As if labor itself isn’t the most intense thing your body’s ever endured (with the best payoffs — a baby!), there’s that bizarre stuff that happens after childbirth. With my first kid, I remember being shocked by how tender and leaky my boobs were — I desperately wished I could take them off — and freaked out by how much hair was in the drain after my showers.
Ladies, we are not alone. Take a look at the typical (but unsettling) things moms were not expecting after birth.
“I am fourteen days postpartum and the chills have been crazy! Also, the body odor. God help those who have to be near me!!!” — Kim C.
“I was surprised by the swollen ankles. My knees on down became the size of elephant legs. The overnight nurse later apologized for gasping ‘Oh my God!’”— Katharine H.
“After my C-section, I had horrendous gas pains … in my collarbone. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I mean, the gas in general was horrific, but that trapped gas under my collarbone broke me.” — Lauren H.
“Why didn’t anyone tell me what it was like to take your first [bowel movement] after having a baby? It was like giving birth a second time.” — Rachel P.
“I had a C-section with my first and within two days of being home, my scar had opened — I think I pushed myself too hard with stairs and carrying the baby. It was awful and my mom and husband had to take turns driving me back and forth to the doctor daily for two weeks to have my incision packed with gauze. Certainly not the image of new motherhood I had in mind. ” — Rebecca W.
“Why doesn’t anyone warn you about the swelling of your perineum?! I had a panic attack in my first postpartum shower because I thought my insides were coming out.” — Hannah P.
“Night sweats! I needed to keep two pairs of pajamas nearby. I was also surprised by how starving breastfeeding made me, I’d literally feed myself and my baby simultaneously all the time.” — Kim M.
“I retained so much water after my C-section that I weighed the same leaving the hospital as I did going in!” — Lynne D.
“I showered with a bikini top on for two weeks because my nipples were so cracked, I couldn’t even stand the water touching them.” — Meghan T.
“I would pump and pump and pump for hours and I would get like an ounce. I would sit in the dark and cry. Oh, and my MIL was convinced that when trying to breastfeed, milk makes milk, so she only fed me dairy food for the first few days. I would ask for a sandwich and she would bring me a cheese sandwich. I would ask for a glass of water, and she would bring me a milkshake.” — Anna R.
“So many people saw my boobs on Day 3, they were cracked and bleeding and I couldn’t stand anything touching them so they were out for anyone who dared walk into my hospital room to see.” — Rachel P.
“The lactation consultant at the hospital told me the baby had a beautiful latch and was nursing so well. When I took her off, she looked like a vampire with blood on her lips since she had not really latched and just rubbed my nipple raw.” — Supriya S.
“I had issues with my right breast, as it was painful to breastfeed. I started becoming more dependent on my left one, which caused the right one to not produce as much milk. After a couple of months, I was an F on the left and a D on the right. To this day, five years later, my doctor points out how one breast is bigger than the other during my annual.” — Patricia M.
“What drove me nuts was all of the literature that said if your nipples hurt you are doing it wrong. My nipples hurt like all of the pain and fury of a thousand suns all three times I had babies.” — Debra E.
“After delivering and having to be sewn up — notice they always skip this part in the movies— every time the nurse came to take a look at me she’d say, ‘It looks like it has been through a meat grinder.’ I was sure my sex life was over from there on … not like I cared for it much at the moment.”— Patricia M.
“I had spoonfuls of red jelly — aka blood clots — that fell out of me for a few weeks whenever I stood up. And as long as they were ‘smaller than a golf ball’ it was normal! I was all, no, this isn’t normal. How can this be normal? A friend of a friend described it as being like goldfish are randomly slipping out of you. OMG.” — Joanne D.
“No one told me that the color of my labia would be purple — I thought it was bruising from the delivery and the 100-stick episiotomy — and that it would never be pink again.” — Leslie F.
“After having a baby, if I had a full bladder and did anything out of the ordinary, like placing my foot too hard while stepping, I’d pee my pants. And not like hey, a little pee just got on my underwear — like a deluge because I didn’t have the strength to stop the flow. Thankfully, that got better.” — Sarah R.
“Anal fissures. I didn’t even know that existed.” — Tanya S.
“I could only sit upright for a week if I was on a donut pillow due to a painful tear and stitches.” — Elizabeth E.
“My hemorrhoids were so swollen after I had my third that I looked like a chimpanzee in estrus and I wouldn’t let my husband see me from behind for three weeks.” — Kerith L.
“After three C-sections, plus nursing, I got my period 28 days on my nose after birth. I felt cheated. Good thing babies are so damn cute.”— Kathryn R.