A lack of sleep, leaking, engorged breasts, sore lady bits – these are only some of the things that all new mums are warned about over and over again. But there are a few other things that happen after giving birth that no one seems to talk about.
Let’s get serious for a moment, mums. Growing a baby for 40 weeks, then birthing and feeding bub is going to take its toll on your body. But it’s not just your uterus and breasts that are going to feel the strain. Here are a few other unexpected surprises waiting for you at the end of the pregnancy road.
1. Excessive sweating
Waking up dripping in sweat is never pleasant, especially after having a baby. But, excessive sweating is part of the recovery process as your body eliminates the extra liquid from birth. You may find that you are not only waking up with excessive breast milk all over the sheets, but also enough sweat to warrant a marathon.
Just go with it. And tell your partner to wash the sheets regularly.
2. Hair loss
It’s normal to lose a bit of hair each day, but after having a baby, your hair may come out in clumps due to hormonal changes. Hair loss can lead to a loss of confidence just when new mums need it most. In fact, 76 per cent of women say they’ve experienced this problem. There’s no need for mums to suffer in silence because solutions are available. Do your research and find a product that works best for you.
3. Insomnia, even when bub is asleep
Your body is tired. Your mind is tired. And baby is asleep beside you. So WHY CAN’T YOU FALL ASLEEP?
Adrenaline, excitement, over stimulation, probably a bit of shock – it’s perfectly natural to have trouble sleeping. And while people will constantly tell you to “sleep when baby does” your body may not have gotten the memo. Slow down. Lie down. Relax your body even if you don’t sleep. Sleep will come. And it will feel glorious.
4. Baby kicks
No, you’re not taking crazy pills. It’s completely natural to feel phantom kicks in your tummy after having bub. In fact, they can last for months (and cause moments of concern that perhaps you are pregnant again without realising it).
The theory behind these phantom kicks is that your uterus is contracting and setting back to normal after giving birth.
5. Bleeding gums and wobbly teeth
Because your body isn’t already under enough strain, your mouth may also start to fail you. Wobbly teeth and bleeding gums are both common and are often due to the excess calcium bub is using both during pregnancy and breastfeeding. A vitamin D supplement can help, as can an increase in calcium and iron-rich foods. And, it’s always a good idea to check in with your dentist if you are experiencing these problems.
There are a few other surprises awaiting you after you have bub – stretch marks, constipation and bladder leakage are incredibly common as is dry skin and even swollen hands and feet. Some women experience skin discolouration while others may find excessive facial hair. The list goes on.
But, you can also prepare for an overwhelming feeling of love for your new addition, pride in what you have just achieved and the joy of the many amazing memories to come.