what you need to know about your first period after childbirth

9 Things to know about your first period after childbirth

You just had yourself a roughly 9-month reprieve from your monthly visit from Aunt Flo, but now that baby is here you have to worry about your first period after childbirth.

Yay.

Don’t be too scared of your postpartum period; once it comes back you’ll remember what to do. It’s kind of like riding a bike (but with more menstrual blood and discomfort, you know?!)

Your first period after childbirth isn’t quite the same as the regular, consistent period that you were once (possibly) used to and there are a few things you need to consider.

What you need to know about your first period after childbirth

You're awaiting your first period after childbirth, but you may want to read this first and get a little more prepared for what's to come.
  1. “Most” folks get their first period after childbirth at around the 6-8 week postpartum mark. However, this is different for each and every person and things like breastfeeding and stress may change that.
  2. It’s going to be unpredictable. Some folks can mark it in the calendar exactly when they’re going to be getting their period or they have sure-fire signs that it’s about to grace them with its presence. Your body is still in the process of returning organs back to their original place before baby moved them, so things internally are a little out of whack. You may end up with some symptoms that you think are premenstrual but are just normal post-baby body things.
    You may find that your periods are off-track for quite some time and take a while to regulate again. For the first year especially you may experience some periods that are longer than others, fluctuating lengths of your cycle, and periods that are heavier than others.
  3. Your first period after childbirth may take longer to come back if you’re breastfeeding. Your hormone levels continue to fluctuate significantly when you’re breastfeeding. This can have an impact on when your menses might start up again after having baby.
  4. Depending on when you get your first period after childbirth you may not want to jump back into using tampons, especially if you’re closer to the 6-8 week postpartum mark. This is something that you’ll need to base on your comfort level, but it’s also worthwhile having a chat with your midwife or doctor in one of your postpartum visits to get their insight on when tampons are appropriate.

    **If this is your first baby and you wanted to give the Diva Cup a go-round make sure you read about which one is going to be best for your vagina now that you’ve had a baby or if you’re over 30. I highly recommend the Diva Cup but recommend you have a bit of patience learning how to get that sucker in properly. It takes a bit of practice but at the end of it you won’t be afraid of getting all up in yourself-I promise.**
  5. You don’t need to be as prepared for your first period after childbirth as you might think you do! If you’re used to unpredictable periods you probably have gotten into the habit of carrying hygiene products around with you wherever you go. Now that you’re carrying around a BABY and everything that they need you may have gotten out of that routine. Fortunately for you, you’re likely carrying around the ultimate premenstrual pad with you at all times: a diaper! (Unless you’re me and you forgot diapers all the friggin’ time and had to ask random folks with or without babies if they happened to have a spare diaper on them. It worked better than you might think). Seriously, if you’re in a pinch take that tiny little diaper out, remove the tabs, and shove it down your pants. It’s less bulky than you imagine and is way more absorbent than any pad I’ve ever encountered.
  6. Your first period after childbirth may affect your breastmilk! Okay, don’t freak out. It’s usually not a major impact, but you may notice that your baby is acting a bit out of sorts. Your menses can alter the taste of your breastmilk, as well as the quantity you make. These slight changes shouldn’t shift your ability to breastfeed.
  7. Your first period after childbirth may be a little more intense than you’re used to. You may find that your cramping is a little more than before (you have a uterine lining that is still being shed) and you may have some small blood clots that can be a bit alarming. If you feel that it’s too intense and you’re concerned don’t ever hesitate to go to your midwife or doctor as soon as possible.
  8. Lochia is not our first period after childbirth. Lochia is vaginal discharge after you’ve given birth that consists of blood, mucus, and uterine tissue. This is a normal output after a vaginal birth or cesarean birth and can last up to around 10 days with continued spotting up to 6 weeks.
  9. There are some things that you need to watch out for with your first period after childbirth (as per Healthline Parents):
    -soaking through a pad every hour
    -sudden fever
    -bleeding continuously for more than 7 days
    -bleeding that’s accompanied with sudden, severe pain
    -blood clots that are bigger than a softball
    -foul-smelling discharge
    -severe headache
    -trouble breathing
    -pain while urinating
    These symptoms may indicate an infection and require immediate medical attention.

I got my first period after childbirth with my fourth baby in the middle of my Grandmother’s funeral. Thank Goddess I was wearing black and THANK GODDESS I actually had diapers with me that day. That little tidbit of info about the shoving the diaper down the pants thing…ya, that came from experience.

Do you have a funny “first period after childbirth” story?

christmas gift ideas for mom

Awesome Christmas gift ideas for Mom!

Every Mom loves getting Christmas gifts, even the ones that say “Oh, honey, I don’t need anything.”

They do, and you are 100% expected to know exactly what to buy her.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Moms like pretty things that are FUNCTIONAL. She’s got enough knick knacky stuff to clean up on a daily basis so another little glass trinket that says “World’s Best Mom” on it probably isn’t going to go down in the history books as favourite gift. **

**Allow me to clarify that trinkets that are handmade by Mom’s sweet little darlings are almost always cherished forever.

Christmas gift ideas for Mom that she will LOVE!

By the way, there are affiliate links in this post. That means that if you purchase something based on my personal recommendation I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Trust me, Mom will love that, too!

christmas gift ideas for mom phone case

Customizable Phone Case

Mom's phone is her key to the outside world and she entirely relies on it to be able to zone out while she hides in the closet for 5 minutes and eats her chocolate stash. Why not get her a custom case? Choose something that she really loves (ya, the kids....but that's just so cliche) so that everyone knows it's MOM'S PHONE!
Photo credit: Custmode

Initial necklace

Let's face it...Mom forgets her kids names from time to time. Let's give the lady a bit of credit; she's got 8 trillion things on her mind at one time it would be weird if she DIDN'T forget a kid or two's name on occasion.
This handy necklace will look cute and will also act as a reference guide for Mom when she's put on the spot and asked a difficult question like: "What are your children's names?".
Bonus idea: Have birth dates put beside each child's initials. That's the hardest question of them all!
Photo credit: Oroandargento

Headphones

Whether or not she's plugging these babies in she has the excuse to ignore the kids for a few extra seconds. Usually she pretends the vacuum is too loud to listen to tales of woe from one sibling about another, but now she can do the same thing without having to go to the trouble of lugging the vacuum out!
Photo credit: ArtsyWallsAndMore

Christmas gift ideas for mom car difuser

Car Diffuser

Just like Mom masks the smell of spit up and 2 day old smoothie with perfume, she can do the same in the car! No matter how thoroughly Mom cleans the car there's always a lingering smell of something she's inevitably missed (it's always under the car seat). Pair this diffuser with a calming scent like Lavender and Mom will blissfully forget about whatever "that smell" is.
Photo credit: BellsAndWhistles18

Solidarity onesie

Let Mom's baby's clothes speak on her behalf. As lovely as unsolicited advice is (not) she probably doesn't need or want it. She knows the company to put this particular onesie on her kiddo around, or she can put it underneath another shirt and pull it out whenever necessary. A simple passive-aggressive "can you hold my baby a second" is all she'll need to do.
Photo credit: ChilkoPrints

Custom Planner

Mom likely loves to be organized (because life really is easier when you're organized), but she's probably busy organizing EVERYONE ELSE'S lives. Here's what you're going to do: Get her this planner, but write in days for Mom to go out and do something just for herself. Bonus points if you get her some gift certificates to correspond with her "me time", such as a local hair salon or yoga studio or whatever she's into!
Photo credit: SHPplanners

christmas gift ideas for mom purse

Cute Purse

Mom's been lugging around a massive diaper bag for years...isn't it time she downsized to something smaller (and crazy cute)? Still in diaper bag mode? This little purse is still a nice thing for her to have to go on those "me-time" adventures you've scheduled in for her where a diaper bag will absolutely not be needed.
Photo credit: gracedesign

christmas gift ideas for mom strong as a mother

Strong As A Mother Sweatshirt

We all know that Mom is one tough lady...but let's let everyone know just how strong: Strong As A Mother! This sweater is cozy, it's cute, and it'll let you know exactly what you think of this lady who's strong as a Mother!
Photo credit: MountainMoverz

There ya go…a few Christmas gift ideas for Mom that she will actually, genuinely love. Still have more shopping to do? Check out this list for kiddos and this one for the dude in your life!

gift ideas for kids

21 unique and cool gift ideas for kids

Gifts for kids can be the easiest and the hardest things to shop for.

If the kids in your life are like the kids in my life your conversations go something like this:

ME: “What do you want for Christmas?”

KID: “I dunno.”

(December 24) KID: “Actually, I really want ________!”

My approach to shopping for gifts for kids has changed from asking them what they want to assuming that they will love whatever I buy them-which means I’d better make it good!

Thanks to Etsy, here’s a solid list of idea for gifts for kids by their age group.

Gifts for kids that will rock their world

 

Are you struggling with a gift idea for kids in your life? Here are some Mom approved suggestions for kids of all ages!

Newborn to 1 year old

gifts for kids

Customizable spoon

They'll get some great use out of this AND be able to save it as a keepsake! Photo credit: MyMomentsOfBliss


Puppets!

These puppets are handmade, soft, and super cute! They're a great option for quiet time or silly time.
("Baaaaaby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo.")
Photo credit: CateandLevi

Teething toys

Give baby something to chew on other than their parents! These are high quality silicone and perfect for sore gums! Photo credit: SloaneandBlake

Toddler

gift ideas for kids

Bowling!!

Kids love setting things up just as much as they love destroying! Give them the gift of both with this bowling set! Photo credit: TheFortToys

gift ideas for kids memory game

Memory game

This adaptable game is perfect for toddlers and up. Plus, the musical instruments on the tiles can make you feel super cultured:) Photo credit: WoodContourCanada

gift ideas for kids toddlers

Training underwear

Nothing motivates a kid to get potty trained like getting some big kid undies! These are cute, gender neutral, and perfect for kids of all ages. Photo credit: TotsSmartyPants

puzzle gift idea for kids

Customizable puzzle

Cute and educational...can't get much better than that! Will your kiddos name fit on a puzzle? Photo credit: BusyPuzzle

Preschool

gift ideas for kids

Messenger bag

This sweet bag is perfect for days at the park and trips to the library. Your pockets won't be filled up with treasures...their bag will! Photo credit: TarrahAtHome

gift ideas for kids preschool

Sequin pillow

Most kids are their own biggest fan...so a flashy pillow with their name on it seems like a great gift idea for kids!
Photo credit: TheosLane

gift ideas for kids

Teepee

What kid doesn't love a tent? From snuggling up and reading stories to livingroom campouts this teepee will be well loved. Photo credit: iloveteepee

gift ideas for kids preschool

Felt board

Give your kiddo hours of fun (while you get hours of quiet-always part of a great gift idea for kids) while they create stories on a felt board!

School aged 5-9

gift ideas for kids

Apron

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! Photo credit:ChezCarolie

Boomerang

Get your kids outside with a boomerang! Just...watch your windows.
Photo credit: WallabyBoomerang

gifts for kids

Sewing kit

Sewing is a skill that kids should have! This is a great project for a beginner with a result that will provide loads of love. Photo credit: CateandLevi

gift ideas for kids cape

Superhero Cape

Kids love to dress up, and what a better thing than a cape and mask to do it with! Don't forget: Superheroes always do what Mommy and Daddy tell them;) Photo credit: MyHeroHeadquarters

School aged 10-14

Wall hangings

Their bedroom is becoming one of their favourite places to be and they may as well make it beautiful! Photo credit: ShikishMTL

gift ideas for kids

DIY art kit

It's relaxing, it's rewarding, it's beautiful! Art promotes relaxation after a long day of school and pre-puberty life. Photo credit:TheDottingCenter

gift ideas for kids bracelet

Lava stone bracelet

They look nice and they smell nice. Pair them with a relaxing essential oil to help with anxiety or stinky kid smell. Photo credit: BlueberryMtnNaturals

Teenagers

Push Pin Travel Map

Encourage some wanderlust in your teenager. Give them an opportunity to explore where they might want to see in the world in an aesthetically pleasing way! Photo Credit: CanvasVows

gift ideas for kids

Journal

Give them a spot to write their thoughts, ideas, and feelings about how unfair you've made their life. **Don't snoop. It's tempting, but everyone needs their privacy:) Photo credit: SanTanLeather

gift ideas for kids watch

Wooden Watch

They'll look good...and they'll never be late! This beautiful wooden watch is unique and can be engraved. A beautiful momento. Photo credit: WoodInPhilosophy

There you have it! There are some unique gift ideas for kids that will ensure big smiles Christmas morning. 

Still have shopping to do? Check out this gift guide for HIM, this gift guide for HER, and even this one for the furry loved ones in your life! 

HAPPY SHOPPING!

postpartum care after vaginal birth

How to: Postpartum care after a vaginal birth

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you purchase something I recommend in this post I may receive a commission at no cost to you.

You spent 40 ish long weeks trying to keep the fact that your growing baby would eventually be coming out of your vagina off the forefront of your mind.

I mean, you had to acknowledge it and prepare for it because being blindsided by THAT would be unfortunate. It’s in your best interest to become knowledgable on the process of having a vaginal birth. This will ensure that you can be informed and EMPOWERED in your journey and make decisions that are best suited to you.

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.

When it comes to postpartum care of your vagina after a vaginal birth there are some natural ways you can help heal.

Do’s and Don’ts of taking care of your vagina after vaginal birth

Don’t:

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…

-Speaking of putting foreign objects in your vagina, save sex until about the 6-week mark, too. This is again something to talk to your health care provider about but don’t forget you aren’t obligated to put out at the 6-week mark regardless of your doc’s go ahead. Give this a read for more info on having sex after birth.

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.

Do:

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.

Not good.

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.

should you travel alone as a mom

Should you travel alone when you have kids?

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:

You need time to recharge

Remember how INCREDIBLY HARD AND EXHAUSTING MOTHERHOOD IS? You need time to recharge and refill your soul. If you think that travel alone will do that then you 100% should do it.

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.

Should you put your dreams on hold now that you're a Mom? Or should you travel alone even though you have kids? Here's what a Mom of 4 thinks about it...

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?

Do you have to ORGASM to get pregnant?! You may be surprised to learn which wives tales are true and which are less than accurate!

9 Hilarious Old Wives Tales About Pregnancy

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!


Do you have to ORGASM to get pregnant?! You may be surprised to learn which wives tales are true and which are less than accurate!

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