Confessions of a first-time mummy: 10 things they don’t tell you after giving birth

You’ll bleed, a lot

You really thought you could go nine whole months without having a period and it not come back with a vengeance? Regardless of whether your baby came out of the sunroof or whether it shot out of your va-jay-jay, for the next six weeks you’re going to be wearing granny pants right up to your belly button and thick pads that curl up round your bum crack.

You’ll still look pregnant

Sure, it’ll go down a considerable amount but it’ll be this swollen, puffy, squidgy mess for at least a week afterwards. And there’s nothing you can do about it – you can’t even suck it in!

You’ll experience afterbirth contractions

Thought you’d suffered enough after nine gruelling months of pregnancy and a sweaty 24 hours (if you’re lucky) of labour? Wrong. Your uterus hasn’t quite finished dishing out the dagger-like jabs just yet. These weird contractions are just your uterus contracting back down to its normal size. It’s nothing to worry about but it does make you double over.

Your hair may fall out

I thought I had escaped the dreaded post-partum hair loss as my luscious long locks were still in tact four months after giving birth. Oh how naive I was. I’m almost six months post-partum now and I’m still leaving a trail of blonde locks wherever I go.

You’ll turn into a sweaty mess

I don’t know about you but I was counting down the days until my baby was born so that I could finally get comfortable in bed at night (and lay on my belly). It’s true, you can pretty much lay in any position you want but cue the dreaded night sweats. My baby was born in winter and I still woke up in the middle of the night with legs stuck together and my hair glued to my neck. Just like the hair loss, night sweats are related to your hormones!

Your boobs will squirt milk

Imagine a sprinkler stuck to your chest! I would be feeding my baby on my right boob and my left one would be shooting out milk so fast that it would probably blind someone if they happened to be walking by at that moment in time. Make sure you stock up on breast pads and stuff three or four of them in your bra otherwise you’ll be sporting some very attractive wet patches around the bosom area once the tingly letdown kicks off.

You’ll stink

Imagine the stench after running a marathon every day for a year and not washing. And now multiply that by 10000. THAT’S how bad you’ll smell. I was showering three times a day and applying deodorant like it was going out of fashion but I still smelt like a mouldy piece of fruit rotting in the sun.

You can still get stretch marks

You’ve spent the last nine months applying every lotion and potion under the sun in the hope that you don’t get a single tiger stripe across your belly. But no one tells you that you’ll need to continue smothering yourself in expensive grease AFTER you’ve had your baby. Think about it for a moment; what causes stretch marks? Gaining or losing weight too quickly. Your belly will shrink quicker than it expanded so applying those creams is even more important after your little bundle has vacated the premises.

Phantom kicks

Towards the end of my pregnancy, my daughter had a tendency to ram her foot under her ribs and run her nails across my cervix (ouch). However painful they were, I couldn’t help but feel sad when she was born and I realised I would never feel her kick me from the inside again. That was, of course, until I felt jab jab jab just below my belly button recently and convinced myself that 1) I’m pregnant again (already?!) or 2) I had twins and one of them was still in there. After doing some research I discovered that these phantom baby kicks are actually quite common after giving birth and are usually just part of your uterus shrinking down or… just gas. PHEW!

Weird dreams

I thought my dreams were mind-boggling and f*cked up when I was pregnant but, honey, they get a whole lot worse when your baby is here. I don’t know if all women experience weird dreams post-partum but I certainly did – in fact, I still do. Like last night’s dream… I was on a boat with my old school class and then suddenly a guy from Tesco asked me out and came to my house but my house was destroyed from a flood so we sat in an empty bath. Romantic…

All these things may sound scary but the overwhelming feeling of love you feel for your baby once they’re here makes it all worthwhile. I promise you, it does get easier and let’s face it, many of us would do it all over again in a heartbeat – no matter how distressing and inconvenient the symptoms are!

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