The REAL Postpartum Body


For awhile now, moms have been applauded for their quick bounce back and recovery after having a baby. What I have discovered after being fully immersed in social media for the past two years from my own health & fitness journey is how nobody talks about what happens immediately after given birth. There is an open dialogue throughout pregnancy, what to expect during labor & delivery, and then, how women’s bodies bounce back after baby. Where is the discussion about the forgotten 4th trimester? Why is there not an open dialogue about the toughest trimester for a woman that gave birth? Would more talk about the REAL postpartum body help more women feel comfortable, secure, and more confident about not only their bodies, but feel some sort of normalcy regarding what is happening during this big transition?

I knew upon getting pregnant with my second baby that I wanted to share journey with others. Most importantly, I felt it was critical to share my postpartum journey with hopes of helping other moms feel some sort of normalcy with their own postpartum journey. As a second time mom, I felt that it was important to share my experiences with the 4th trimester because with my first daughter, I had no idea what to expect during this tough transition and suffered from postpartum depression. I felt alone and this time around, I hope other moms don’t feel alone as I share what happens in real life.

So far, I have been bringing light to what really happens in the 4th trimester through my daily Instragram posts that share the good, the bad, and the ugly part of my postpartum journey. I don’t hold back sharing too much information and want to share what really happens. Below you will find the first week of my postpartum journey.

1 Day Postpartum

Swollen, scars, stretch marks, hairy and tender all describe the the home that I provided 9 months to baby girl. And, I am PROUD of it! My belly is not picture perfect BUT it is perfect to me! Two beautiful baby girls grew in it and that itself is incredible. More reason to treat it with the love and respect it deserves.

When I was alone in my hospital room, I was curious how my stomach looked one day after having our baby girl. There were no full length mirrors in the hospital room so I put my phone on selfie mode and took a pic using the timer. I was so surprised how swollen my stomach looked. It looked like I was still pregnant but I wasn’t. This did not upset me because I knew it took 9 months for my body to change drastically. Organs moved and my uterus grew which takes time to go back where they belong.

 

Gestational Diabetes

During my pregnancy, I was thrown a curveball when diagnosed with gestational diabetes. After delivery, the gestational diabetes just goes away. Meaning, I no longer have it! I couldn’t believe it but my nurse reassured me a few times. Although, I was free from gestational diabetes, baby girl had to be tested before meals to ensure her sugar levels were good. They all were except for the first which is normal for moms that have gestational diabetes.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding has been going VERY well this time around! Baby girl is latching and eating like a champ! Although everything is going well, I am supplementing at night for my own sanity and recovery. I am being realistic and accepting help when I need it this time around. As long as baby girl is fed and happy that’s all that matters to me.

Lady Parts

As far as things go with all things down below because I had a vaginal delivery, I did tear a little bit and had to get my urethra stitched up.  Luckily, it does not burn when I pee as my OBGYN said that it may burn. I have been using my squirt bottle to rinse and packing on the witch hazel pads! Also, going to the bathroom will take some time because you will need to clean then create your own undie recovery nest. Along with the tear, I got hemorrhoids from the pressure & pushing that do not hurt. I was given a cream to put on twice a day to help them go down.

Immediately after delivery, I felt invincible on the adrenaline from giving birth. All I have to say is “Oh my cramps!” It especially hurts when nursing and coughing (damn cold). It just feels like bad period cramps. I have been taking Motrin and using heat pads to help.

Emotions

Since having postpartum depression before, I am considered more at risk to getting it again. This time I have been very cautious by doing things for ME to hopefully prevent or help. I am being realistic, using my resources, asking for help, and taking care of myself this time around. I did feel guilty letting her sleep in the nursery but my hubby is great support and reminded me that I need sleep to take care of her and myself.

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2 Days Postpartum

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Emotions

Last night, I had my first meltdown because I was having a rough time trying to poop. When the nurse came to check on me, I told her about my terrible experience and she gave me a stool softener to help me out. And, it did! I had a much better time pooping today.

Lady Parts

I’m feeling pretty sore today but being proactive with the Motrin and heat pads.

I talked to my OBGYN about light exercise and he gave me the all clear! He emphasized to listen to my body and if I bleed heavy to stop immediately. I am certainly going to listen to his orders because this will help me SO much to cope with postpartum depression if I get it again.

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3 Days Postpartum

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Lady Parts

I need to take it down a few notches and slow down doing things. I literally feel like a bus has hit my lower body. I feel extremely sore and achey today. I’ve been taking Aleve and using heat to ease the pain. I used my last Thermacare heat wrap from the hospital BUT remembered that my Belly Bandit maternity support belt can be flipped and used just like a Thermacare heat wrap! It came with a heatable packet that goes in a pouch and works just like one! Also, this may sound weird but I think I feel my organs moving back down. I know you feel your uterus shrink when breastfeeding but I’m pretty sure I’m feeling my organs move back too. Also, my hubby had to run and get me more Tucks pads because this mama ran out. I am so happy because I was starting to feel my stitches down there and let me tell you it’s not pleasant. It’s the little things that make a BIG difference.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is going so well! My milk has come in and I feel like baby girl is eating wonderfully.And… I’m not as swollen as before!

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4 Days Postpartum

I feel much better today and taking it easy has definitely made a difference. I’m still achey but that’s normal and the swelling in my tummy is going down.

Breastfeeding

My milk has come in and I had to relieve the pressure last night with a pump session. Afterwards, I felt like a new woman! Also, I didn’t know if I mentioned this but we have been supplementing with formula at night for 2 feedings so I can catch a break while I have help from my mom and until I have extra milk reserves. Anyways, we are switching to Enfamil Gentlease like we did with our first because baby girl becomes so gassy from it. Hopefully it all works out! Trial and error will be occurring until we find our perfect balance .

Lady Parts

I have stitches from a small tear up to my urethra and they are starting to itch a bit but I am sucking it up and relying on my Tucks. Also, my hemorrhoids are going down!

Other

I wore real clothes today and it felt great! Even though I had on maternity jeans, it still felt amazing to be normal for the day.

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5 Days Postpartum

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Lady parts

My stitches are feeling so much better today. It’s a good thing that I’m still sitting on a pee pad because I totally bled through my pants from sitting sideways on the couch while snuggling with our 2 year old. Also, I’m still very achey down there. I feel like I’ve been punched in the balls several times. At least that’s what I would imagine it would feel like if I had them.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is still going well but I had to pump last night again because my boobs needed to be completely drained. After pumping, I’m pretty sure I went down 2 cup sizes!

Emotions

I had a complete crying spell because our 2 year old was throwing a tantrum over dinner and wouldn’t stop screaming. Also, my hubby said he has overtime Monday when I will be rolling completely solo without my moms help. I just felt overwhelmed in the moment and lost it. It was an emotional moment for all the girls in our house.

Other

My feet began to swell last night and are still swollen. I don’t know why but have been propping them up and taking walks around our house to try and reduce the swelling.

Also, I finally got to sleep! My mom took over baby duties and I swear I had the best sleep last night despite my random wake up because I felt like I had hypothermia. I just felt so cold and got an extra blanket then was good to go.

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6 Days Postpartum

I have been home alone with both of my daughters since 2:30pm. I was so nervous to be parenting by myself BUT I survived and was able to divide my attention between both girls.

Breastfeeding

Still going well and I pumped a total of 3 oz this morning!

Lady parts

Stitches feel so much better today. My pelvic floor muscles are still sore but my hemorrhoids are almost gone!

Emotions

It’s been a great day and I’m so proud of myself doing so well with a toddler and a newborn by myself!

Other

My swollen feet are no longer an issue! I got a full night of sleep and have been more active today.

 

 

I wanted to take a pic of what my belly looks like one week postpartum and compare it to my one day postpartum pic. I am so surprised how much the swelling has gone down! Please note that I am not using any wraps, bands, waist trainers, etc. for my recovery. I didn’t with my first, and I don’t plan on using anything again. I am recovering naturally and at my own pace.

1 Week Postpartum

I cannot believe that it’s been one week since I’ve given birth to our second precious daughter! Time sure does fly by and I’m soaking in each moment.

Also, I wanted to take a pic of what my belly looks like one week postpartum and compare it to my one day postpartum pic. I am so surprised how much the swelling has gone down! Please note that I am not using any wraps, bands, waist trainers, etc. for my recovery. I didn’t with my first, and I don’t plan on using anything again. I am recovering naturally and at my own pace.

Breastfeeding

I feel like I’m producing so much more milk. I know this because when baby girl is done feeding she has milk all over her face!

Lady Parts

My stitches bothered me today but the Tucks really helped me out. Also, I moved around a lot today so I bled a bit more but nothing too exciting. I actually think I’m almost done bleeding because there’s not that much any more and it’s starting to turn brown.

Emotions

I had the hardest time trying to get our 2 year old to nap today and it was completely draining. I was pretty much emotionally spent after that and so thankful that my hubby came home when she woke up to help.

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