So you’ve survived labor and delivery, congratulations you are amazing! Now you get to enjoy your first moments with your new baby. The first 48 hours post delivery are magical because you are falling madly in love with your baby but they are also stressful and uncomfortable.
I wasn’t prepared for how difficult and tiring post delivery could be. Here are some items you should be aware of, I wish someone would have shared these with me! (I’m not a doctor or nurse, these are just personal thoughts and ideas)
- You get no sleep – I knew that the baby would be awake every couple hours and sleep would be challenging but I didn’t realize how often nurses, doctors, lab techs, and lactation specialists would be coming in and out of the room. I swear it felt like there was a knock at our door every 20 minutes. Our son was born at 12:29am and we had been at the hospital since 5:00am the previous day, exhaustion doesn’t even explain how we felt. Everyone was just doing their job and we’re very nice but it kept us from getting any solid amount of sleep. I just wish I had known this going information going into our induction.
- You bleed, a lot – This I had heard from my friends but oh my is it true. You feel like you are wearing a diaper but it is needed. This also doesn’t stop for the first week to 2 weeks, and some women it is longer than that! Just have a stock of pads ready and take everything the hospital provides for you. Also, be ready to spend your time in comfortable pants!
- You hurt – Most women end up with stitches after delivery. Thanks to my epidural I didn’t feel anything right away but once that wore off it was very uncomfortable. It felt tight and aching. Walking and even just getting out of bed was unpleasant but everyday got a little better. By day 10 I felt almost normal again. Recommendation, take the items like the witch hazel wipes, perineal bottle and dermoplast from the hospital and I would even pick up extras from the drug store. I laid the witch hazel wipes inside my pad and that helped immensely. Take sitz baths whenever you find the time, remember not to put anything in the water.
- Breastfeeding is hard – Pictures and women telling me how magical it is made it seem so easy. It’s not easy. It is tiring and at times painful. When baby is learning to latch correctly your nipples go through the ringer, I used HPA Lanolin and warm wash cloths, both helped with cracked or hurting nipples. I was surprised how physically draining it would be that baby feeding on you makes sleep and staying hydrated very important. Our little one would sometimes “cluster feed”, he would be hungry every hour! Be prepared, you feel like a human feeding machine and it makes it impossible to get anything else done. Take advantage of the Lactation specialists while your at the hospital!
Just a few observations post delivery. Good luck to all the future mommas!