Nine things no one tells you about post-partum recovery, according to first-time mum

'It seemed like I was never going to feel like myself again'

Sarah Young
Friday 13 April 2018 10:16
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A first-time mum’s twitter thread exposing the realities of post-partum recovery has gone viral.

You’ve prepped the nursery, bought tons of adorable baby clothes and soaked up all and any information about labour and delivery you can get your hands on.

But, what about the nitty gritty of what happens to you and your body after birth?

Unfortunately for many first-time mothers the education, support and conversation surrounding the fourth trimester can be lacking, leaving women feeling unprepared for what they face post-partum.

However, one new mother is speaking openly and honestly about what it’s really like to help reverse that.

Posting on Twitter with a now viral thread, Milena Sanchez explains that she didn’t have the easiest of pregnancies but after watching reruns of One Born Every Minute, planning her birth as well as her baby’s leaving outfit, she really felt like she knew it all.

“Boy was I wrong,” the new mother said.

Concerned that post-partum recovery isn’t spoken about enough, Sanchez admits that she felt “completely lost” after giving birth because there were so many things she was unaware of.

The new mother goes on to detail a lengthy list of nine things she wished she had known would happen post-labour.

From experiencing lochia – a vaginal discharge containing blood that can last up to six weeks – to having a swollen vagina and worrying that she was incapable of being a mother because she didn’t cry the moment she laid eyes on her baby, this wasn’t the blissful experience she expected.

“I'd been so uncomfortable for so many months and it seemed like I was never going to feel like myself again,” Sanchez added.

She continues by explaining that nobody told her having stitches would make going to the toilet so painful, that she could pee herself with no warning, would experience afterbirth pains and that her skin would lose its elasticity.

“Nobody told me that my belly would be jiggly and that it would take a week or so for my baby bump to disappear. I didn't remember seeing that in the media, I saw flat bellies three days postpartum,” she writes.

But aside from the physical effects, Sanchez explained that she didn’t expect to still be hormonal and also highlighted the strain having a baby put on her relationship.

“I had romanticised the first few weeks in my head, that first perfect family picture, that newborn photo shoot, that feeling of me and him falling even more in love with one another and being closer and stronger than ever,” she added.

But in reality, Sanchez admitted that they “were constantly battling each other for no real reason and I was emotionally drained.”

Ending the heartfelt post, she called for more information to be provided to first-time mums so that they don’t experience the feelings of loneliness she, and so many others do post-partum.

“We need to make mums-to-be realise that no question is a stupid question and that there are people there to support them with the correct guidance,” she concluded.

Since posting Sanchez’s thread has been a hit with mothers everywhere, many of whom flooded it with comments thanking her for being so honest.

“Love the honesty. Think it’s vital that women are aware that all the above is normal. People get so wrapped up in how they think it should be,” one person wrote.

Another added: “Yes yes and yes to all of this. In addition once all the lovely newborn visits are over from friends and family, being a first time mum can also be a very lonely time. Loved this thread.”

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