1. Postpartum bleeding is normal: We bet they didn’t tell you that most women bleed for about six weeks after they have a baby. It starts out as a heavy period. After a few days the bleeding will become lighter in both flow and colour, and then turn pinkish, then yellowish, then white and finally clear. The timeline varies for everyone. You may also have a few small blood clots, especially when you stand up after sitting or lying down for a long time.
2. Every birth is different: You may find that you’re constantly being told other people’s birth stories. And that’s awesome, as long as you’re finding it helpful and inspiring. But if you get to a place where you feel stressed as you’re listening, or are hearing things that make you worry, it’s okay to ask people to save their stories until after your baby is born. Every birth really is unique, so try to focus on what you want your story to look like.
3. Your nurse is your ‘delivery-bestie’: If you’re having a hospital birth, there is a good chance your provider will be taking care of multiple women at the same time. So while they should be in to check on you frequently, chances are they won’t be by your side for most of your labour. Your nurse, on the other hand, will probably be taking care of only you, so she’ll be with you for much more of your labour.
5. You’ll still have a belly for a while: It takes a while for your uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size. And, your body has gone through (and will continue to go through) tremendous changes. You’ll probably be most comfortable in maternity clothes for at least the first month or so after giving birth (or way longer, who are we kidding). Be gentle with yourself. Remember, YOU JUST MADE A BABY.