The UGLY side of Postpartum

One thing that has come to my attention since giving birth to Flynn is the real ugly side of postpartum. Of course there is a lot of focus on your pregnancy progression and what to expect with your newborn, but why is it so hard to find information on what to watch out for when you have given birth. I am Googling (I know, terrible idea) these different symptoms and can only find information relating to threads created nearly 10 years ago, and it really doesn’t help. So lets talk about it!!

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Here are some of the postpartum symptoms I am referring too…

Excessive hair loss…

With my first born I did lose a bit of hair, particularly near my temple. It had receded pretty badly, so I ended up taking a fair amount of supplements to assist better growth and strength for my hair. Once I was pregnant with Flynn it grew beautifully and thick, and it didn’t need daily washing caused by excessive oils like it does today. Now I am pulling out clumps of hair each time it is washed. My hair is just past my shoulders and so far I am able to roll the fallen hair into a golf ball sized clump. I can feel it shedding in strips and it wouldn’t surprise me if I have bald spots on my head. I live with a mum bun everyday and I also put off straightening my hair with a flat iron otherwise I will lose more hair.

So why does our hair fall out after birth? During our pregnancy we produce larger amounts of the hormone estrogen and progesterone. Both play a large part with the development of the baby, making milk and to assist the transformation of our uterus to sustain a growing baby. Whilst we are pregnant fewer hair follicles goes through a resting stage, meaning that the growing stage is prolonged and why our hair looks so voluminous. So when we give birth, our hormone levels drop significantly resulting with a lot more hair entering the resting stage. Hence the shedding, and why my drain gets clogged each time I wash my hair. Apparently it can 6-12 months for your hair to return to its original glory. Insert sad face.

Aching joints…

There are days where I struggle to walk from A to B. I honestly hate to think how people with chronic pain live with the daily struggle of getting up in the morning. I don’t have a choice to sleep in or stay in bed, and to wait for the pain to settle after taking pain relief. I have two children that constantly need my attention. So after a bit of reading I found that it is common complaint after birth, and it has a name. Arthralgia. This condition can be caused by hormonal changes to help prepare your body for birth, and unfortunately for some it can continue once the baby is born. For me, I have developed joint pain in my feet and ankles and it can cause me to hobble particularly first thing in the morning and when I go to bed at night. However as each week goes by it is slowly improving.

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Leaky boobs…

All breastfeeding mums understand the importance of a good breast pad. And I don’t mean the disposable one, because lets face it they are rank! Thankfully I discovered a brand called Bamboobies. On their website they advise that are made from materials including bamboo, organic cotton and hemp, which makes them the most absorbent and soft nursing pads around on the market. I agree wholeheartedly. Before I discovered these gems I was using an inferior brands which has caused permanent stains on my clothes. I would have a let down during a feeding session and my shirt would be drenched in breast milk. It would be so embarrassing walking around like I was just involved in a wet t shirt competition. People do not want to see that! You need to commit that to spending that little bit extra on quality.

Teeth grinding/clenching…

So I am into my second week of wearing my mouth guard since being diagnosed with Bruxism. What is that? Well essentially it is a condition which causes you to grind or clench your teeth. Mine was not too bad, however it has caused a slight crack in one of my canines. My dentist informed me that it is a very common condition for new mothers because of the stress caused by lack of sleep. He advised that usually the symptoms tend to soften when you reach the age of 40. I’m 32…

Prolapses…

Yep! I have a prolapse… It was discovered when I was having my very over due pap smear. The doctor was having some difficulty putting in the speculum, and randomly asked if I suffer from leakage. I awkwardly said yes. She divulged that I have a prolapse, meaning that apart of my vjayjay has weakened to the point that my rectum wants to join the party in there. It’s still a shock to admit because I ‘used’ to have a nice tight little package, but since the birth of Flynn I feel so different. There are three possible prolapses that women can develop, and I thankfully got the better one of the three. The other two are bladder and uterus prolapses, and they generally require surgery. All need to do is do plenty of pelvic floor exercises, and my lucky husband can get more sex. That’s still something that I am working on. Insert laughing.

So ladies, I guess that’s it for now. Sorry if it TMI, but it’s the reality of having a baby.

Much love

Melanie xx