The Discomforts After Birth by Teresa Palmer

It’s a given that you will have some pain down there after all that your lady parts have been through! However I can certainly say that I was not prepared for what I experienced after giving birth to Bodhi. Most of the baby books I was reading talked about pregnancy, preparations leading up to the birth, what happens during labor and then the breastfeeding relationship with your child. I had never read about what to expect and how to deal with discomfort in the weeks post birth. I suffered from a small “abrasion” as it was labelled in the hospital. In a higher position then what was apparently typical which made going pee excruciating. I found this out a few hours after birth. I inched my way to the bathroom with a nurse and started to pee and almost screamed. It burned like crazy, I remember thinking “really?! After all of THAT?!” Ha.

The nurse suggested running toilet paper under warm water and holding it down there, although it brought some relief it was still so painful that I would be on the verge of tears every time. Oh and the other thing they didn’t tell you is that after birth when you gotta go to the toilet you GOTTA GO. There is no “preparation of the warm compress” time. It was ugly and horrifying and after trying out various methods to deal with this uncomfortable situation I discovered that peeing in a bucket of warm water was the best solution. My husband and Mum always made sure there was a fresh bucket of water near the toilet just in case. I finally had some relief and was able to heal in about 2 weeks. I also needed my husband to lift me from the couch for about the first 5 days as I groaned and shuffled my way along. I felt really bruised, more of an incessant aching feeling but that subsided relatively quickly. Thank god I had a sweet new baby to focus on because the rest of it was pretty physically miserable.

Those first two weeks were a blur of lying on the couch in somewhat of a daze, sleeping during the day when Bodhi did and just being together which made all of the discomfort worth it. My precious little guy would demand to accompany me still firmly attached to my boobs during my bathroom breaks. I know I’m certainly not the first mum to pull down her pants with one hand, holding her milk drunk baby latched on to nipple with the other (whilst trying to pee in a bucket of warm water!) nor will I be the last. Knowing that I was not alone brought comfort and despite the challenges I was and still am, overcome by the sheer pride I take in being a part of the best club in the world- being somebody’s Mama. I will take all the buckets of pee water any day to get to feel that primal otherworldly love that I get every day.

Tips for post birth discomfort- Prior to the birth buy jumbo pads and pour witch hazel and tea tree oil on them and then put them in ziplock bags and place them in the freezer. They’ll come in handy when your lady parts are sore. Just slip them in to your undies and it brings amazing relief! Take warm showers and baths frequently. If you have torn, pee in a bucket of water OR have a jug full of water next to the toilet and pour it on to yourself while you pee. Make sure you get to just veg out for those first few weeks. Allow others to cook for you, to hold the baby while you sleep. Also ensure your husband or someone else can be on call to help get you off the couch!

Be slow, gentle and present.