• Deborah Charles-Nelson

'10 Things I Wish I Knew About Postpartum (Postpartum 'cheat sheet')'

Updated: Oct 19, 2018

1. 'Baby blues' are real. I felt quite down after having my little boy, even though I was so grateful to have him.

Tip: Speak to someone, your husband/partner, a friend or maybe your health advisor.

Don't suffer in silence. 2. It can take ALOT more than 8/10 weeks to heal and to be ready for intimacy again, especially if you tore during labour.

Tip: Take your time, don't rush back into anything your body isn't ready for. 3. You may be very constipated for a few weeks after birth, which can lead to haemorrhoids! Tip: Make use of a laxative that softens the stool – like Lactulose – rather than a stimulant laxative like Senna, as this can cause cramping which can make those breastfeeding pains even worse! 4. You will be thirsty and HUNGRY all the time, especially when breastfeeding.

Tip: Stay well hydrated (drink at least 2 litres of water) and consume a minimum of 1800 calories a day.

5. Breastfeeding really hurts, and more than they say it does!

Tip: Make use of a nipple shield, if it's very painful. It does get a little easier with time; it took me about 6 weeks for it to feel a little more comfortable. 6. You may have even more stretch marks after pregnancy, than you did when you were pregnant!

Tip: Know that they will fade with time; try not to stress too much about it. In the meantime, make use of some cocoa butter or bio oil. And own those marks mamma you just did an amazing thing! 7. You will learn to run on 5 or less hours of sleep!

Tip: I've heard this a thousand times, but force yourself to sleep when your baby sleeps, if you can. 8. You will still look pregnant AFTER giving birth.

Tip: Give yourself time to recover. Your body has just housed a human for basically 10 months! When you're ready, you can slowly get back into gentle exercise. 9. You will definitely still have swollen ankles, hands AND nose – swollen everything! – AFTER pregnancy, and it can take up to a week to return to normal!

Tip: Try raising your feet to reduce the pressure on your ankles, avoid standing for long periods and drink plenty of water to flush your of the extra fluid. And most importantly, give yourself time – postpartum swelling is a normal part of the recovery process. 10. You may find it hard to bond with your baby initially, but once you do, IT'S THE BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD!