Another woman utterly failed by our society’s devaluation of women’s reproductive health.
We can’t wait around for male doctors to decide what we need to know.
This is why we need to take control and educate ourselves about our own bodies.
and here’s some comments i saw under the post. why is this a pattern?? why is this a recurring theme?? why is this information not common knowledge? what the fuck are doctors doing??
This is news to me so let’s share it so people will know!
Gross tmi: but i passed a pretty big clot after having my daughter. It was about the size of a baseball. It actually hurt worse because while 15 hours of labor opened my cervix, i passed the clot in 30 minutes. I knew it was a possibility because of my midwife and reading, but everyone Ive told after this (mostly other pregnant women) were shocked that this could happen.
In our culture, it’s much more common to do deep research about what family cars we want to buy than we do about childbirth when we ’re pregnant.
Tmi: I passed a huge clot after birth in the bathroom of my hospital room and called the nurse sobbing because I didn’t know it was normal. She treated me like an idiot, but NO ONE told me it was a possibility. And the pain associated with healing for the first couple of weeks after birth was worse than the labor imo. Again, I had no idea. They didn’t tell me a thing besides “sitz bath regularly and change your pads.” Before discharging me from the hospital.
I was most definitely told about this in school. Fucking hell, 4-6 weeks of bleeding? My periods were/are bad enough, why the hell don’t we get told this?
I didn’t know it could last so long, wtf? Is the bleeding inevitable after birth?
Bleeding is inevitable after birth – your uterine wall is shedding a fuck ton of lining. It can last from three to six weeks (possible longer) and it tapers off.
More TMI – I passed a MASSIVE clot after my fourth birth. At this point I already knew this could happen – it’s normal. What I DIDN’T know, was that I had caused it.
My post birth contractions were so bad after the birth that it felt like full transition labor. And they don’t give you anything for the pain. So I used a hot water bottle, without the nurses knowing, and it caused me to bleed even more. I lost so much blood that by the first time they sat me up to go to the bathroom, I fainted. It took three more tries until I could sit up.
Anyway, that’s not the point. The point is, the next morning I passed a clot the SIZE OF ANOTHER PLACENTA I KID YOU NOT, and I know what is and is not normal. So I called for the nurse and through the door told her I had passed a huge clot, and her response was – “It’s not big. I know what big is.” She hadn’t even looked. So I rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah, no. It’s big, I’m telling you.”
So, sounding extremely put upon, she asked me to open the door. I did, and after a long pause she goes, “Okay, yeah, that’s a little big.”
YOU DON’T SAY.
The point I’m trying to get across is that this shit is so common – women not knowing this stuff is so expected, and it keeps getting reinforced. People don’t expect you to know anything, don’t teach you anything, and then make you feel like you’re totally ignorant and a burden for your lack of knowledge when THEY WON’T SHARE.
Fucking learn EVERYTHING you can when it comes to childbirth, girls. It is the single most empowering thing you can do for yourself. And if you missed something, that’s okay. But the more knowledge you arm yourself with, the more in control of your situation you’ll be.
A few post partum tips:
- DON’T use a hot water bottle – lol.
- ONLY pads – NO tampons. Tampons can cause severe infection, not to mention, you probably don’t want to be shoving anything up there any time soon.
- If you’ve had stitches, sitz baths DO help relieve the pain. Another great pain reliever? Dampen some pads and freeze them. Let one thaw slightly and use it on top of another pad. This will help with the pain as well as reduce swelling. Change the pad out as soon as it’s thawed completely. This REALLY helps on the first couple days after giving birth.
- If you pass a clot, don’t sweat it. Even the one I passed, which was fucking massive, just required that we keep an eye out to make sure it didn’t happen again. If it does, talk to your doctor.
- Take a pain killer half an hour before nursing. Because YES – your uterus is contracting after you give birth, to get back to its original size, and nursing causes much stronger contractions. Taking nursing-safe painkillers won’t prevent the pain, but it will reduce it.
- Buy disposable underwear for the first few days after birth. They will get VERY dirty. Or use your ratty old pairs that you’re ready to get rid of. Double up on pads – line them all the way up your ass-crack. I am so serious. And wear dark pants.
- Pee in the shower. You do NOT want to wipe down there right after birth because ow. Peeing in the shower lets you just rinse afterwards. Especially if you’ve had stitches, peeing in the shower, with the shower-head rinsing AS you go, keeps stinging to a minimum. And fuck everyone else – keep on peeing in the shower until you feel ready to move back to toilet paper. Middle of the night and need to pee? Get your pants off – get in the shower and just go.
This is just a few things, but PLEASE feel free to send me an ask if you have any questions about ANYTHING childbirth/pregnancy/nursing related. I have four incredible kids. I’ve done it all – c-section, vacuume birth, episiotimy, stitches, with an epidural, without an epidural. I’m here.
More tips: GET A PERI-BOTTLE. If you have a hospital birth, they’ll probably give you one. If not, you can pick up any kind of small squeeze-y bottle (or even an empty, CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN spray bottle if it comes to it). It’s like a little portable bidet. Use it after you go to the bathroom, then pat dry. This way you don’t have to climb into a shower every time if you don’t want.
IME bags of frozen peas in your underwear with proper covering (you don’t want to get frostbite) are the best sort of cold compress.
Those contractions during nursing? They are v v important. They shrink your uterus, helping your body get back to normal faster (and helping you pass blood quicker). They hurt. Keep drinking red raspberry leaf tea (which hopefully you drank during your third trimester). It should help not only with the contractions, but with your milk supply as well. Take a nursing-safe NSAID if you can.
REST. I know this is especially hard for people who are already parents, for poor folk, for people with a ton of responsibilities in general. This is when you call in the cavalry, if you’re lucky enough to have support. FRIENDS AND FAM of birthing persons, leave the parent alone with their baby. Do a load of dishes. Pick up. Check to make sure the parent has their baby supplies handy (as in, within reach). Bring them food. The more they rest, the faster their body heals, and the shorter the bleeding period will be. If it tapers off and then ramps back up, YOU’RE DOING TOO MUCH. Slow down. This is the perfect time to learn that, as a parent, you can’t do it all. Always prioritise your kid. If there’s one time you’re allowed to just let shit go, it’s during your babymoon. (Google is telling me babymoon now means a trip you take with your partner before you have your baby. What. No. “Babymoon” means the first week after your birth. When the hell did that switch happen?) REST. REST. HOLD YOUR BABY. SLEEP. NURSE. EAT. This bonding time is imperative. You and your baby deserve this time.
….I know I keep reblogging this but people keep adding super important information.
I feel like no one tells women this stuff because if a woman was even a little on the fence about having a baby before this would kinda make them run for the damn hills.
…..you are correct, typing.
300% EXTRA SURE I’M NOT HAVING BABIES.
peri bottles, witch hazel or anti-pain anticeptic spray are your friends.
Also passing large clots after birth is a WARNING SIGN. Bigger than a half dollar is a sign that you have not passed your entire placenta (this is most common in hospital vaginal births where the mother is not allowed to naturally birth the placenta and instead has it ripped out by the doctor) if there is any placenta left in your uterus you can get extremely ill. This happened to both myself and my mother in law
WOW I didn’t know any of this and I’m terrified of what more I’m unaware of about my own body 😦 Honestly when will we fucking abolish this taboo about the female body…
I had pretty great sex ed in school (lots of contraceptive information, and totally acknowledged that teenagers might have sex) and all of this is news to me.
And, as a 28-year-old person with a uterus, I’m extremely appalled I’m just learning this.
Long, but very important information, even for those who don’t plan to have children, because you will almost certainly know someone who will, and you might be able to to help them. Or at least increase your level of empathy for them.