4. You cry a lot.
Your hormones are RAGING, causing all of your emotions to be intensified. Thankfully, a few weeks after the baby is born your estrogen and progesterone levels will go back to normal, and you won’t walk around like Carrie Mathison.
5. You’ll feel stabbing pains in your abdomen.
As the ligaments around your uterus stretch and strengthen to support your growing uterus, you might feel brief, stabbing pains around your bikini line. It’s totally normal! But, if these stabbing pains come with bleeding or any other discharge, call your practitioner immediately.
6. Pregnancy cravings actually serve a purpose.
Some practitioners believe what a woman craves is related to something her body or baby needs. Cravings for red meat (you need iron) and ice cream (an indicator of a drop in blood sugar) are normal, but call your doctor immediately if you have the urge to eat non-food items like laundry starch, soil, and paint chips (you might have pica).
14. Post-cesarean section gas pains can be as painful as labor.
Your bowels are sluggish after surgery, and as they wake up the gas pain can be so intense you feel like you’re dying. The gas build-up sometimes pushes on your diaphragm, causing referred pain in your shoulders. It’s super fun all around.
16. You might not get that that “burst of love” the moment you meet your baby.
You’re not a monster if you don’t experience that Hollywood-style wave of emotion when you meet your baby for the first time. You just birthed a human and your hormones are totally out of whack. While this can be caused by postpartum depression, be kind to yourself and know that everyone feels emotions differently.
17. Breastfeeding can be really hard.
Some moms and babies master it right away, while others need months to get the routine down. Going in with realistic expectations (it will hurt at first) and having a good support system (lactation consultants, new mom groups) will make a world of difference. And, you can always switch to formula if that’s what’s best for you and your baby.
19. You’ll have contractions when you breastfeed…
Breastfeeding triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin, which in turn causes the contractions that help your uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. These contractions are good — they are making your belly smaller!
Thumbnail photo by Creative Portraits.