocinon injection – which helps you deliver the placenta.

2. You'll bleed… a lot:

It could stop within ten days or so – more likely after a first baby it will be four to six weeks. Either way, you'll bleed. A lot. Medically called lochia, it's like a really heavy period. It's not usually very sore or uncomfortable, it's just… well, a bit annoying. 

3. You'll cry… a lot:

Not because you're sad per say – just because the world is a highly emotional place (or so you'll discover post childbirth). See a puppy barking? Full on meltdown. Romantic plot line on EastEnders? Tears for hours. Looking at your newborn? Prepare to blubber and snivel like a… baby (appropriately enough).

4. Peeing can be OUCH:

A few ladies claim say that peeing after labour is worse than the labour itself. That's a bold statement, we say. Still, there's no doubt that going to the toilet can burn and sting like hell. Some mums swears by a squirty water bottle – giving yourself a blast of water as your urinate can ease the discomfort hugely. 

5. Oh, and there's poo to consider too:

One of the oddest sensations after labour is going for your first poo. A midwife will probably ask you about it too. It won't happen for a couple of days – and when it does it shouldn't hurt. Use a footstool to raise your knees above your hips if you're struggling. FYI – a fifth of mums get constipated after labour, so make sure to tuck into the likes of All Bran and prunes!

6. Your vagina will be a mess:

Don't worry – it all returns to normality eventually. 

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