The Real Scoop on Your Postpartum Life

Written by: Jamie Russo

Last night, I was in bed reading an article in the "baby" section in a parenting magazine about life after baby.  Maybe the author gave birth so long ago that she has forgotten the real deal.  Here are some excerpts with my “real scoop” inserted.  

“You may lose some hair, develop acne, feel teary, and have night sweats until your hormones return to normal.”

The Real Scoop:

Hair loss:  You know that thick, flowing, goddess-like hair you sported during your pregnancy?  Well, sister, that’s all over.  Your bathroom floor will be covered in hair and you may have bald spots at your temples.  It might grow back gray, wispy and unmanageable.  It’ll all be worth it but find a good stylist now.

Tears:  This implies “sappy Hallmark commercial tears.” My husband probably thought I was certifiable for a few months post-baby. I could not have a conversation with him about a 20% chance of showers without losing it. 

Acne:  Teenager much? 

Night sweats:  Soaked t-shirts.  Enough said.

“Six weeks recovery time is just an estimate and if you have a cesarean section, give yourself twelve weeks to recover from the abdominal surgery.”

The Real Scoop:

Sleep-deprived but desperate to start dropping weight and start feeling more “normal,” I returned to my beloved Crossfit classes just eight week after my c-section. I broke my hand in two places doing box jumps.  “Teary” might describe my reaction to the occupational therapist (male) that told me I should not hold my baby for 10 weeks. 

“While you and your baby are learning to breastfeed, you may temporarily experience sore nipples and engorgement.”

The real scoop:

The hospital might repeatedly suggest that your baby needs formula to gain weight.  Your nipples might crack and bleed.  You will have no idea if your baby has eaten enough or not.  You can’t figure out the darned Hooter Hider and have to feed in isolation for what seems like hours on end.

Other postpartum myths this particular article does not mention:

The pounds will just melt away.

The real scoop:

True, if you have miracle genes or had an aversion to carbohydrates while pregnant.  If not, you will probably continue to look pregnant for several weeks This alone is enough to put you well past “teary.”

The delivery experience will be romantic and your husband will shower you with sparkly jewels.

The real scoop:

He has probably never heard of a “pushing present” and you might have to ask him to stop checking the football scores and responding to work emails in the delivery room.

You secretly think you might be getting a little break out of this deal – family members galore are coming to cook, clean and give you breaks to nap.

The real scoop: 

Your parents, competent cooks throughout your childhood, are now totally freaked out by your fancy kitchen and want to order pizza. They aren’t convinced that “back is best” and you don’t dare leave them with the baby to get some sleep.

If you deliver in a room with a view of the lake, it’s just like being in a hotel.

The real scoop:

Yes, you can order food to your room.  Yes, there’s a T.V.  That’s where the similarities end.

The cliché is absolutely true - it’s all worth it!  If you’re expecting, the upcoming NPN event on the real scoop on postpartum featuring an OBGyn, therapist and lactation consultant is a must-attend.  http://npnparents.org/events/735

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 1:33 PM