My Postpartum Life: 7 Things You Need to Know When Dressing Yourself Postpartum
Photo: Define School of Photography
Welcome to motherhood. You have done it! You have given birth. You spend a blissful few days at the hospital wearing your hospital gown and getting adjusted to your new role as a mother and postpartum life (this is a topic we will cover in depth in coming weeks). After rocking your third-trimester bump in fitted jersey dresses, you kind of miss your baby bump but cannot help but to feel a little excited about the prospect of getting back to your pre-pregnancy shape and wearing your pre-pregnancy jeans and LBDs.
Not so fast.
Your suddenly baby-free abdomen looks like a flabby and deflated balloon and you realize how quickly and frequently you need to access your boobs to feed your baby.
You suddenly realize that you are so ill-prepared for dressing yourself postpartum. There have been some helpful articles written covering this topic this one, this one, this one, this one, this one and finally this one but they do not do justice to the challenges new modern urban fashionista moms face when trying to find stylish and functional postpartum clothing while feeding 24/7, not sleeping at all, and changing 100 diapers a day.
Don’t worry, you’re not the first mom to face this. We did too, and that’s why we started Mitera. Let us help.
Here is the list of 7 things you need to keep in mind when dressing yourself immediately postpartum.
1. Pain, Pain Go Away – Everything Hurts.
Whether you had a vaginal birth or a C-section, your postpartum body aches....everywhere. If you had a vaginal delivery, your 'down there' hurts a LOT. If you got stitched up after the delivery, your first no. 2 may feel worse than giving birth to your baby. You may even have developed hemorrhoids (very common for pregnant women). If you had a C-section, your incision hurts and will for a while. If your milk has come in, your boobs might be engorged and may hurt a LOT. And it takes your nipples some time to get used to the constant breastfeeding sessions; they are not only super sensitive but they may get cracked and hurt.
2. You have a deflated and flabby balloon-like tummy aka kangaroo pouch
No matter who you are, chances are you still look pregnant for a few more days and weeks after you've given birth. You kind of miss your tight, round and hard pregnant belly that looked awesome in tight dresses and leggings instead of this flabby kangaroo pouch hanging in front of you. Now everything you put on, including your once-prized pregnancy Paige denim feels ill-fitted and uncomfortable.
3. Boobs need to be out All The Time
If you are breastfeeding, you need constant and quick access to your boobs. You think, “why not just stay naked ?” but soon realize that your now enormous lactating breasts need support from good, well-made nursing bras. A lot of us spend the first few days in pajamas or in nursing tanktops and yoga pants roaming around the house like zombies.
4. Dealing with Blood and Discharges
After you deliver your baby AND your placenta (which nobody tells you about), your body continues to get rid of the remains of placenta and blood from your uterus. You may freak out but for the first few days after childbirth, because the discharge called Lochia is bright red and includes clots of blood. This bloody, initially heavy, discharge can last for the first several weeks after delivery but it eventually become lighter before stopping altogether.
5. You will produce smelly sweat and lots of it
Why did no one warn me about postpartum sweating??? You not only sweat a LOT but your sweat tends to stink.
It's common to perspire a lot in the weeks after giving birth, especially at night because sweating is one of the ways your body gets rid of the extra water you retained during pregnancy. But the sweating continues as your body adjusts to hormonal and metabolic changes associated with breastfeeding.
6. You will be leaking milk
You are happy your milk has “come in” but hate the painful hard-as-rock melon sized boobs. You try putting on the frozen cabbage leaves with holes on your engorged breasts for some temporary relief and strongly hope this engorgement phase will pass quickly. Your amazing body adjusts the milk supply to meet your baby’s nutritional and dietary demands and needs and you will be amazed at how physically your body responds to your baby’s cry and even the sight and thought of your baby! You will leak a lot of milk especially at the beginning until your body establishes a good demand/ supply system with your baby.
7. Your idea of personal hygiene goes out the window
With postpartum sweating, bleeding, discharges and leaking milk, you'd want to keep yourself clean by maintaining a healthy showering schedule except you cannot. You will find, especially at the beginning, it to be very difficult to find time to have a proper shower. Your baby is finally asleep and you jump in the shower but as soon as you are in the shower your baby starts crying. Then you start leaking breastmilk all over the shower.
All is not lost, however. Stay tuned for our next posts in our My Postpartum Life series on how to look and feel amazing postpartum.