Bring out the chef in your kiddo (trust me-this will work in your favour). They'll love having the opportunity to gain some independence in the kitchen while looking super cute!
Now that you’ve had your baby you can’t help but be reminded that your baby did come out of your vagina and you’re looking for some relief.
When it comes to postpartum care of your wonderful vagina after a vaginal birth there are some do’s and don’t’s. Of course, these are suggestions from a person who’s experienced vaginal birth, but I’m not a midwife or doctor. If you have concerns PLEASE go to your healthcare professional.
Do’s and Don’ts of taking care of your vagina after vaginal birth
–Use tampons or a diva cup for around 6 weeks and after the a-ok from your health care provider. Once you’ve got the all clear you may not even have to worry about your period for quite some time like some incredibly fortunate folks with a uterus….but if you’re like some other less fortunate folks (ahem) you’re looking at a super 3 months before you’re right back to your monthly blessing. Anyways, I digress…
–Use scented products. These can be bothersome to your bits and your body truly doesn’t need any more irritation.
–Overexert yourself physically. Your body JUST PUSHED A BABY OUT OF IT. Allow yourself some time to rest. If you don’t you may find that your lochia flow (the discharge experienced after giving birth) may increase, which is your body’s way of asking you to slow down. You may also find that if you don’t have some time to recover you may irritate any stitches you have…it’s just not worth it.
-Use toilet paper. You got yourself a neato Peri-bottle from the hospital or midwife and that baby works like a mini bidet. Even the softest toilet paper can feel like sandpaper on your poor vagina, so some warm water to rinse yourself off after using the toilet will be absolutely heavenly.
–Use organic cotton menstrual pads if possible. I mentioned above about heavily scented products being irritating. Heavily chemical-laden products can have the same effect. Even if you don’t normally use organic products for your menses it’s a good idea to do so immediately after vaginal birth; you’re likely a little lot tender and possibly torn up. It’s worth a bit of a splurge for your bad-ass vagina to have some organic comfort.
-Have sitz baths as often as you can. Pass off that baby to the nearest bystander (or, ya know, the Postpartum Doula that you hired) and get yourself to the bathroom. You can have a sitz bath in your bathtub or with a kit that attaches to the toilet. Either way you do it you’ll likely find some relief from any swelling and discomfort.
There are some folks who add botanicals and such to their sitz bath but make sure to talk to your healthcare professional before doing that. However, if you’re looking for a good brand “Earth Mama Angel” has a great reputation. I’ve used a few of their products and have enjoyed the simplicity of the ingredients.
-Use stool softeners, if necessary. Don’t use them if not necessary, because, why would you? However, if you’re finding it difficult to have those first postpartum poos you may want to consider talking to your healthcare provider about some stool softeners if the classic: loads of water, prunes, fruits and vegetables, a bit of wine, and flax seeds aren’t doing the trick.
Bearing down while you’re trying to poop will just add more pressure to your perineum which will ultimately cause more pain and swelling.
–Use Witch hazel. Witch hazel saved my perineum. I found that dabbing a bit directly on my perineum or wearing a pad with Witch hazel on it gave me some relief. You can grab standard Witch hazel from your local pharmacy or buy premade pads (along with everything else you’d ever need for relief through the suggested products).
**If you have extra Witch hazel left over you can use it as a toner on your face:)
–Use cooling pads or ice packs. Or, if you’re a bit of a baby like me, run a cloth under cold water, ring it out, and apply it to your perineum. I hated using ice and that was a happy compromise between my preferences and what Google was telling me I should be doing.
–Wear loose, comfortable undies. I know, I know…you’re saying: “Oh, but I was SO looking forward to wearing my sexiest negligee and thong combo that I just couldn’t fit into until the baby was born”, but trust me on this one.
If you didn’t manage to grab some of those super sexy disposable mesh undies from someone at your birth you can grab them on Amazon. If mesh undies don’t tickle your fancy make sure to wear cotton undies so that your vagina can BREATHE! Once again, the irritation potential is strong after you’ve had a vaginal birth, so doing everything you can to avoid it is vital.
Also, don’t get too attached to your postpartum panty possessions (this post was lacking alliteration) as they’ll likely get quite soiled.
– Complain loudly because that provides the most relief possible and because you deserve to do that, dammit!
Okay, so I took that out of the “How to deal with hemmorhoids” post that I wrote, but I feel like the same applies in both situations. Allow yourself to have time to complain to whoever you need to listen (except your Mom-she’ll just tell you that “karma’s a bitch, honey.”), even if it’s just your sweet little baby who has no idea of the trauma she’s just inflicted to your body.
That last one is kinda my favourite and for me the most effective way of feeling better, but truly, using a few of these methods should help alleviate some of your pain.
If you’re finding that the pain is unbearable or isn’t getting better after a few weeks do be sure to check in with your health care professional.
You’re a mom now, but does that mean you can’t travel alone?
I had always opposed the idea of travel alone without my children, but doing so requires a ton of planning and a whole lot more money (especially if you have four kids!). There’s a lot of patience required to book a massive trip that I didn’t have; I needed to get away NOW!
I booked a ticket for myself to London, England. This adventure for me was solo, but when I say “travel alone” I don’t necessarily mean doing it without a companion- I do mean doing it without your children!
My 11 days touring through England taught my family and I a lot of lessons and we all benefited massively from it.
Should YOU travel alone as a Mom? Here are the reasons why you most definitely should:
Never forget that you’re still you alongside being a Mom.
Your partner gets to spend quality time with your children
And by “quality time with your children” I mean they get a taste of what your life is like. Of course, they also actually get to spend quality time with your children which is obviously very important, too.
You’ll inspire your children
When you return from your adventures of travel alone you’ll be able to tell them countless stories of the things you experienced. If watching you doesn’t inspire them to want to travel the world themselves they’ll at least understand and appreciate the need to do things for yourself.
You’ll push yourself out of your comfort zone
Things that made me uncomfortable:
1. Flying 2. Leaving my children 3. Sleeping away from home 4. Using public transit 5. Initiating conversation with strangers 6. Going out after dark 7. Leaving my happy comfort zone
During my 11 days in England I:
1. Flew on my first international flight without hyperventilating👌 2. Left my girls for a longer than 3 day stretch (my past record) 3. Slept at good hostels, slept at dodgy hostels, stayed with family, and had a hotel room. Each one was made my home for however long I was there for. 4. I chuga-chuga-choo-choo’d, double deckered, and Minded The Gap. I didn’t get lost, not even once. 5. From late night chats with fellow travellers to pub crawls with locals I talked to all the people. In doing so I met folks who I will be forever grateful that I encountered. 6. Realizing that I was missing out on a great deal of exploration time by staying in when the sun went down forced me to hold my head high and confidently walk the streets at night. I saw great things in an entirely new perspective. 7. I went so far out of my comfort zone that I nearly forgot it’s existence. I listened to my intuition and my anxiety and differentiated between the two in order to make decisions. My boundary zone grew 3 sizes that trip.
I understand that travel alone without the kids is a big leap, and believe me, it took me a long time to make that jump. The first step for me was booking my ticket-once I put out the money for the plane I knew there was no going back.
I’m not an expert on travel, but if you have questions about what I did and how I did it I’m happy to chat!
Have you done any travel alone? If not, where would you like to go?
You’re nearing that time when your baby might possibly be arriving.
Ya, that entire 6-week stretch when you constantly have people saying ignorant comments to your ginormous belly like “Oh, you STILL haven’t had your baby?”. (No judgement from me on how you respond to this one, by the way.)
You’ve done all the things to prepare for the arrival of this tiny human:
-made sweet, yet to the point signs for the front door directing people to “Kindly fuck off. I just had a baby and you shouldn’t be just showing up like this.”
-done vagina yoga
Yep. I said “vagina yoga”.
Let’s face it. Your vagina plays a pretty significant role in this whole childbirth thing and you should probably prepare her for what’s about to come (’cause it ain’t nothing like the cum she clearly already knows!!)
How to prepare your vagina for childbirth
Become acquainted with your bod
Your body is capable of some pretty freakin’ incredible things, namely growing and expelling another human from it. Get to know your anatomy so that you are aware of everything that’s going on throughout your pregnancy and during labour. When the midwife tells you that your cervix looks great you’re going to want to know what they’re talking about (also, having a cervix that “looks great” when you’re in labour is a really good thing.)
Having an understanding of what’s going on and when will give you an opportunity to prepare for what the next phase might be in your labour.
Kegels, kegels, kegels
Unfortunately, between your kiddo living in your pelvis for the last 3 million months of pregnancy and the extreme pressure of childbirth your pelvic floor can become damaged.
Often times, when this pelvic floor is damaged the result can be incontinence, which is actually a lot less fun than it sounds.
Talk to your midwife or doctor about how to properly do a kegel. Building these pelvic muscles during pregnancy can prevent you from embarrassing situations such as peeing when you’re laughing, sneezing, running, coughing, walking, sitting, breathing….you get my drift.
Embrace that your vagina will never be the same again
That said, it won’t be all that different. It’s a safe assumption that after a ginormous baby passes through your perfectly sized vagina (yes, I said that to reassure everyone that they have a perfectly sized vagina) that your vagina will resemble a gaping black hole.
Not the case.
Assure your partner(s) that your vagina will go back to normal (or at least pretty darn close to it) and they won’t be throwing a hot dog down a hallway *insert eye roll here*
You will notice a physical difference if you’ve had tearing and/or an episiotomy. The scars will fade considerably, but you may have some tenderness for quite some time. If you’re planning on some sexy time just make sure you’re using lots of lube and going slow (especially in the first while after giving birth.)
Check out your vagina with a mirror. Yep, I’m talking prop up a leg or lay in the bed with a handheld mirror between those divine legs of yours. Check out what you look like before and after (take a photo, if you’re so inclined). Mostly, this is helpful when you’re checking on your stitches so you can make sure that everything is A-ok down there. If it’s not and something is visibly or physically “off”, make sure you get checked out ASAP.
*Yeah, I’m a Pro. I’ve done this 4 times, people. My vagina has tales to tell.
Speak kindly to your vagina
For real. Your vagina is able to do this. Childbirth seems obscene. Like, ‘Are you freakin’ kidding me that’s going to come out of there?’ obscene, but you’re going to be fine.
Our brains listen to the things we tell it. Keep telling your vagina that things will be okay. Visualize your vagina opening up to allow for your baby to come into the world. This is some real hippy-dippy shit, but true story…it’s legit.
Do vagina yoga
Yes. This is the one that everyone’s been waiting for.
Well, vagina yoga isn’t actually a thing-it’s a phrase I made up, but Perineum Massage is most definitely a thing.
Basically, you’re going to be slooooooooooooowly stretching the perineum (the area between your vagina and anus) over time so that the skin is a little more soft and “stretchy”. This can be done on your own or with a partner.
Here’s a little video explaining exactly what you need to do.
Old wives tales are, for the most part, ridiculous. While some may prove to be true, most aren’t. In fact, most are so off the wall that you can’t help but laugh.
Be warned though, there are some firm believers in old wives tales. You will get your pregnant ass reamed for the silliest things.
These are the funniest and most off-the-wall old wives tales about pregnancy that are sure to give you a good laugh!
You can’t get pregnant while on top.
If you want to get it on but not get pregnant, all you have to do is climb on top! Sorry gals, that’s just not true. You definitely CAN get pregnant while on top. Go ahead and avoid using this method of birth control. If you are trying to conceive, then go ahead and get on top and go for it!
You will have a girl if you get pregnant while on top.
Ok, wait? I thought you couldn’t get pregnant while on top? But if you do you will be giving birth to a bouncing baby girl? It would seem someone got their wires crossed while making up this ridiculous shit. The position you conceive in will NOT influence whether you are having a boy or girl. Sorry to burst your bubble if you are trying for a little girl. Hey, you can go ahead and try anyway right?
Women have to orgasm to conceive.
Ok, if this were true there would be a lot fewer people in this would. Seriously, who comes up with this? Sperm can do its job without you having a mind-blowing orgasm. Obviously you should want to have an orgasm every single time you have sex. But, don’t stress if you just didn’t get there. You can absolutely still conceive. Also, do not use this method as a form of birth control.
Taking a bath can drown your fetus.
This one has many different versions. You can’t take a bath because you will drown your unborn child. Or you will taint your amniotic fluid and your baby will come out looking like Frankenstein. Either way, it’s not true. Your baby already has fluid in their lungs. They get oxygen from your placenta. You can safely take a bath while pregnant, as long as your water temperature isn’t too hot! Keep that water temperature under 98 degrees and you are good to go.
You can’t put your hands above your head.
The tale is that if you put your hands above your head the umbilical cord will wrap around your unborn baby’s neck. That is not true. Not only is it not true, it’s just pure bull shit. Rest assured you can put your hands up or down and your baby will be just fine.
A pregnant woman must eat whatever she craves.
I remember while being pregnant with my first baby. I worked with very superstitious women who believed this was true. Normally the tale says if you don’t eat what you crave they baby will be born with a sty in their eye. Or the baby could have a birthmark of the food you craved.
Their beliefs went beyond that and thought that I would be risking my baby’s life. This is very untrue. The only thing that will happen if you do not eat everything you crave while pregnant, is a bad mood.
Don’t look at anything ugly.
If you look at ANYTHING ugly while pregnant your baby will be U-G-L-Y. Wait, what? No. Just no.
Wearing high heels will make your baby cross-eyed.
My best guess is that some pregnant lady was supposed to wear heels to work and didn’t want to. So she came up with this insane story to get out of wearing heels! This is 100% untrue. If you feel the need to use this excuse to wear whatever shoes you want, go ahead.
Baby girls steal your beauty.
Feeling extra ugly this pregnancy? That’s because you are having a girl! It is said that a baby girl will straight suck that glow right from your face. You will have dry hair and ugly skin. Your baby girl will come out stunning and radiant leaving you looking like Medusa. Not true. If you are looking like a swamp thing this pregnancy you still could be having a baby boy.
Which old wives tale is your favorite? Are you a firm believer in any of these?
Written by Sirri McNeil for Modern Day Hippie Mama
There’s a whole world of crazy stuff that pregnant women are told to do, and rubbing their nipples with sandpaper is high on that list.
The idea behind doing this is to toughen up your nipples for breastfeeding.
I get it.
The minds of the (I’m assuming) men that decided this was a necessary thing do to while pregnant probably had good intentions. I mean, realistically your tender nipples that were once tenderly caressed during passionate lovemaking (yeah, remember pre-kid sex??) will be continually suckled on by a ravenous baby.
Your breasts won’t have any idea what’s coming to them, but guess what? They’ll learn.
The human body is pretty fascinating. There’s this whole blog post that I wrote about nipples, but I did forget to mention in there that they will toughen as your breastfeeding journey continues on. There will be some initial discomfort as your body adjusts, but it should be minor. If your nipples are super sore it’s not because they’re weak, it’s because you probably need to get some help with your latch. Contact your Midwife, OBGYN, or pop down to your local Health Unit to see a Lactation Consultant. Breastfeeding isn’t always super enjoyable, but it shouldn’t be painful- at least not until your kiddo has those front four dagger-like teeth that chomp down on your nipple when you’re least expecting it and you say words that you didn’t even say during childbirth.
(*I haven’t breastfed for years, but even thinking about this occurrence makes me shiver.*)
So, how do you get tough titties for breastfeeding? You don’t.
What you do is enjoy them while they’re yours and not attached to a small child. If enjoying them to you means rubbing them with sandpaper (you kinky vixen, you) then, by all means, do that, but don’t do it because Great-Aunt Mildred did it back in her day (you know, before women’s rights and extensive medical research).