Your first day postpartum: 19 things to expect!

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If you ask any woman, they will say childbirth is a miracle. Your baby comes out and looks up and you and you have this instant bond of love. You vow to protect this little being with all your soul.

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Sounds perfect right? Sounds easy?

Is this really how it works?

Not always.

This is what I went childbirth expecting. No one warned me about so many different things that happen after childbirth! This threw me for a huge loop while we were in the hospital!

your first day postpartum what to expect

But what do you need to expect on your first day postpartum?

  • You’re obviously going to be exhausted. Labor can be short, but it can also be looooonnnnggggg. Mine was 36 hours altogether so I was tired from just that, let alone the fact that actually having the baby is exhausting. All of your muscles are contracting, your body is working overtime trying to get this thing out of you! You also aren’t allowed to eat in case you need emergency surgery, so your body doesn’t have the fuel it needs.
  • Your downstairs is going to hurt. Think Rachel after having Emma on friends. “I’m fiiihhhaaaaahhhnnneee!” But given it just expanded to fit a head out and closed itself shut and possibly had stitches in there, that’s pretty understandable. The nurses gave me cool packs and they were a lifesaver!
rachel greene gif postpartum
  • You’re going to bleed. A lot. Think, period meets gruesome murder. It looks like you’re going to bleed out the first few days. You’re also going to bleed for six full weeks, and possibly have blood clots you need to get checked out. All dignity will go out the window when your adult depends you need to wear are poking out of your pants. You also won’t care because said depends will be your best friend.
  • Your first bowel movement will be terrifying. Don’t worry, you will NOT bust your stitches.
  • You will need a nurse to show you how to use the bathroom and clean yourself. You can’t wipe with toilet paper. It may feel embarrassing but they are here to help.
  • You’ll want a perennial bottle. Most hospitals give these out though. This is used to clean yourself down after going to the bathroom.
  • The nurses will keep massaging your uterus to make sure it’s shrinking back to size correctly. This can hurt the first day or two especially.
  • Don’t forget your nipple cream when you go to the hospital. They may get sore as you’re learning to breastfeed. Conversely, if you plan on pumping, it’s nice to bring your own pump. If you want to formula feed, most hospitals give samples out

See also: Everything you need to know about breastfeeding and everything you need to know about breast pumping. 

  • You may not want to eat, but it’s important to. Mom needs to be fed to take care of the baby.
  • You won’t shrink back to size right away and your belly WILL feel like jelly.
  • Your breasts are going to leak. Don’t forget to pack your nursing pads.
  • You need to be on guard for things that aren’t right. This includes watching for blood clots larger than a loonie, or anything else you think aren’t feeling right. You are your best advocate, so bring anything up to your doctor.
  • You have the right to deny visitors if you want. Everyone wants to see your new baby, but if you’re too tired, there is no shame in that either!
  • You’ll be super weepy and always crying after. It’s totally normal and will go away!
  • Dad may need some help to bond with and take care of the baby. Ask him how he can help, and take charge.
  • Your hair may fall out a lot postpartum. This is something that I didn’t expect, but that is totally normal.
  • You may get hot flashes. It’s six months later and I’m still getting them!
  • Your body will hurt after. This is totally normal given everything that it has gone through.
  • You will end up with this bundle of joy that you will love more than anything. Take pictures, and enjoy every moment.

What surprised you about your first day postpartum? Comment below!

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5 thoughts on “Your first day postpartum: 19 things to expect!

  1. I will never forget the first bowel movement situation. Everything was a mess.. I was just so nervous to go to the washroom to pee. I just remembered the nurse coming in every hour asking me if I went. They ended up discharging me even though I didn’t go Lol!

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