I remember getting out of the shower just days after my son was born and I could not get dry for the life of me. My milk had just come in and my breasts were dripping; I still had several weeks left of my wonderful postpartum ‘period,’ and my *ahem* soft postpartum curves made for a lot of new creases that trapped moisture.
This coupled with an early May heat wave covered the rest of me in a slick of sticky sweat.
“Why does nobody talk about this?!” I cried out. My newborn son cried right along with me. There’s no shortage of information on pregnancy, childbirth, caring for an infant, and postpartum mental health. But nothing had prepared me for the changes in my postpartum body.
So, let’s talk:
- As I mention above, you will never feel dry but you will feel drippy. Leaky bodily liquids will soon become your norm.
- Unless we’re talking about your vagina, that is. Because as long as you are breastfeeding (and possibly even if you aren’t), the Sahara Desert will have nothing on your nether regions. This is completely normal and yet I hadn’t heard anything about it until my family doctor mentioned matter-of-factly that I would need “help” in the lubrication department for as long as I was breastfeeding. And boy was she ever right.
- Your nipples won’t feel a thing. After a few weeks of having babies vacuum suction all of their earthly needs from your nips, they’re pretty much road ready. This is good news for middle-of-the-night side lying feeds, but a bit strange in other scenarios. Don’t worry, the sensation does come back.
- Pooping becomes a challenge. If you’ve had a vaginal birth, that first poo, and likely the next few after, are going to take a great deal more, er, delicate consideration than you’re used to. And if you’ve had a C-section, many more things are going to become a challenge in the first few weeks.
- Your body will be exhausted… for a long time. I went for a twenty-minute walk when I was one week postpartum and nearly collapsed when I finally made it back home. I won’t even talk about my first postpartum run at six weeks. Ease into it.
- All those stretch marks you couldn’t see because they were tucked away under your belly? Well, you can see them now! The good news is those angry, purple-red streaks will fade to a light silver-white in time…and then you’ll have them forever.
- Hungry much??? OMG. Stock up on snacks and meals you can eat with one hand.
- And did I mention the dry, sandy expanse that is your vagina? Oh, I did? Well, let me tell you again, because vaginal dryness while breastfeeding is no joke. There is no shame in using a product like Vagisil’s ProHydrate Natural Feel Lubricant and Moisturizing Gel to restore natural-feeling moisture without any added estrogen, perfumes, dyes, or preservatives. It’s easy to insert (like a tampon) and coats the vagina wall to provide relief instantly. Then it releases moisture slowly over time for constant comfort.
After all, your body’s been through enough.
This post is sponsored by Vagisil but all opinions are my own.