In my last blog post “5 Things you need to know about having your first baby,” I covered some of the issues moms can expect after giving birth; however, there is just so much more to it that I felt like writing a part 2. I remember there was a lot that caught me by surprise after I had my first child. When I talked to other moms, a lot of them had the same experiences. But it seems that there are certain topics that people like to avoid talking about. Personally, I believe that it is very important for new moms to have a community where they can share their experiences about the good, the bad, and the ugly of motherhood. Especially, this year where moms are bringing kids to this world under the “new normal” and new challenges are arising. Therefore, I will talk about some of the more uncomfortable truths about motherhood hoping that it will help someone.
1) Female hygiene after childbirth
After a woman gives birth to a child, the body has to recover from the amazing job it has done of creating human life. Her body now has to rid itself of all the extra blood and tissue it needed for your baby during pregnancy. Thus, women experience bleeding for up to six weeks after giving birth. The hospital – or midwife if it was a homebirth – usually provides the new mom with all she needs for her postpartum care. This usually includes some sort of big pad, epifoam (or whatever recommended for any tearing), and mesh panty – often referred to as the adult diaper. In all honesty, it does look a bit weird and you really won’t be feeling the sexiest wearing this but the big silver lining is that this phase will pass and everything will go back to normal eventually. While you are still in this uncomfortable phase, it is important that you wear very comfortable clothing. Additionally, you want to make sure to only wear fabric that is soft to your skin. Due to the change in hormonal levels, you may be experiencing allergies on your body which is why it is important to be gentle to your skin while you are recovering.
2) Nursing and its side effects
While many women are not very excited about having to wear adult diapers, the look of their postpartum breasts usually makes up for that. Once the milk comes in, a woman’s breast size grows by a few cups. While some may be delighted by the sight of their new boobs, it is very important to take all the necessary precautions. First, women should not wear any bras with a wire while breastfeeding or pumping. The milk needs to be flowing freely and a wired bra could lead to a clogged duct or painful mastitis. Postpartum bra and especially nursing bras are the way to go for new moms. For pumping moms, I would highly suggest to also get a bra that can hold the pump since it is very time-consuming. Also, you may be leaking milk so I can once again reiterate that it is important to wear comfortable clothing that is not too tight. In addition, nursing pads to catch any leaking milk are very helpful as well.
3) Take it easy on the movement
While you are still recovering, it is recommended to not work out for the first 6 to 8 weeks until cleared by your doctor. You want to make sure to drink a lot of water and make sure you’re resting. Try not to run around the house too much taking care of things. Most women experience postpartum swelling after giving birth which is why they are given compression socks for your legs in the hospital. Try to put your feet up and relax. However, if you want to get a head start on bouncing back before you can do any sort of physical activity, you can wear a postpartum belly binder. They come in three pieces and will help you bounce back into shape.
4) Social distancing during COVID-19
Besides all the struggles moms normally go through during pregnancy and after childbirth, the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 has made things a little harder on new and expecting moms. Normally, a pregnant mom is celebrated throughout pregnancy and ends up getting most of the items she needs during the baby shower. I remember even outside of my baby shower, I had people come over bringing me clothes and other gifts for my bundle of joy while I was pregnant. However, 2020 put a big damper on this celebratory time. Most baby showers were canceled and due to social distancing most expecting couples couldn’t have any visitors. Subsequently, most expecting or new moms did not receive as many gifts for the baby as it used to be the case.
Certainly, having a child can be tough on the body. Therefore, self-care and having help is crucial to postpartum recovery. Getting help this year might be a little more challenging than during previous years but rest assured – you are not alone, mama! Baby and Sunshine has an amazing subscription box service that delivers all the items you need for your little one right to your doorstep. Your box will include comfortable high-quality clothes you can wear during your postpartum recovery, functional nursing bras, as well as belly binders. If you are expecting or if you just had a baby, you can let them know what items you need and they will compile an awesome personalized box with the cutest and most efficient items so you won’t rely on anyone else. If you know a new or expecting mom, brighten up her day by ordering her a one-time box to her house. Not only will you help a mom who needs support now more than ever but you will also support mom-owned businesses. Baby and Sunshine has made it their mission to collaborate with mom and pop owned businesses. Most of the September boxes already included items from two small business owner moms Happy Momma Merch and Adry’s Boutique. This month they’ll be adding another SAHM-business Crochet Crafts by Sandy who will be providing handmade crotchet baby blankets and adorable baby hats. Check out Baby and Sunshine under this link and have an awesome month of October!