Hi guys, today’s post is about things I wish I knew before giving birth to our babygirl. Yes, I am very aware that some things you have to experience on your own and BLAH BLAH BLAH. I just really wish people were more honest and realistic about what happens after giving birth.
- Breastfeeding is extremely painful for most newbies-it hurts like hell. Before giving birth, I envisioned that I would just put my boobs in my baby’s mouth and voilà everything would be good to go- WRONG! The first couple of days was fine because Belle (my baby girl) wasn’t really eating much. By day 3 I was in for a rude awakening. She was eating every 3 hours (ex. when I feed at 9am, would have to re-feed at 11am) and the pain just kept getting worse. We got home on day 3 and by night time I had blisters on both my nipples. I was almost in tears as she kept sucking and I questioned how long I would continue breastfeeding. A blogger friend told me about a nipple cream called Lansinoh HPA Lanolin, it helps with cracks, 100% natural and is also safe for both the mothers and babies. You don’t have to worry about wiping prior to breastfeeding. I used it before and after feeding and it helped soothe and protect my very sore and cracked nipples. I carry the mini version around when we go out (here). What also helped was a visit to a lactation nurse. She showed me how to properly nurse and advised us to get “My Brestfriend” which we ordered that very day. It is a nursing pillow that provides proper position and comfort for the entire feeding time and also reduces shoulder pains. Here is the exact one we bought (here), and more options.
- Baby Blues was something I had never heard of until visiting my doctor postpartum. I was very aware of postpartum depression so when I was noticed my constant mood swings, I became confused. I wasn’t sure if I was experiencing postpartum depression or just plain crazy. I became very sad and my mood was up and down. Don’t get me wrong I was very happy to have a healthy baby and a great support system but every little thing got to me. For the first 10 days I would literally lock myself in the bathroom when I woke up, right before bed and sometimes during the day and cry. I did not want to talk to anyone about it because I felt so ashamed. Sometimes during breastfeeding I’d feel very unhappy and also start crying but after about 2 weeks everything improved and those feelings went away. If I ever go through this again, I will definitely be more open to talking about it and not ignoring the signs.
- Post delivery flatulence is a fancy word for having really bad gas- I know, a little TMI. It is an uncontrollable gas or anal incontinence that a lot of women get for few weeks or up to 6 months after giving birth. Mine just got better about a week or 2 ago and mind you- my baby just turned 3 months. At first I thought I was going crazy because it was very frequent. I couldn’t control the gas, the smell was always awful and would stay around for about 5-10 minutes (poor Olu lol). One day I googled and found out that I wasn’t alone and a friend visited some days later and 7 months post delivery she was still experiencing the same. That definitely made me feel better (lol). I think what has helped me is the peppermint tea that I’ve been drinking of recent.
- Mastitis is apparently a very common breast infection that many breastfeeding women experience. So common that 1 in 10 breastfeeding moms in the United States gets it. It is a very painful inflammation of the breast tissue. It can be caused by engorgement or milk that stays in the breast after feeding. It can also be caused by backup of milk in the milk ducts- when your baby isn’t sucking, attaching properly or prefers one breast over the other. I experienced this 4 weeks after giving birth, it came abruptly in the middle of the night. I was sweating profusely but was extremely cold, I kept taking my shirt on and off. By morning time, I was feeling fatigued, had a fever, body aches and the chills. I was extremely worried that I had gotten sick and was going to infect my daughter. By afternoon, one of my breast started hurting, it was swollen, red and had a big lump in it. With the pain, I had to continue breastfeeding and by the time a friend told me what I was experiencing I had started feeling better. This lasted for about 3 days and the lump left after about a week so there was no need for my doctor to prescribe antibiotics.
- Postpartum bleeding is something every woman will experience after giving birth . You will have something called lochia- vaginal bloody discharge. Whether delivery via C-Section or vaginal, it doesn’t discriminate. It is very bloody the first few days but gets lighter, watery and turns pinkish within a week. There should be less blood by week 2 and lasts for about 4-6 weeks. It can come and go for almost 2 months for some women. Imagine giving birth, being very hormonal and battling different things and having to deal with this also. It may sound minute but it’s quite annoying. If you do a hospital delivery, they will provide really HUGE pads and big underwear. Make sure to use pads and not tampons during this time.
BONUS** Everyone who promised to babysit while you were pregnant LIED. LIES! LIES! LIES! You are pretty much on your own lol.
Huge shoutout to my wonderful husband, family and friends for being a huge support system. I thank God for blessing Olu and I with baby Belle.
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