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7 Things I Wish I Knew About Postpartum

7 Things I Wish I Knew About Postpartum

Things I wish I knew about postpartum

Ah, the postpartum period—a rollercoaster ride of surprises and revelations that no one quite prepares you for. If only I could time travel back to those blissfully ignorant days of pregnancy and whisper a few nuggets of wisdom into my wide-eyed, soon-to-be-parent ears. From the marvels of mesh underwear (yes, it’s a thing) to the unexpected flood of emotions, navigating postpartum life is unlike any other! So, buckle up, fellow travelers of motherhood, because this journey is about to get real, messy, and oddly beautiful.

Postpartum twin belly with babies by her side

1. Constipation

Prior to delivering, my doctor recommended having a few essentials in my bag to be ready for postpartum. One of those things was a stool softener. I bought it thinking maybe she thought my IBS would flare up. No, no… no, no. This is an actual thing for postpartum, aka Postpartum Constipation. In addition to stool softeners, drink plenty of water and incorporate high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet to help treat postpartum constipation.

delivery day bootcamp

2.  Mesh Undies and Pads

No one ever mentions feeling sexy after giving birth, and I truly believe the postpartum mesh undies (better described as massive granny panties) may be why! Undies is a very loose term for this sheer, gauze-like item that vaguely resembles what should be undies. The pads were definitely a lifesaver despite their Titanic size. If the hospital asks if you need more, always say yes! Although the size is intimidating, you will be thankful soon enough.

Postpartum pad compared to a regular pad

3.  Ice Packs

Ice packs are the unsung hero of postpartum recovery. When the nurse handed me a medical glove full of ice and water, I was very confused. And when she told me where to use it, I was mortified, until I tried it. Then I was in heaven. Hospital glove ice packs are a stroke of genius—they mold perfectly to your body’s contours, providing targeted relief exactly where you need it. Don’t have medical gloves at home? No problem, grab some “Padsicles” instead.

Medical glove ice pack for postpartum use

4. Milk Flow

Did you know it takes days for your breastmilk to come into production? I certainly didn’t. My lack of milk production stressed me out, which doesn’t help the situation at all. It’s really a catch-22. I kept calling the lactation specialist for help and she gave me a list of items that could help but the first and most important was to calm down.

Pumped milk

Apparently, there are three phases to milk production. I knew the first two, but had no clue about the third. I also did not know that it can take an average of 15 days to reach stage three! So here I was, eating all the oatmeal in the world (and I really don’t like oatmeal) to help keep up with two. Had I know these little bits of info, maybe I wouldn’t have stressed as much.

Please keep in mind, that if, for whatever reason, you can’t keep up with TWO infants, it’s totally normal, too! I was able to keep up for the first two months and then I just couldn’t. Take it from me, do not waste your time on mom guilt…reconginze your accomplishments and use some good ol’ mom math: if you nursed TWO babies for TWO months, that is actually FOUR months (if you only had a singleton) of nursing! You are a ROCKSTAR, don’t forget that.

Postpartum twin mama wearing mesh undies

5. Hair Be Gone…

It’s totally normal for a lot of new moms to notice their hair shedding more after pregnancy. According to The American Academy of Dermatology, hair loss usually peaks around four months postpartum. Turns out, it’s all because of those estrogen hormones we had during pregnancy that made our hair so thick and fabulous. Good news though—your hair should bounce back to its usual fullness eventually. As for stopping it? You can’t, there is nothing you can do to prevent postpartum hair loss.

Learn more about postpartum hair loss here.

Postpartum mom holding one of her twins

6. So much sweat!

Thanks to the postpartum hormonal roller coaster, you might find yourself dripping in sweat at all hours, no matter what you’re doing. Whether you’re nursing, sleeping, or simply going about your day, those hormones can make you feel like you’re living in a sauna. It’s the postpartum spa treatment you didn’t ask for, but hey, at least it’s a natural detox, right? So grab your towels and embrace the glow — literally — because this sweat session is part of the glamorous world of motherhood!

7. You will have to pass gas!

Leaving the hospital after giving birth should be a triumphant moment, but here’s the kicker: they won’t let you go until you toot! Yep, you heard that right. It turns out that passing gas is a crucial milestone on the postpartum checklist. Nurses and doctors monitor this bodily function like it’s the key to the exit door. Passing gas signifies that your digestive system is back on track after the upheaval of childbirth. It’s a surreal but oddly comical part of the post-baby adventure, where your freedom hinges on the sound of your body saying, “I’m back in business!”

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Don’t forget about your postpartum mental health

Both my mom and mother-in-law emphasized the same truth about postpartum: take care of yoursel! Your body just underwent massive changes. During the first month, I had my doctor on speed dial, asking about various aspects of recovery. Many of these conversations started with, “Is this normal?”. If you have any doubts or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out—they’re there to support you. While much of this article focuses on physical healing, it’s crucial to remember your emotional and mental well-being too. Friends and family are there for you. It is important to recognize that there is no shame in experiencing a range of feelings—whether happiness, anxiety, vulnerability, or confusion. Knowing you have support can make a world of difference during this transformative time.

We have been led to believe that the birth of our children should be the happiest day of our lives. What if it’s not? Check out our Postpartum Mood Disorder Resources for additional information.

All content on this website, including medical opinions and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

Stephanie Miller

Stephanie Miller is the proud mom of twin cyclones Zach and Carter (20-month-old).  Every day in the Miller house, you’ll find rooms turned over, floors covered in bits of Lego and puzzle pieces (mind your step), and the sound of “Brown Bear Brown Bear” read over and over, and over again.  You’ll typically find her being used as the seat to reading time for the two bookworms, covered in bubble solution as they try to excel in their Bubble Wand skills, or being the voice to command Alexa for their favorite tunes.  She and her husband are working on their traveling skills cause she can’t wait to show them the amazing world that is out there for them.

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