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*We’ve partnered with Rael to open up about the uglier side of postpartum life. 

Here’s the truth that no one tells you about having a baby: it is not for the weak of heart... or stomach. It’s not just the childbirth part. It’s the part that happens after childbirth. The gross stuff you didn’t even know would happen. The gross stuff you can’t believe is happening. 

Now, you may say that ignorance is bliss; but we say, the more you know, the better prepared you’ll be to confront (and maybe even embrace) the uglier side of postpartum life. That’s why we partnered with Rael, a woman-run company that makes organic period products that really work, to let you in on a few little secrets. 

FEATURED VIDEO

Here are 8 gross things that happen after childbirth -- and a little gift of 20% off at getrael.com with code WRNY20 until Dec. 31.

1. Periods that #cantstopwontstop. Wasn’t it a nice little perk not to have your period for a while? Well, now that baby’s born, your monthly visitor is bound to return; and let’s just say, it will be a wee bit, uh, different. Have you seen Niagara Falls, ladies? Don’t let your new flow ruin every pair of underwear you own. Invest in a pair of Rael's 100% organic period panties paired with some of their pads. And no, adding a pad underneath isn’t overkill. Trust us. 

2. So much sweat. You think you’ve gotten sweaty at SoulCycle? That’s nothing compared to the deluge of sweat that comes from postpartum hormones. Like, you wake up with your hair and bed sheets drenched. On the plus side, you’re already doing daily loads of baby laundry, so adding in your sheets is no biggie.

3. Embarrassing acne. Popping out a baby is one thing. You were prepared for that. But a dozen zits popping up all over your face? You didn’t really sign up for that. Rael makes a whole line of facial sheet masks to keep your postpartum skin balanced, and acne healing patches that naturally suck all the gunk right out.

4. Leaky boobs. You wake up confused, cold and wet wondering why your shirt is plastered to your boobs. No, you weren’t in an overnight wet t-shirt contest. It’s breastmilk. And that stuff is going to keep leaking until your milk dries up and your boobs go from huge and full to flat and saggy. Postpartum does have its “perks.”

5. Forever peeing your pants. You can’t cough, you can’t sneeze, you can’t even laugh at a joke without peeing a little. And this isn’t just right after you give birth; if you recently gave birth, you’re going to be springing leaks for a while. But here’s what you can do: stock up on panty liners so you can stay fresh and feel confident. Rael’s liners are all natural, which means ground zero is safe from harsh and harmful chemicals. 

6. Yes, your feet are actually growing. While you were distracted by how much sleep you’re not getting and how this nursing thing is kind of hard, your feet have grown a half a size. It’s a weird new mom phenomenon that totally sucks and makes no sense, but look on the bright side: new shoes?

7. Postpartum hair loss. If your partner gets angry that you keep clogging the shower drain with all the hair that won’t stop falling out, calmly remind them YOU JUST BIRTHED A BABY. And then get yourself a couple hats, because chances are high your mane will be rather patchy for the foreseeable future.

8. Eau de Childbirth. You’re going to notice a strange smell down there. We swear you’re the only one who can smell it (right?) but it can’t hurt to invest in a few of Rael’s Natural Feminine Cleansing Wipes. They’re flushable and biodegradable, which means you don’t have to search for a trash can at your MIL’s house. And doesn’t your vagina deserve a little extra love right now?

Get 20% off at getrael.com with code WRNY20 until Dec. 31. Shop our faves here:

Rael Sheet Masks bundle, $39.99
Rael pads, $6.90
Rael feminine cleansing wipes, $5.90
Rael acne healing patch, $4.50
Rael liners, $4.50

There's the magazine cover photo of the new celebrity mom glowing as she looks down at the beautiful, sleeping baby in her arms—and then there's real life.

In real life, postpartum mothers are just as likely to be wearing diapers as their babies are, and bumps need months to deflate.

That's why we're so grateful for the way celebrities are ditching damaging narratives about postpartum perfection and embracing the messy authenticity of new motherhood. Thanks to these modern mamas, the rest of us are seeing our own experiences reflected in pop culture, and that lets us know we're not alone.

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