Birth classes and pregnancy books put a lot of focus on the day you give birth and honestly when you’re pregnant it’s really all you focus on. The grand finish line where you meet the newest member of your family and apple of your eye.
There is normally a small chapter on what happens to your body after birth. If you are like me, you probably don’t pay too much attention to this chapter. That is, until it’s all happening and your body feels like some sort of war zone.
I was very lucky to not have a lot of swelling throughout my pregnancy. However, that completely changed when my milk was coming in. Everything became swollen, legs, ankles, fingers, face. Looking back at photos, I realise that I looked like I had a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting.
Another thing I didn’t realise about my milk coming in, is that my breasts would turn into hard concrete blocks for a few days. Very hard, hot, square, lumpy, concrete blocks. It felt like nothing could relieve the pain. Ice packs and Voltaren helped a little. A friend also gave me the tip of a warm shower or warm bath to help ease the swelling.
Post pregnancy also brings on more padding than a One Direction concert (I will never feel the same about a padded bra again). Large surfboard maternity pads and breast pads. Every movement you make you are reminded of the excess padding as you can hear them rustling about and crinkling under your clothes. I believe that maternity pads are payback for not having a period for 9 months. SURPRISE!! You now get rewarded with a pad the size of 9 normal pads. There is so much leaking happening its hard to keep track and you constantly feel like you smell like hot milk.
The good news is that the swelling and leaking settles down after a few weeks. Drinking water helps the flush the fluid out, but don’t be surprised if you sweat like a man or wake up in a sweaty puddle. The fluid literally comes out of your pores.
There is certainly a lot happening in the weeks after birth. I guess we are just lucky we have our beautiful little babies to help distract us.