Helping new and expecting moms through the messiness of pregnancy, babies, and toddlerhood.

8 Shocking Things That Can Happen Postpartum

You took the childbirth classes and read all the pregnancy books. You have your birth plan written up and the nursery is all set up and ready for your new baby. But have you looked into what will go on with you and your body during your postpartum journey?

I really didn’t, and I wish I would have. I spent so much time researching and preparing for the actual birth and for how to care for baby, that what would go on with me postpartum never really ever crossed my mind. And it turns out, they don’t cover it in most childbirth classes either.

Things happened postpartum that I never would have imagined; Most of them, not so pleasant. In this post, I’ll cover 8 shocking things that happened to me during my postpartum journeys.

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8 Shocking Things That Can Happen Postpartum

Listed below are 8 shocking things that can happen to your body during the postpartum period. But remember, everybody’s body and postpartum experience is different, so these may or may not happen to you. But either way, it’s certainly nice to be prepared!

1. ) Your Hair Might Fall Out

Postpartum hair loss is fairly common. Your hair may start falling out around one month postpartum or maybe not even until seven months postpartum. And, I’m not just talking about your baby pulling on your locks all the time. 😉

Hair loss during postpartum doesn’t necessarily mean you’re nutrient deficient. In fact, most of the time, it’s simply hormonal. The decline in estrogen allows all that lustrous hair that grew during your pregnancy to make it’s way out.

2.) Low Libido

Your first time “back in the sack” might be the most frightening time besides your very first. Even if you get the “okay” at your 6 week checkup, it may not be for AWHILE after that until you’re actually ready for sex emotionally and mentally. Plus, you and your partner might just be too exhausted for it anyways.

And, as it turns out, breastfeeding can kill your sex drive. Your husband may not understand this at first, and he might take it personally. Try to prepare him through daddy baby books, classes, and support groups.

3.) Bleeding for Weeks

You’re going to have the longest “period” of your life after giving brith. Are you enjoying those 9 months without aunt ruby? Soak it in because you’re about to bleed for a month straight. Fun right? :/

4.) No Period While Breastfeeding

If you breastfeed, your actual period may not return for quite some time. Some women don’t get their period until their baby/toddler is fully weaned, while other women aren’t so lucky and it returns within the first few months.

Mine returned at 10 months postpartum with my first baby, and 12 months with my second. Both were still breastfeeding at the time.

By the way, just because you’re breastfeeding and not having a period, doesn’t mean you can’t get pregnant. Do not rely on breastfeeding as a form of contraception.

5.) Night Sweats

You may wake up multiple times a night for months sweating balls. This is your body getting rid of all the excess water it accumulated during pregnancy and your hormones balancing back to normal.

I thought menopause was the only time you got hot flashes; guess not. Your husband will probably think you’re crazy having him change the thermostat a million times.

6.) Postpartum Kidney Stones

You may have absorbed too much calcium throughout pregnancy, and now your body is left over with the excess and you get the luxury of winding up back in the hospital with kidney stones.

I will definitely take the pain of child birth again over kidney stones. At least with child birth, you get breaks in between contractions. With kidney stones, it’s just constant, excruciating pain. Not fun.

Help prevent postpartum kidney stones by drinking plenty of water, staying away from soda and too much sodium, and consuming kidney-healthy foods, like cranberries and lemon.

7.) Fluid Drops to Your Legs

If you thought the swelling was bad during pregnancy, just wait. A few days after birth, all that retained water you collected during pregnancy will start to migrate down to your legs and feet. Now you really won’t be able to get your shoes on.

If the swelling in your lower extremities is coupled with blurry vision, stomach pain, or a headache that doesn’t go away with medicine, head to your nearest emergency room, as these are all warning signs of postpartum preeclampsia.

8.) Painful Urination

I never knew going to the bathroom could be such a difficult, painful task. It may take you hours until you are finally able to pee after giving birth. And, man can it burn! Especially, if you tore during delivery.

One trick that helped ease the pain for me was to lean way forward when urinating. It may seem silly, but it really did help.

It’s also a great idea to load up on a good, preferably natural, stool softener, because guess what; It can be extremely difficult to poop postpartum as well.

Remember, everyone’s postpartum journey is different, and some of these things may not ever happen to you. But I hope these 8 shocking things that happened in my postpartum journey will help you be more prepared for yours.

What About You?

Are you prepared for your postpartum journey? Comment below and share a postpartum secret that no one told you about, and be sure to share this post with all your expecting mama friends.

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16 Comments

  1. Heather on August 8, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I would say for me, the cracked nipples and pain breastfeeding was something I wish I could have prepared for! That first week was rough! Thank the lord for lanolin!?I totally agree with #2! I tore during delivery so 6 weeks was not long enough for me to recover and it hurt for a while!

    • Messy Mom Nicolle on August 11, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      Oh yes, the initial breastfeeding pains of breastfeeding is rough! I also tore during delivery, which just reminds me of the burning pain while peeing. Wait 6 weeks they say….I’ll wait just a few more months…LOL

  2. Jasmine Hewitt on July 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

    you’re right-everyones postpartum phase is different. I didn’t experience most of these. I never lost hair, has a good sex drive, but I bled until my six week appt when they put the nexplanon chip in. Then my periods went very regular, for a little while. This is really resourceful info, because we need to make postpartum just as talked about as everything else

    • Messy Mom Nicolle on July 14, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      I truly agree that the whole postpartum journey needs to be talked about more. Especially with PPD and PPA. We need more support for new mamas.

  3. Shawna on July 14, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Yes to all of these! I was about as prepared as anyone could be, but some of these still surprised me. Thank goodness I have a lot of hair, because I shed so much every day. Still.

    Also, be prepared for your emotions to go haywire! I cried if someone just looked at me wrong. ?

    • Messy Mom Nicolle on July 14, 2017 at 10:08 pm

      Oh yes, I completely forgot about the crazy emotions! The hair loss is crazy.

  4. Heidi on July 14, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Thanks for the warnings! My first is due in November. I think the more I read about what could possibly happen, the better I’ll be able to handle what comes up. At least I’ll be mentally prepared!

    • Messy Mom Nicolle on July 14, 2017 at 10:09 pm

      Yes, everyone’s postpartum experience is different, but being prepared as you possibly can will definitely help. Wishing you a safe delivery. You’ll get to meet your little soon!

  5. Mamabasic on July 14, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Great post! I’m 5 months postpartum and definately agree with your list! I never knew breastfeeding reduces sex drive! Makes ALOT of sense now..
    I found my back really hurt postpartum due to no baby to carry, so definately worth using the support belts during pregnancy and even after.. and milk doesn’t come in till a few days after and can be very difficult especially when you know your baby is really hungry.. it totally stressed me out till my milk came in.

    • Messy Mom Nicolle on July 14, 2017 at 10:14 pm

      Good point on adding that your milk doesn’t come in for a few days. I think mine came in on day 4, but for some women it doesn’t come in until day 6 or 7 even. It can be a stressful time, and that’s why counting wet and dirty diapers is SO important.

  6. Kaity | With Kids and Coffee on July 13, 2017 at 11:57 pm

    Great list! Something that all of the first time pregnant mama-to-be’s out there could definitely learn from. “Bleeding the blood of a thousand periods”, as I like to call it, is always a fun time after birthing babies. 😉

  7. Krystal Miller on July 13, 2017 at 11:29 pm

    My postpartum time was fairly easy after my first, but got less fun with each kiddo!

    • Messy Mom Nicolle on July 14, 2017 at 10:19 pm

      It’s interesting to see how women’s own experiences are different with each pregnancy. I hope my next one is easier than my first.

  8. Jiya B on July 13, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    I loved the post. For me Postpartum was really difficult in first child and in second one it was fun. I use to see my daughter and time went happily.

    • Messy Mom Nicolle on July 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      Im glad you’re second time around was much easier. Probably helps a lot with having to care for two little ones. I hope my next postpartum experience is easier like yours was.

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