The moment your child emerges from the womb is amazing. It’s a rush of emotion, excitement and fluids. As you bask in the glow of the moment, it’s easy to forget what’s happening below.
Thankfully medical professionals assist with the initial cleanup, but after those early hours, it becomes a relentless task that only a sleep deprived, mother of a newborn can care for.
Very few women truly understand what postpartum bleeding is like until after they’ve had their first child. Which leaves many first time mothers unprepared, both emotionally and with inadequate supplies.
Most resources state that average postpartum bleeding lasts about six weeks. It’s easy to forget that this is an average, rather than a magic predictor of when it will stop. Since it’s an average, it means some women will bleed for a few weeks, while others will exceed the average and bleed for 2 months or more. It’s really frustrating when six weeks pass and you are still changing pads day after day.
Another surprise that few moms talk about is how irregular the flow can be. After a few weeks, it can begin to lighten, leaving you with hope that you might be one of the lucky ones to beat the average. Life feels good, you begin to feel like a real person again and WHAM! It comes back with a vengeance. With all the sleep deprivation and focus on your new baby, it’s difficult to remember that the flow is affected by how your uterus is shrinking, which is not necessarily consistent or even. Breastfeeding, hormones and other things can affect the rate at which your uterus returns to normal. This means your bleeding can vary from light to heavy multiple times before it completely stops.
We fill our bag for the hospital with items to use during labor and cute outfits for baby, but we often forget to care for ourselves in those early days. A few of our favorite items for in the hospital and the first few days after birth are part of the Mom’s First Day kit
from Smart Choices.
Some tips from Cotton Babies staff:
- Avoid wearing ruining your favorite pair of undies or having to wear ugly granny panties in the hospital with single-use waterproof panties.
- If the super pads aren’t doing the job, our Flip Disposable Inserts work well inside the waterproof panties.
- Sometimes labor doesn’t go exactly as planned, so we recommend the fem’e Pad, a cooling pad that can be used to relieve pain from tears, episiotomies, hemorrhoids or other irritations.
- We also recommend the Sitz Bath from Motherlove and the cooling New Mama Bottom Spray from Earth Mama Angel Baby.
- For those mamas who’ve had a c-section, we recommend the C-Mama Healing Salve from Earth Mama Angel Baby as your scar heals.
For moms who’ve already experienced childbirth, what was the biggest surprise to you about postpartum bleeding or pain? What was one thing you wished you’d packed in your hospital bag for yourself for after birth?
Stay tuned for more Real Mom Talk about the early days after childbirth later this week.