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8 Gross Things That Happen After Childbirth

Because getting the baby out is just the beginning.

8 Gross Things That Happen After Childbirth

*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

I felt lost as a new mother, but babywearing helped me find myself again

I wish someone had told me before how special wearing your baby can be, even when you have no idea how to do it.

My first baby and I were alone in our Brooklyn apartment during a particularly cold spring with yet another day of no plans. My husband was back at work after a mere three weeks of parental leave (what a joke!) and all my friends were busy with their childless lives—which kept them too busy to stop by or check in (making me, at times, feel jealous).

It was another day in which I would wait for baby to fall asleep for nap number one so I could shower and get ready to attempt to get out of the house together to do something, anything really, so I wouldn't feel the walls of the apartment close in on me by the time the second nap rolled around. I would pack all the diapers and toys and pacifiers and pump and bottles into a ginormous stroller that was already too heavy to push without a baby in it .

Then I would spend so much time figuring out where we could go with said stroller, because I wanted to avoid places with steps or narrow doors (I couldn't lift the stroller by myself and I was too embarrassed to ask strangers for help—also hi, New Yorkers, please help new moms when you see them huffing and puffing up the subway stairs, okay?). Then I would obsess about the weather, was it too cold to bring the baby out? And by the time I thought I had our adventure planned, the baby would wake up, I would still be in my PJs and it was time to pump yet again.

Slowly, but surely, and mostly thanks to sleep deprivation and isolation, I began to detest this whole new mom life. I've always been a social butterfly. I moved to New York because I craved that non-stop energy the city has and in the years before having my baby I amassed new friends I made through my daily adventures. I would never stop. I would walk everywhere just to take in the scenery and was always on the move.

Now I had this ball and chain attached to me, I thought, that didn't even allow me to make it out of the door to walk the dog. This sucks, I would think regularly, followed by maybe I'm not meant to be a mom after all.


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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that newborns, especially, do not need a bath every day. While parents should make sure the diaper region of a baby is clean, until a baby learns how to crawl around and truly get messy, a daily bath is unnecessary.

So, why do we feel like kids should bathe every day?

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