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After all the great expectations and the excitement of bringing forth a new life into this world, and when you thought you can settle down to business as usual…

You are going to be in for several shocks that no one bothered to tell you about. Welcome to the club, and here’s a list of 10 things that you didn’t contend for, but will have to learn to live with as a new mom:

1. The onset of Heavy Periods

You would have been happy missing your periods all these months when you were pregnant. Not anymore, because the deluge starts in full force again. It does not matter if it is a natural birth or a C-Section, you will have to put up with the postpartum bleeding. Lochia, as it is called, is like a dam breaching, and the discharge can go on for three to six weeks after birth. You can’t even use tampons because of the risk of infecting the uterus, and you’ll have to manage with the queen-sized pads the hospital thoughtfully provides you.

2. It can be quite messy down there

You cannot discount vaginal swelling for some time, and the sutures can be rather irritating. The ‘exit care’ includes ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth, a mild spray to rinse after urinating, doctor-prescribed medication for the inflammation and pain. If you are faint-hearted, don’t try to get a look at the mess with the help of a mirror, because it isn’t a pretty sight.

3. You are still gaining weight

All those grandmother tales that you’ll get back to your normal self soon after, are not entirely true. You’ll realize that you aren’t losing any weight, if not gaining. In spite of the tummy tuck (if you’ve had a C-Section) there’s still a lot of flab that just won’t go away. Give it some more time, and try the workouts that the models and celebrities seem to be doing to remain wafer-thin, and you’ll get back to your normal self again.

4. Postpartum depression can get to you

No new mom is spared the postpartum depression, and you are no exception. The hormonal imbalance is still at work and can play havoc on your moods. Some just let themselves down and try to cry it out, while others silently ‘grin and bear it’. Not everyone you come in contact will understand or be sympathetic, so less expectation means less disappointment. It is better to confide in people who will really understand, like your spouse for one.

5. Possibility of hair fall

You can’t rule out the loss of some of those wonderful tresses of yours. While some people lose more hair than others, no one seems to be able to escape from this postpartum malady. You can blame this one too on hormones instead of blaming your luck because luck has nothing to do with this. The good news is it is going to be easier to manage, and you could always try out the new ponytail ideas that you’d always wanted to.

6. Breastfeeding doesn’t come that easily

If you are the sort of mom who wants what’s best for your baby and insist on breastfeeding, be prepared to face some disappointments as well. It does not happy ‘just like that’ for many moms and may not happen for you too. The good news is you have efficient breast pumps that will help bail you out, and your baby gets to drink the much-talked-about elixir after all. So, don’t worry too much if you are unable to breastfeed your baby directly.

7. No love lost between you and yours truly

Imagine the scenario: Your baby sleeping peacefully beside you, and your husband sleeping like a baby, oblivious to any care in the world. And you lie awake at 2 am or some such ungodly hour, wondering why sleep is eluding you. You can’t be blamed you if you feel like taking a potshot at him with the breast pump. It is common to hate your husband, or rather, love him less during your postpartum mood swings.

8. That sultry feeling

It is commonplace to feel all hot and sweaty soon after giving birth, and this situation can continue for a few months. The dreaded hormones are to blame again, and the hot flashes you experience now and then can be unpleasant.

9. Unwieldy breasts

The unwieldy size of your breasts can cause some concern. However, this can happen if you skip a nursing session and the milk accumulates, giving a bloated look and feel. If you don’t particularly feel like feeding the baby at any point of time you could always use a breast pump and pump out the milk and store it for later use. This should give some relief and the wholesome milk doesn’t go waste either.

10. Messy Baby Poop

Well, your baby just can’t help it, so you will have to. Changing diapers and cleaning baby poop that finds its way out the sides is not an enviable task. Have wipes and change pads lying around handy. Don’t forget to carry spare baby outfits while on the go, it is going to save you a lot of embarrassment. Remember to launder poop-stained clothes separately and dry the washed linen in bright sunlight. And yes, remember to wash your hands thoroughly after every diaper change. 

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