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After You Have a Baby – What to Expect to Avoid Surprises

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It shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise to anyone that having a baby can be a seriously exciting, but also pretty confusing experience. After all, you go through the struggle and difficulties of labor, and then, after you have a baby, you’re thrown into a totally new world of diapers, night feeds, and tantrums. It’s a lot to take in for a new mom, and that’s only the stuff that you’re expecting!

pregnant woman and what you can expect after you have a baby

When you have a new baby, there are a lot of things that are going to come as a surprise, not least some of the things that can happen to your body. The issue is that a lot of the time, people aren’t told that these things are going to happen, which means that it can be a pretty scary experience. To help pull away some of that mystery and confusion, here are some things that can happen after you have a baby that people won’t normally tell you about.

Sweating

We all know how much you can end up sweating after a workout and, let’s be totally honest here, there’s no better workout than pushing a human being out of your body! However, a lot of women have noted that they found themselves sweating buckets for days, and sometimes even weeks, after having their baby.

This is because the estrogen levels in your body tend to drop very suddenly after you have a baby. This sudden change in your body’s hormonal balance means that your body is going to struggle to deal with temperature control in a pretty significant way.

This is hardly the most significant thing in the world but let’s face it, if you’re suddenly hot and sweaty all the time, it may cause you to worry. And it’s a worry that you really don’t want to have to deal with when you’ve just given birth.

Knowing what it is and where it’s coming from means that it’s not going to cause you any anxiety. As much of a pain as this can be, don’t worry, things should generally even out after a month or two!

The embarrassing stuff

There’s a pretty common reason why a lot of people don’t know about this stuff, and that’s because it’s hardly the sort of thing that comes up in polite conversation. Or, at least, it’s something most people try to avoid talking about. However, there’s no sense in pretending that it’s not something that can happen. So, here goes: both during and after pregnancy, many women suffer from incontinence.

During pregnancy, the baby is pressing on your bladder. After you have a baby, a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, as well as potential damage to the nerves that control your bladder, can cause a loss of control.

Sure, it might not be the most graceful thing to have to buy incontinence pants or protective pads, but it’s not something to be embarrassed about. It’s incredibly common, and it generally stops after about six weeks after you have a baby. If it carries on beyond then, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor.

baby laying between parents and what to expect after you have a baby

Pain

This one probably isn’t going to come as that much of a shock to a lot of people but pain is something that you may well have to expect after you have a baby. Sure, we’re all fully aware of how painful the act of giving birth itself can be, but there are also things about the process of your body recovering from giving birth that can also be painful.

For one thing, as your uterus shrinks back to its normal size and shape you can end up getting what is called “afterpains” in your abdomen. Most of the time these kinds of pains will be rather dull and uncomfortable, but they can end up being a lot more extreme.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have a hot water bottle and painkillers with you even as early as when you’re at the hospital. Make sure that you do your research as to what to bring to the hospital as well. That way you’re always ready for anything, including any unexpected pain or discomfort.

Postpartum depression

Another common issue you may experience after you have a baby is postpartum depression. The reason that a lot of people are so reluctant to talk about postpartum depression is very similar to why people don’t talk about depression in general. There is a lot of stigmas that surround it.

This is made even more pronounced by the sense of failure that many people feel when it seems as though they aren’t able to feel the things that they think they are supposed to feel.

It’s important to remember that postpartum depression is incredibly common and that it doesn’t make you a bad parent. The best thing that you can do is to talk to people about it, both your partner, your family, and your doctor. Keeping it to yourself is just going to make things worse.

Final Thoughts on What to Expect After You Have a Baby

A lot of people have a bad habit of actively trying to ignore these things and avoid thinking about them when they’re pregnant. And, in all honesty, that’s kind of understandable. After all, as much as pregnancy and having a baby can be an incredibly wonderful and exciting time, it can also be the source of a great deal of fear and anxiety. Because of that, it’s only natural that a lot of women prefer to try and hide their heads in the sand as much as possible.

However, the truth is that the time after giving birth can be quite a scary one as well and that’s often made a whole lot worse by the presence of things happening that you weren’t expecting. By doing your research and making sure that you’re as prepared for whatever might happen after you have a baby, you’ll be far better equipped to handle it. Then you can get on with the far more important job of enjoying the time that you spend with your new baby.

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