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What to Expect After You Have a Baby – the Real Deal!

Hurray, the baby is here! Congratulations and well done you! So what now? Do you know what to expect after you have a baby?

Well apart from grabbing the nearest glass of wine and piece of brie, you might experience some new things that you were not quite expecting.

Here’s my list of what to expect after birth – let me know if you share these.

What to Expect after you have a Baby

1.  Uninvited Guests

Oh yes, they mean well, they’re acting out of genuine excitement and love but add a tiny and cute newborn baby to your household and expect a barrage of well-wishers knocking on your door every day.

Which would be lovely if their intention was to clean your house, let you take a nap or, um, bring you cake. Let’s be honest though, they really just want to get their newborn cuddle fix sorted. Perhaps some want to check out how your post-pregnancy diet is going too! Grr.

If you do not want visitors until you’re feeling more settled at home then be firm and stay strong – and get your partner in on it too. Don’t worry about offending people too much, the baby will still be there to cuddle in a few week’s time but for now, enjoy your little ‘new family bubble’ and find your feet in your own time.

What to Expect after you have a Baby - Love from Mim

2.  Phantom Kicks

This is a weird one and I do remember experiencing it for weeks’ after having my first baby. My daughter was a very active kicker in the womb and after I gave birth, I STILL ‘felt’ those kicks occasionally – weird!

I could only put it down to my uterus contracting after birth but it was a little bit disconcerting at times – and caused me to rub my tummy a lot in public – cue worried looks from strangers.

I was expecting some after birth pains, just not kicks.

3.  Contractions

Contractions? After the birth? Why yes!

Luckily my midwife did warn me of this one but if you breastfeed like me, you’ll likely experience mild contractions after birth whilst feeding for the first couple of weeks as apparently breastfeeding causes your uterus to contract. Which is a good thing of course.

My uterus after birth didn’t take too long to get back to normal.

It’s nothing too painful, more like very mild period pains.

4.  Extreme Hunger and Thirst

This is something else I’ve experienced after each pregnancy when I’m breastfeeding. I’m not exaggerating either – I mean extreme!

It’s really important to drink plenty of water while breastfeeding though and to eat healthily so don’t allow yourself to get dehydrated.

I don’t think it gives me carte blanche to eat all of the cake though oops. Or the Dairy Milk.

Probably not my best advice for what to expect after labour and delivery!

5.  Bleeding

Whether you gave birth vaginally or via a c section, post birth bleeding after birth is inevitable. Your period after birth will return when it’s ready – this differs for everyone. Your first period after giving birth will likely be different to how it was before pregnancy too until things get back to a new normal.

To be fair, we have been period-free for 9 months prior at least.

How long do you bleed after giving birth? Well, around six weeks for most.

So stock up on the maternity pads and Dairy Milk. Ok, perhaps the chocolate isn’t a necessity.

It is though, isn’t it?

6.  Pressure to Lose the Baby Weight from your Post Pregnancy Body

Whether it’s from yourself, a family member/friend or an advert on TV, you might well experience this pressure soon after having the baby – the pressure to get your pre-baby body back.

Personally, I don’t want my pre-baby body back, I want my 21-year-old body back! But you know what I mean.

Be kind to yourself and your body after baby and set some priorities – looking after your baby and your well-being comes first. Being a new parent can be hard enough so give yourself a chance to recover and heal physically and emotionally after childbirth before you take on any more challenges.

Enjoy every minute of my newborn snuggles while they last.

Giving birth to a baby takes it’s toll on your body so give yourself time for recovering from childbirth. You might even like your body after giving birth more!

It’s hard not to compare your body before and after pregnancy though, right?

Read next:

Hemorrhoids after childbirth are a thing too – but that’s a story for another day.

Any changes to your body after pregnancy? What did you experience after childbirth that you were not expecting?

Any advice for other new mums on what to expect when having a baby?

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60 Comments

  1. Baby Names
    / 12:35 pm

    Pregnant is a great process, and you will experience more than expected.

  2. Lisa (BadMammy.com)
    / 6:28 am

    I wish I’d been warned about the contractions – after my C-Section I was already quite sore so when these started I thought something was seriously wrong! A visit to the maternity hospital later, I was reassured it wasn’t a complication!

    • / 7:05 pm

      They can be so strong though can’t they – took me by surprise a bit too! x

  3. Su
    / 12:45 am

    I can relate to uninvited guests, only because my house would most likely be a pig style as I don’t really have the energy to tidy up frankly. ;) Yes, the Contractions… I breastfeed straightway so the contractions were felt straight after labour but not that strong. Pretty cool though how the milk just flow from our boobs! :)

    • Su
      / 12:45 am

      from #TheList 46

    • / 1:12 pm

      I know what you mean – I wish someone would come in and clean my house for me :)

  4. Mrs Puddleducky
    / 9:41 pm

    Oh yes I remember the phantom kicking, very strange! God I miss feeling those kicks x

    • / 9:59 pm

      Aw there isn’t much better than those kicks :)

  5. Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops
    / 11:57 am

    I second stocking up on chocolate and the fact that you are endlessly hungry! Those phantom kicks are so weird aren’t they =)

    • / 5:09 pm

      I’m still starving 10 weeks on!! :)

  6. Louise @ Birds and Lilies
    / 7:49 pm

    Love this post and I think it’s great to share this kind of thing so people can know what to expect. I have heard the contractions afterwards are a lot worse the second time around, so I’m not looking forward to that! And yes, cake and chocolate are definitely necessary! xx

    • / 5:08 pm

      Thank you! The after pains didn’t last for long fortunately :) :)

  7. everything mummy
    / 9:34 pm

    Agree with all of these! Especially the thirst what it with that I would drink sooo much water when feeding Lottie it was ridiculous Thanks for linking up with #sundaystars

    • / 5:08 pm

      Haha thanks lady! :)

  8. Caro | The Twinkles Mama
    / 12:56 pm

    The bloodless after my c-section with the twins was a real eye-opener!! Who knew? They don’t tell you these things do they?! :) Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro | http://www.thetwinklediaries.co.uk

    • / 4:04 pm

      Thanks so much lady! :)

  9. Fionnuala
    / 9:12 am

    How true! The afterpains are horrible, aren’t they? Especially the way the get so bad as soon as you latch the little one on for a feed.
    #TwinklyTuesday
    Fionnuala from http://www.threesonslater.blogspot.com

    • / 4:03 pm

      I had no idea what they were for ages! Glad they didn’t last too long :)

  10. / 9:15 am

    Yes I do remember some of these! It has been a while though haha x

    • / 11:22 am

      Glad it isn’t just me! :)

  11. Mum in Brum
    / 10:05 am

    So true! The uninvited guests lasted for months for us – I don’t think people realise just how tired you are or how little time you’ve suddenly got. They do mean well though bless them! Even now when i get an odd sensation in my tummy I think ”oh it’s just a kick” and then remember I’m not pregnant anymore! Ha. Thanks for sharing #TwinklyTuesday

    • / 11:18 am

      Isn’t it funny – I think it’s because we feel like we’ve been pregnant forever! :)

  12. International Elf Service
    / 7:59 pm

    Great post! Not sure about you but for the first few days after birth I had the most dreadful night sweats and couldn’t stop weeing!! Totally gross but it was a very effective way for my body to get rid of the extra fluid that it had been clinging on to! #sundaystars

    • / 11:20 am

      Oh I think I got that too yes but didn’t realise it was the hormones! :)

  13. / 9:18 pm

    Oh the phantom kicks is such a weird sensation isn’t it?! I had it for weeks after having Sam #sundaystars x

    • / 12:24 am

      It’s so strange – like an alien! :)

  14. Emily
    / 9:27 am

    SO glad it wasn’t just me with the extreme hunger/thirst and need for Dairy Milk (absolutely a necessity, although not totally compatible with Operation Lose Baby Weight) x

    • / 12:25 am

      Ha ha and I’m glad it wasn’t just me with the Dairy Milk! :)

  15. Mummy Muddler
    / 5:34 am

    Definitely extreme hunger and thirst, which doesn’t help the pressure to lose weight!
    I would add a lot more pain and discomfort than I’d ever imagined. But just 10 weeks on and it’s already quite hard to remember exactly what it felt like!
    X

    • / 12:27 am

      Oh that does give me hope for when I’m at 10 weeks :) hope you’re feeling well! :)

  16. Love From Clueless Mum
    / 8:38 pm

    I wish I’d known what to expect after giving birth, it would have been reassuring to know that everything was normal. I never had phantom kicks but I couldn’t stop myself from rubbing my stomach as if my bump was still there. Definitely agree with the comments about crying and dreams as well. I kept waking up and looking for baby in my bed after dreaming I’d fallen asleep holding her!

    • / 11:18 pm

      I still rub my tummy 5 weeks on – I really need to stop! :)

  17. MOMM
    / 10:26 am

    haha great list! Those phantom kicks used to freak me out!! #thelist

    • / 3:29 pm

      They’re crazy aren’t they! :)

  18. Rosie @ Little Fish
    / 10:14 pm

    Great post – agree with all of these, brings it all back! Agree with the person who added crying – I think this was the thing I least expected. For the first 2 weeks I would be randomly crying all the time and it was quite unsettling asIi didn’t expect it. After 2 weeks it disappeared, but I think it’s good to know it’s perfectly normal and expected for that to happen. Obviously if it goes on for longer then you might need to speak to someone, as could be PND – but the first couple of weeks I think it’s fairly standard! Did anyone else get weird hallucination/dream type things during that time – or was it just me?! I used to wake up and think little man was in my arms and panic when he wasn’t. I’d scramble around the bed looking for him, half asleep – then realise he was fast asleep in his crib! Totally agree to be kind to yourself! And don’t worry, it all gets easier!

    • / 3:31 pm

      Thank you and YES I got those weird dreams too first time around! I used to wake up panicking that I’d rolled onto her in the bed even though I’ve never even bed-shared! Glad it isn’t just me :)

  19. Katrina Chambers
    / 9:01 pm

    Wow I never knew what those kicks were, after the birth, thought I was going mad!!

    BTW Chocolate is always a necessity, always!
    Katrina #TheList

    • / 9:02 pm

      Isn’t it weird – they really took me by surprise too! Oh I want more chocolate now :)

  20. / 7:53 am

    This is so accurate! I wish I’d heard of the phantom kicks before I had Evie haha. I was so worried afterwards that there was another baby in their & they hadn’t realise. What an idiot!
    This is such a great list. Every mum-to-be should read this! :-D

    Chloe
    x
    #thelist

    • / 8:43 am

      I thought the same thing after my first – they must have left something in ha! :)

  21. Eimear
    / 3:37 pm

    Totally agree – especially with the phantom kicks and the weightloss urgh! #thelist

    • / 6:25 pm

      Glad it isn’t just me! :)

  22. Chantal
    / 10:28 am

    These are all so so true!! I didn’t know I would be having contractions AFTER giving birth and I was definitely not impressed by it at all! Also I’ve only just started to get phantom kicks as 4 months postpartum which is bizarre xx
    #TheList

    • / 11:59 am

      Ooh 4 months later! That’s crazy – it just doesn’t stop after the birth :)

  23. Mumma McD
    / 8:11 am

    Oh yes those phantom kicks are weird!! I remember feeling a sense of grief that my bump was gone too, even though the result of the bump was in my arms… hormones mess with your mind!!

    • / 8:42 am

      Oh the hormones have so much to answer for :)

  24. Mama, My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows
    / 7:41 am

    This is a great post. The cramping totally took me by surprise. Very weird, although not as odd as phantom kicks. Were you worried they’d left one in there?!

    • / 7:44 am

      First time round I did wonder if they’d left a twin behind! :)

  25. / 11:48 am

    Ooh – I never had any phantom kicks! How strange! Great attitude about pressure to lose baby weight. It’ll happen given time, it doesn’t need to be a focus. As you say, there are much more important things.

    • / 7:45 am

      Ah thank you, it will! But not yet :) :)

  26. Seychellesmama
    / 9:57 am

    Love this!!
    All the memories post having Arthur just came flooding back!! Some of those not so nice “side effects” of having a baby I had forgot about so it’s probably good you’ve reminded me so I can be more mentally prepared this time around!!!
    Popping over from #brillblogposts x

    • / 7:46 am

      I still forgot a lot – but it all floods back quite quickly :) hope you’re feeling well!

  27. Katie Heels & Hooves
    / 9:02 am

    Oh my goodness, so much to look forward to! ;-) Hope you’re doing OK though lovely xx

    • / 7:45 am

      Ha – it’s never ending! We’re v good, thanks lovely :)

  28. Alex
    / 8:11 am

    Love this post! All of the above are so true. I would add crying to the list. Lots of crying. And then more crying. For no reason, maybe just because you put your shoes on the wrong feet! Alex xx #brillblogposts

    • / 8:33 am

      Oh how could I forget The Crying!! :) :)

  29. Luisa @ Looking for mama me
    / 7:24 am

    Yes, I had all these! I also had the fun of being stitched up after a massive tear and hobbling around for weeks unable to sit properly. I also needed my uterus manually contracted straight after birth thanks to a super short 2 hour labour, now thats a whole world of pain to go through straight after you’ve had a baby!

    • / 7:29 am

      Oh that doesn’t sound fun! You just want to relax with your baby afterwards :)

  30. Emilyandindiana
    / 6:06 pm

    i keep hearing about these after pains and really hoping I can avoid them again – I didn’t really have them with my first but then I suppose I was in pain with everything else haha xx

    • / 6:24 pm

      Just when you think it’s all over! They aren’t too bad though :)

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I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land I work and live on, the Awabakal peoples, and pay my respects to Elders past and present.
I thank them wholeheartedly and express my love and gratitude for the privilege to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world and for the opportunity for my family to be part of this vibrant and supportive community.