5 things no one tells you about pregnancy, birth, & postpartum

Morning sickness can be all day sickness!

Yup, it is the truth. Everyone experiences nausea in pregnancy a little different. It ranges from no nausea to way too much. For some pregnant folk it will feel like a wave of nausea that comes and goes. For others it lingers. You may even be a not so lucky one and will actually puke from the nausea. All. Day. Long. The pregnant body does not care about the time of day at all. Morning schmorning! For ways to help check out this link.

Motherhood is a wet, wet time.

Look first it starts in pregnancy. Your nose may get more drippy. You start having more discharge out of your vagina. Hello panty liners! Not to mention so much sweating! Then during birth….mucus plugs, bloody show, amniotic fluid to name a few. There’s also lochia after birth. This is the discharge after birth. No matter how you give birth there will be red bloody discharge. The first few days it is heavy bleeding that then gradually turns to brown discharge and less blood, then yellow or white discharge. It lasts at minimum days but up to six weeks!

And all of that is just your bottom half! Your breasts may be begin to leak colostrum (the first milk your body produces) in pregnancy. Then after your baby arrives this colostrum turns into mature milk and the breasts may leak as they regulate how much to produce. The leaking may be just the early days or some breastfeeding parents leak for months.

Common times for breasts to leak:

-While nursing on the other breast (You may want to collect milk on the other side using a Haakaa!)

-When your baby cries your breasts may release a let down (Or any baby cries honestly)

-Just because they want to

Often people don’t realize this means using a disposable or cloth pad in the bra to collect the dripping, as well as it means you may prefer sleeping in a nursing bra with the pads so your bedding stays dry.

Shaking during labor!

It ain’t no dance move but your body may begin to shake like you are shivering during labor. It can occur in active or in the transitional part of labor just before the pushing phase. (What is transitional labor? Learn more here!) If you find yourself trembling don’t fret! It’s simply the hormones coursing through the body as it is working hard. These can also be present in those first early few hours after you deliver your baby.

The belly massage after birth!

Hooray! You gave birth! Your baby is no longer in your womb! But… one thing about that womb….. So as we know the uterus is super amazing! AMIRITE?! And it stretches to the size of a watermelon to accommodate your baby. Then it evicts your baby into the world and gets right to the business of shrinking to the size of an orange as fast as it can. This is lovely! And biologically helps with bleeding. But with it comes the labor and delivery nurse’s least favorite part of their job, fundal massage. Ignore the fact that fun is in the word fundal. This is no fun whatsoever. For the recovery period after birth your super awesome nurse gets tasked with massaging the top of your uterus. They will press down and monitor what pushes out if anything and if your uterus is cramping and firming up. This happens about every 15 minutes for the 2 hours of recovery. Then once everything seems A OK the postpartum nurse will perform this task closer to every 4 hours. It is uncomfortable to experience and good luck finding a nurse that doesn’t say, “I am so sorry” when they have to do it. Slow deep breaths and focusing on your baby will help you through.

There’s back pain too?!

Firstly in pregnancy there can be back aches. Those babies add more strain as they grow. Then while in labor contractions may radiate the pain to your lower back. Some people experience early labor as low dull back pain. As labor progresses and baby gets real low it presses on your tailbone causing the unmistakable back pain. Depending on your baby’s position as well it may add pressure to your back. Posterior babies (those that are positioned in the womb with their spines along your spine) will definitely add some sensations to your back.

Pro-tip: When feeling back pain in labor it is a good idea to try a hands and knees position!

Talking about pregnancy, birth, and the early postpartum time with your doula can help you feel less surprised! Give us a call today to add a doula to your support team!

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