What you don’t expect when you’re expecting

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Are you ready? I’m going to tell you what REALLY goes on after giving birth. I want to shed some light on the unsexy side of pregnancy. Here it is: Motherhood uncensored.

Most postpartum photos are of Mom and baby snuggling skin to skin. But, in real life, Motherhood is messy. Your body is still going through serious hormonal shifts. This is the worst of what to expect when you have a baby.

  1. Your baby won’t be the only one wearing a diaper when you head home from the hospital.

Most women don’t know about lochia. After giving birth, it’s common to bleed for 4-6 weeks. #JoysofMotherhood

It starts as a heavy, bright red flow. Then, the discharge becomes watery and changes colors from pink or brown to yellow or white.

Chrissy Teigen was just as shocked as you. After birthing her first daughter, she tweeted, “No one told me I would be coming home in diapers, too.”

Hospitals will provide women with disposable mesh underwear, pads, or adult diapers. If there was a vaginal tear during labor, the diaper will keep it clean.

Amanda Bacon posted a photo of herself on Facebook in a diaper after birthing her son, because she wanted to share the reality of postpartum life. As you can see, her post had 120,000 comments and 186,000 shares! It’s time to open up about this stuff. I agree that it’s helpful to educate and embrace every part of childbirth, even moments we’d rather forget.

  1. Mama-to-be drool.

You expect crazy food cravings and mood swings. But, extra saliva? Really? Yep.

What causes this? I blame it on hormones. Feeling nauseous and heartburn can create excess saliva. #JoysofMotherhood

Here’s what you can do: Swish mouthwash and brush your teeth several times a day. Suck on hard candy and avoid starchy foods.

It gets better, ladies.

  1. Peeing in your pants 

You won’t be the only one urinating between diaper changes. After childbirth, one in three women experiences light bladder leakage or even complete loss of bladder control. This is due to weakened pelvic floor muscles.

Your pelvic floor is a hub of muscles and tissues that stretch across your pelvic bones. It supports your pelvic organs, which include your uterus, vagina, bladder, and bowels.

The weight of your baby and all the pushing and pressure of labor can stretch the pelvic floor muscles. When this happens, you may leak (known as incontinence), pass gas, or move your bowels more often. #JoysofMotherhood

What’s a new mama to do? When you feel ready, start exercising. Clench your pelvic muscles for 5 seconds as if you’re holding pee back or trying not to fart. Repeat this 10 times for 3 reps.

Having a well-toned pelvic floor enhances female orgasm and makes sex more satisfying. I see you smiling. 

  1. Don’t throw out your maternity pants too soon.

I used to think as soon as I had a baby, my belly would magically disappear. Your bump won’t immediately go away. That’s OK!

Your uterus took 9 months to grow a baby. Your cells that swelled during pregnancy will slowly begin to release the extra fluid through sweat, urine, and vaginal secretions. The extra fat you gained to nourish your baby will start to burn off.

Be patient as your belly goes back to normal. How long will it take? It depends on your method of delivery, your weight pre-pregnancy, and the strength of your abdominals. Most women will see a big difference in 6-8 weeks after giving birth. Breastfeeding and exercise will speed up the weight loss.

  1. Your partner acts like he’s pregnant, too.

I saved the best for last. You’re not the only one wanting pickles and ice cream at midnight! Fathers-to-be experience sympathetic pregnancy symptoms. This is called couvade syndrome, and it’s quite common. Get ready if they also gain weight, feel nauseous, and have disordered sleeping patterns. #JoysofMotherhood

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” guides first-time parents through the uncertainties of pregnancy. It’s one of USA Today’s “25 Most Influential Books.” Let me be real, it doesn’t prepare you for everything.

Here it is, new Mom. The truth about pregnancy and giving birth. Sometimes it’ll suck, but I wouldn’t have gone through it twice if the good didn’t outshine the bad. Let’s embrace the beautiful mess that Motherhood is and not be afraid to talk about it. All of it!

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