Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Postpartum Week 1 - Body



Technically today we are 9 days postpartum but I plan to share weekly recaps of all the changes and phases.  This week has been a whirlwind of feedings, diapers, cat naps and snacking when I have time.  Here are the real details of what my first week was like in hopes that it might help some expecting or new mommies out there.

Body changes

I don't know if this is common, but I was truly amazed at how quickly my body (physical appearance wise) bounced back.  By day three I looked about 3 months pregnant and by one week I looked like my old self with bad muscle tone (i.e. i have NO ab muscles).  This means it is harder to carry heavy things like the car seat because of my weak core.  I am not too worried though and have started my kegels and bridges when i lie on the floor with Weston.

One thing I was not ready for: intense night sweats. I wake up soaking wet!

Tearing

I had a second degree tear which needed 8 stitches post delivery.  It has been more uncomfortable than I expected. For the first couple of days i was terrified to go to the bathroom but once i started taking the prescribed pain relievers more regularly the pain became more manageable. I think my moment of truth came when we decided to go on a short walk last Thursday (about 4 blocks) and half way there I almost started crying from all the pain and pressure in the suture area.  My advice: rest! You will have gone through something way more taxing on your body than you first realize and it is better in hindsight to take those few extra days on the couch than it is to push yourself too soon.  One other tip: stock up on super maxi pads. You will need them and you will likely underestimate how many you need. I was told later by the nurse to think about changing it every time you change baby (i.e. 8-12 times a day).  Costco jumbo packs will be your friend ladies. 

Breastfeeding

My milk supply came in fast and furious by day 3. It was more painful than i imagined and latching till stings. I am able to pump a considerable amount of milk at one time so I express after our first morning feeding.  I am going to stick with it as long as i can, and i am stockpiling milk so that we also have the option of feeding him Expressed Breast Milk (EBM as the public health nurse calls it).  NONE of my nursing bras fit, this is traumatic.  I will take this time to stress if you have a smaller rib cage and require less than a 34 bad size be ready to hunt for nursing bras.

Mood

I have had a few outbursts, I have cried a couple of times, and the lack of sleep is starting to wear me down. For now I feel pretty positive though and i am so happy J got to take these first two weeks off with me.  It has been a lifesaver and we have learned a lot about each other : )  I also experience elation when I look down at the little man in my arms. It is definitely a rollercoaster.

Exercise

None. Well a couple of walks and kegels but I am listening to my body and I am prepared to wait it out until I feel really ready to start some sort of fitness regime again.  The other day I was thinking maybe I will ride my bike on the trainer. Then I snapped out of daydreaming and remembered the stitches.  The mind does funny things.

How was your postpartum experience?

Did you feel prepared for all the changes?

What did you find most surprising/shocking?

 



 

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