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The symptoms you may experience during your after-birth recovery may be a little…shocking.
I don’t want you to be caught off-guard and think that there is something wrong with you like I did the first time around.
In this post I’ll be sharing with you 14 after-birth symptoms that suck and what you need to alleviate them all.
- 1 Bad B.O
- 2 Excessive sweating
- 3 Temporary Incontinence
- 4 Postpartum hair shedding
- 5 Gas
- 6 Lots of bleeding
- 7 Skin changes
- 8 Engorged breasts
- 9 Crazy mood swings:
- 10 Lower backache and back spasms
- 11 Hemorrhoids:
- 12 Low libido
- 13 Exhaustion
- 14 Extreme hunger
I was sick of my own smell after giving birth to my children. It didn’t matter how many times I showered or how many layers of deodorant I put on, I smelled like a bag of raw onions! In fact, it was so bad that I came up with my own, super effective and affordable, postpartum odor-busting remedy.
Once I did my research, I realized that changes in hormones during postpartum contribute to BO. What I also realized is that many moms complain about bad BO after giving birth!
What helps me stay fresh?
1- Rubbing the juice of a freshly squeezed organic lime into my armpits before my shower. Lime juice kills order-causing bacteria
2- Dry armpits with a clean towel and then air dry until armpits are no longer damp
3- Apply Alaffia’s Natural Activated Charcoal Deodorant
4- Occasionally detox my armpits using a mix of 100% natural bentonite clay and organic apple cider vinegar (← I absolutely love this product!)
5- Keeping my armpits shaved helps prevent odor-causing bacteria from clinging to hair
This method has worked for me for over a year now. I actually often go without deodorant nowadays. It does help to drink a lot of water as well and to eat a (moderately) clean diet.
I remember waking up one night in a cold sweat. This was right after I had my daughter. I was wet and so was my spot on the bed! I was drenched but my body felt really cold.
This is something that many moms experience postpartum and it is due to hormonal changes.
Although this is very common, it can be quite uncomfortable and troublesome to have to change the bed sheets in the middle of the night. Here’s something you’ll need to protect your mattress during those first couple of days…weeks and months.
The degree of temporary incontinence can very widely from mom to mom, however it is a problem that is quite common after giving birth. I remember having a weakened pelvic floor after giving birth to my first baby. I did not know how to push properly during labor the first time around, and I strained my pelvic floor muscles. It took visits to a physiotherapist, many kegels, and some time to for me to heal. I would highly recommend wearing pads to stay dry until you’ve fully recovered.
Postpartum hair shedding
I’ve always had extremely thick hair and it wasn’t until I had kids that I witnessed my hair fall out in clumps. Those very hormones that can have you looking like a hair model during pregnancy, can easily betray you during postpartum.
What fixes this?
For me, it was a lot of experimenting but mostly a combination of Jamaican black castor oil, a hair supplement, and time. Many people swear by this thick, dark, vitamin and mineral rich oil to help strengthen and promote healthy hair growth. As you can see from the pictures above, there is a significant difference in the growth around my hairline where I experienced most of postpartum shedding.
Remember those pelvic floor muscles we just talked about? A weak pelvic floor can cause you to pass gas whenever and wherever you don’t want to. Don’t neglect pelvic floor strengthening exercises during your after-birth recovery. And don’t be afraid to get professional help if you need it.
Childbirth can really do a number on these muscles, so really be mindful of this going into childbirth and learn how you can avoid vaginal and pelvic floor trauma during childbirth.
Once you have your baby, focus on strengthening your pelvic floor and your core muscles.
Lots of bleeding
Once you give birth to your baby, your uterus will begin to contract back to its pre-pregnancy size and those contractions will expel lochia, which is combination of blood, mucous, birth fluids, and tissues.
If you hospital birth you will be given mesh panties and very thick pads to absorb all of your bodily fluids. The heavy bleeding should only last a couple of days, and then you will go on to bleed mildly for a couple of weeks.
Drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea is not only beneficial during your pregnancy, but also during your after-birth recovery. It helps regulate hormones and it helps control bleeding as it is rich in tannins. It’s a very powerful uterine toner.
Again, raging hormones can wreak havoc your skin. After giving birth to both my kids, I went from having fairly balanced skin, to combination skin.
What helped keep my skin under control was hydration (drinking a gallon of of distilled water per day), and this natural organic moisturizer from Cocoon Apothecary. When my skin does need an extra dose of moisture, I use raw shea butter overnight.
I went from a being a 34B to being a 36C and though my boobs looked great on the outside, they felt like death on the inside. Once my milk came in my breasts ached… really bad.
I know some moms swear by frozen cabbage leaves to alleviate the pain, but what helped me other than nursing and breastfeeding regularly was actually being in the shower and letting hot water just run down my chest, and letting the milk drip out on its own. That gave me much needed relief however I also wasted quite a bit of milk.
To avoid wasting milk like I did, check out the Hakaa which is a popular manual breast pump that is very well-loved by moms. It is 100% wireless and hand-free. It simply suctions on to the breast. Check out this demo to see how to use the Hakaa.
I know this sounds like a waste,but the pain was quite bad and I couldn’t stand the thought of nursing or pumping at the time. If that doesn’t sound like something you’d want to do fear not! Many moms also swear by these!
Crazy mood swings:
From joy, to anxiety, to anger, to sadness, you will go through a roller coaster of emotions during your postpartum journey. What helps?
Getting some rest and taking an Omega 3 supplement. Studies show that there is a link between baby blues/PPD and the intake of Omega 3s. Having trouble relaxing and actually falling asleep? Create a relaxing atmosphere in your room by diffusing some of your favorite essential oils (try lavender essential oil after you’ve had a warm shower.
Lower backache and back spasms
If you’ve ever experienced back spams, you know just how terrible they are. One I was carrying my then-infant son, and suddenly I was gripped with such intense pain that I nearly dropped him.
My Chiropractor informed me that my back spasms were a result of my core being weakened from my pregnancies being so close together (my kids are 15 months apart). I had constant back pain and I experienced a couple of back spasm episodes, but those came to an end about 6 months into my postpartum journey.
What helped my body recover was doing core strengthening exercises, and getting frequent chiropractic adjustments, as well as taking this omega 3 supplement. I also used a heat pack to help take the edge off the pain. For a quicker recovery with added physical support, I would highly recommend the Bellefit® Postpartum Girdles and Corsets. Bellefit’s girdles and corsets are medical-grade abdominal compression binders. They help with diastasis recti, help drain excess fluids, and provide lower back pain relief. They’re breathable and comfortable, allowing for a safer and quicker postpartum recovery.
These are no fun. They’re itchy, they can be painful, and they’re gross. Pregnancy and childbirth can cause hemorrhoids are cause by hormones and added pressure on your rectum.
Sitz baths are very effective at soothing and relieving the discomfort and pain which are caused by hemorrhoids. A sitz bath is a shallow bath for your bottom. It’s generally safe and actually highly recommended by midwives during postpartum as it promotes vaginal and perineal healing, soothing, and cleansing.
Download your Soothing Postpartum Sitz Bath Recipe Sheet below!
Also remember that drinking a lot of water and having a high fiber intake will prevent you from being constipated which can, of course, worsen your hemorrhoids.
Not only will you not be allowed to have penetrative sex for quite some time after birth (Doctor’s orders!), you’ll be sore and most likely exhausted.
You never know how long it will take for things to feel normal again for you, so I encourage you to keep the fire burning and try to explore new things. Learn each other’s love languages and find other ways to be intimate until your ready to go all the way.
Nothing will ever leave you feeling as exhausted as giving birth and caring for a baby round the clock. Pumping and breastfeeding, in addition that, can really drain you physically.
The only remedy for this is: REST. Leave those dishes alone, put the vacuum down, accept help when it’s offered and REST. Nap whenever you can. If you have a hard time falling asleep, I recommend Taking a warm shower, putting your phone on silent, turning off the light, and diffusing some essential oils.
Remember the type of hunger you may experienced during your 2nd trimester?
It will come back during your after-birth recovery with a vengeance. Especially if you are breastfeeding and/or pumping.
I ate more than my 6’2 husband and I had zero shame. That’s how intense the hunger was!
Some days I ate healthily and on some other days, I didn’t. To me, it’s all about balance. Of course, now that my kids no longer really on my body for nourishment I’m back to eating (mostly) healthy again.
I would encourage you not to be too hard on yourself but also to try and remember that your body needs the right vitamins and nutrients to be healthy and to recover quickly.
Until next time,
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