- Women's Health»
10 Things They Don’t Tell You About After-Labor and Delivery
After-Labor and Delivery
Recently I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, my experience was amazing – of course I had an epidural which means I could not feel a lot of the pain during part of the labor and delivery. But I did go through a lot of pain/contractions before I got the meds. Anyway, after having my baby I went through some different/interesting/painful/scary things, things no one really tells you about when you are getting ready to give birth to that cute little bundle.
Well I am going to let you in on what happened to me after my labor and delivery, things no one told me or warned me about. The following are 10 things they don’t tell you about after-labor and delivery:
- Epidural Wearing Off
- Moving Rooms and Moving Baby
- Modesty, What is That?
- Your First Bathroom Trip
- Visitors (Wanted/Unwanted)
- Insurance Phone Calls
- Too Much Paperwork
- Pure Exhaustion
- Nursing and Pushy Nurses
- Accepting Help/Getting Back to Work
1. Epidural Wearing Off
Getting an epidural, in my opinion, is amazing because it made it so much easier for me to enjoy the rest of my labor and delivery. Actually, the most difficult part of my pushing experience was that I got the shakes every time I took a break from pushing! Now I had heard about epidurals and how they would make me feel but no one told me about how it would feel when the epidural wore off. Here is a tip; prepare yourself, you need to be ready to ask your nurse to give you some pain meds as soon as you feel that epidural wearing off because the pain of it wearing off (again in my opinion) is worse than actually pushing the baby out.
2. Moving Rooms and Moving Baby
After you work super hard to push a baby from your body and after being sewn up (if you were cut or torn) your epidural (if you got one) will start to wear off and then your nurse will prepare you and your baby to move rooms. This is something I was not really prepared for because what they don’t tell you is that when you move rooms your epidural will start wearing off, the adrenaline will start wearing off, and they will leave you alone in the new room. You will be alone because that is when they decide to take your baby (with your husband) to get a bath, fingerprinted, etc. Be warned, this is not something people tell you because it is not a good time to be left alone, especially if your body decides, along with going through a lot of pain, it is time to have your first bowel movement. The only advice I can give for this part of after-labor and delivery is to try to get some rest and to get your pain meds as soon as possible.
3. Modesty? What?
Something no one tells you about after-labor and delivery is that if you had a sense of modesty before you had a baby, then that will all go away as soon as that baby comes out. Your doctor, your nurse, and sometimes a whole team of nurses can be in the room with you when you are having a baby: which means they will all see a lot more of you than you would normally be comfortable with. Get used to it. Honestly, the only thing you can do about your modesty is put it on hold for the duration of your hospital visit.
4. Your First Bathroom Trip
Going along with number 3 (forgetting about modesty) you also have to get over the idea of going to the bathroom by yourself. Something no one tells you about after-labor and delivery is that your first trip to the bathroom, especially if it is a bowel movement, will be extremely painful. Also, if your epidural has not completely worn off then you are going to need help getting to and from the toilet. This is embarrassing but you have to just get through it by remembering that those who work in the hospital have probably seen (and smelled) much worse.
5. Visitors (Wanted/Unwanted)
After you have a baby everyone is going to want to come see him or her, yes they will be coming to see the baby not you. Showing off the new member of your family can be great fun, but what many are not aware of is that having visitors when you are tired, trying to sleep, or trying to get used to nursing is not so much fun. Send a text or have another family member let everyone know that you would like a text or phone call before anyone comes to visit
Insurance Phone Calls
6. Insurance Phone Calls
The day after your baby is born is you are probably going to get a phone call from someone in the hospital who is in charge of helping you with your baby’s insurance. What no one tells you beforehand is that if you don’t have insurance set up for your baby ahead of time, then this phone call is going to be long and annoying with questions like, “what year is your car?” and “what is your income like?” Unless you want to spend time on the phone answering questions like the above while half asleep, try to get your baby’s insurance figured out before you have your baby.
7. Too Much Paperwork
Something no one tells you before giving birth is how much paperwork you are going to get. Oodles and oodles of paperwork! So much paperwork you are not going to know what to do with it all. I became so tired of getting handed paper work I just shoved it all into my bag to sort out at home. You can be a little more prepared for this by getting some kind of file organizer so that you at least have a place to put all the paperwork so that none of it is lost.
8. Pure Exhaustion
Of course, most soon-to-be-mothers know that they are going to be very tired after delivering a baby. But I don’t think anyone or anything can truly prepare you for the pure exhaustion that you and your husband are going to feel after having a baby. My husband was so tired from the stress that he slept through me throwing things at him trying to wake him (from blankets and tissue boxes to phone chargers and lipstick containers), he slept through two nurse changes, one pediatrician visit, one insurance phone call, and one nurse trying to shake him awake! And you don’t get much sleep at all with that new baby in the room with you. There is no advice I can give for this After-Labor and Delivery event, just try to get as much sleep as you can when the baby is taken away for tests, checkups, etc.
9. Nursing and Pushy Nurses
Your first time nursing is going to be hard. I had seen experienced mothers nursing their babies with ease and thought my little guy would learn right away what he was supposed to do and how to do it, however that is usually not the case. And while you and your baby are trying to figure out how to get the nursing thing down, if you do not get it right away your nurse (if she was like mine, not all are probably like this) she will get a little pushy and offer you a nursing shield. A nursing shield seems like a life-saver when your baby will not latch on, and some women with inverted nipples need nursing shields, but later on, these become a huge annoyance. First of all those little shields are not cheap and secondly, they don’t last that long which means if your baby does not wean off of it right away then you are going to be spending a good chunk of money on those little suckers. The shields are clear which means they get lost easily and after a short amount of time they start losing their sucking ability and your baby will start to suck in air instead of milk. Long story short, I wish I had known how annoying those things were going to be and just stuck it out going natural until he got used to it.
10. Accepting Help/Getting Back to Work
What no one tells you before you have a baby; it is going to take quite a while before you feel completely yourself again. Of course, you will never feel exactly how you felt before, your body has changed and you have a baby now. But getting back to your old working, exercising, habits, activities, and abilities will take a while. I personally do some work at home, working at home jobs like: online writer, coding specialist, customer service representative, etc. and it took me a few weeks before I was even able to think about doing some at-home-work. Another thing to keep in mind is that it is more than ok to ask for and receive help. If a parent, grandparent, aunt offers to take care of the baby for an hour or so to let you sleep LET THEM! You are going to need all the sleep you can get especially with those two-hour feedings. It is OK to accept help.
Exercising After Birth
© 2014 Maddi