- In This Feature
- Know What to Expect
- Lochia: When Will I Stop Bleeding?
- The Linea Nigra: When Will That Line On My Belly Disappear?
- Stretch Marks: When Will They Go Away?
- Postpartum Alopecia: Why Is My Hair Falling Out?
- Sleep Deprivation: Why Can't I Think Straight?
- Skin Changes: Why Do I Have Pimples?
- Engorgement: How Do I Get My Breasts to Calm Down?
- Soft Breasts: Where Did All My Milk Go?
- Stress Incontinence: Why Am I Dribbling?
- Sweating: Why Am I Soaking the Sheets Each Night?
- Surviving: Hang In There!
Know What to Expect
I was fully prepared to take care of an infant. I had faithfully read all the latest books, attended newborn care classes, and stocked the nursery with clippers, soaps, cotton balls, and ointments. When my baby came home, I knew how to give baths, trim tiny nails, and burp like a pro. But when I endured a six-week-long period, peed when I laughed, and found my hair falling out in clumps, I gazed in the mirror at the zit-covered, flabby ghost of my former self and wondered, "What on earth happened to me and when will the old me come back?"
Although the discharge notes from the hospital briefly outline postpartum care for mothers, and a few baby books toss in a quick chapter for new moms, most of the available literature focuses exclusively on the baby and assumes that once you're not pregnant anymore, you're back to your old self. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! The first three months postpartum are a time of tremendous physical upheaval in a woman's body, and every woman should know what to expect.