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10 Symptoms I didn't expect postpartum

10 Symptoms I didn't expect postpartum

10 Unexpected Postpartum Symptoms You May Not Have Heard Of

We’ve detailed uncommon pregnancy symptoms (see here) and now it’s time to go through some of the unexpected side effects after you’ve had your baby! Everybody tells you how tired you’ll be and that it’ll take around 6 weeks to heal after delivery but did you know about getting the chills or even the sweats?

Below we’ve detailed 10 Unexpected Postpartum Symptoms You May Not Have Heard Of.

1. The Delivery Chills

Although not well known, a common side effect after you’ve given birth is getting the chills. Like a lot of symptoms, hormones play a part. The adrenaline your body produces to push can cause chills once you stop. Chills are more common with c-section and epidural deliveries so it’s believed that medication plays a part in this symptom as well. If you get the chills immediately after delivery, it usually lasts about an hour. If you get the chills in the days after birth make sure to let your healthcare provider know as this can be a symptom of infection.

2. Getting Sweaty

Having a baby doesn’t push you straight into menopause – but the hormonal effects can be the same. Getting postpartum night sweats can happen due to lowering levels of estrogen as your body adjusts to not being pregnant anymore. Changes in estrogen and progesterone can cause an increase or decrease in body temperature.

Night sweats can also be caused by the body ridding itself of excess fluid built up during pregnancy. Your body usually disposes of this with urine but sweating is also common.

3. Zero appetite

Been eating all the food you could find while pregnant? In the immediate postpartum period you may feel like a totally different person and need to force yourself to eat. As hormones change (yes, again with the hormones) foods that you used to enjoy may now seem bland. This time it’s progesterone.

It’s not only changes in your hormone levels that can cause your appetite to decrease. A lot changes in your life postpartum like your sleeping patterns, pain during recovery and different new stresses in your life, and these can all impact your appetite. Don’t worry too much, hormonal imbalance typically normalises quickly. Just try to take care of yourself and eat well in the meantime.

4. Postpartum Hair Loss

Have an amazing mane while pregnant and now it’s started falling out? Postpartum hair loss or ‘excessive hair shredding’ is normal and is caused by falling estrogen levels. If you notice over time that you are still filling up your hairbrush, talk to your healthcare professional about ruling out other potential conditions like hypothyroidism or iron deficiency anaemia.

5. The Organ Puzzle

It’s not uncommon to still feel short of breath for a few weeks postpartum, or to feel pain and cramping as your organs move back to their normal positions.

When pregnant, as your uterus grows it pushes up and out of the pelvic cavity, squashing the rest of your organs to make room. As your uterus returns to its normal shape once it isn’t rented out anymore, the other organs in your abdominal cavity shift back into their normal positions too – including your vagina, urethra and anus. Have difficulty breathing when you were heavily pregnant? You’ll find over time that you’ll breathe easier as your lungs get their space back.

If you find that you are uncomfortable post-delivery – particularly when standing – try wearing postnatal support underwear or a belly band.

6. The Sleep Deprivation

We know, you’ve been told that the sleep deprivation with a newborn will be hard…..but it is HARD. We had visitors over a week or so after our first and my husband served cold tea. He thought he’d boiled the kettle but had just imagined it.

The important thing to do at this time is try to take care of yourself. Try to sleep whenever you can and don’t be afraid to ask for support. A lot of us have been there and understand. Not sure how people will be able to help? Prep in advance and ask for meals and child-minding so that you can have a nap. And remember, it does get easier.

7. Mum Shame

Mum shame is real. And not just from others but also the pressure that you can put on yourself.

We’ve all read stories or experienced pushy parents, in-laws and friends ‘suggesting’ their ideas about how you should raise your child. Don’t let them get to you. This is your baby and you will raise them your way.

Don’t put pressure on yourself either about what you can do for your child or think that you aren’t doing enough, be it entertaining a newborn, feeling like using formula makes you a failure or worrying about cleaning your home. You are doing your best and that’s all your baby could ever expect or want.

8. Your body can be forever changed

Goodbye size 6 waist! Growing life is a huge event for your body and it can make your body permanently different. Be it stretch marks on your belly or boobs, a little extra weight or some looser belly skin, your body has accomplished something amazing and deserves to be treated like the temple that it is. Give yourself time to get back to being you, bouncing back isn’t a thing for everyone. And if you have to go up a shoe size or two due to your pregnancy – so be it!

9. The baby blues

Oh the day 3 crying! ‘Baby Blues’ are very common and affect up to 80% of new mothers.

Rapidly changing hormone levels after birth and the birth experience itself are thought to cause this condition. Postpartum blues tend hit new mothers 3 to 5 days after giving birth with symptoms including Mood Swings, Teariness, Feeling Overwhelmed and Feeling Anxious. Watch for these symptoms lasting for longer though, as they could be a sign of postnatal anxiety or depression.

10. The absolute love for your child

Some of the topics on this list may seem negative, but the absolute all-encompassing love for your child and their love for you makes all of them worth it. If you don’t feel this way straight away that’s ok - once all those hormones and exhaustion settle these feeling do come eventually!

What symptoms did you have that you didn’t expect? Let us know!

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