The honest guide to after the birth

The things that you may just not know

Babies are beautiful but let’s be honest – childbirth ‘ain’t so pretty’.

But we bet you knew that already. After all ‘real-life birth shows’, plus your (well meaning) mummy mates have made sure that you know all the fine details (according to their experience)!

At a glance

  • Your breasts will leak - usually at the most inappropriate moment!
  • You'll have postnatal bleeding
  • Find out how to deal with stitches

However, as mums ourselves we’d like to tell you that it’s really not that bad and once you hold your newest family member in your arms you won’t care – unlike your other half who will probably be complaining about how much his hand hurts (well come on you had to hold onto something) for weeks after.

But what about some of the things you might not have thought about?

For example, how to best deal with that post baby bleeding (we knew nothing about this until a midwife told us), those stitches or those leaky breasts- which tend to decide to say hello at the best possible moment.

Ours thought that perfect moment was when the father in law decided to visit for the first time – true story!

Here’s some of our tips on how to deal with the not so pretty parts of having a baby.

Maternity pads are a new mum’s BFF

So, as we’ve already said, after the birth of your little one you'll have vaginal bleeding, much like a period, for a few weeks. This bleeding can last anywhere from two to six weeks after delivery (sometimes longer) – meaning you’ll need to stock up on maternity pads.

Although some mums choose to buy normal jumbo sized sanitary towels, if you have had stitches then the mesh on these normal pads could get caught on these. Instead, look for maternity pads with softer materials, big enough to make you feel safe from leaks, and smooth enough to prevent catching on stitches.

You’ll probably find that you’ll need some heavy duty pads for the first few weeks before switching to lighter ones.

Disposable briefs aren’t just for spray tans

Disposable maternity briefs are a must-have right after you’ve had a baby, ensuring that your maternity towels are securely held in place.

These disposable briefs are perfect for the first few days and many women find them better to use when they are bleeding. Using these also means you won’t ruin your lovely undies.

There’s a range of disposable panties, which have been specially designed for strength and hygiene and many come with soft elastic around the legs and waist to ensure a comfortable fit, making them even comfier  than your ‘period pants’.

Breast pads aren’t just for filling your bra with on a night out

Ahh leaky breasts. The cause of embarrassment and many a stained top… but let’s face it, it’s all for a good cause.

Keep your dignity and that gorgeous breastfeeding top clean, by investing in some breast pads – and not the type you use to fill your bra on a girl’s night out.

Buy ultra-thin breast pads so they hide nicely under clothes. Some also have a soft cover for maximum comfort and an extra absorbent core, to lock away excess milk and even tape to hold your pad in place too.   

Mum’s top tips

Here’s a few things that Bounty mums have advised on – we had to share.

1. I used two pads between two pairs of knickers. Almost like a knickers/pad sandwich, which gave me extra padding and reassurance about leaking. 

2. I found that witch-hazel, mixed with water and then poured onto a maternity pad was very soothing on my stitches.

3. Hold a maternity pad next to you when you’re going for a number two for the first time if you’ve had stitches – your stitches won’t pop but the extra support definitely helps  ease your mind.

4. If you’ve had stitches take a jug of warm water to the loo with you afterwards – the first time you go it may sting, and using this will help ease this. If all else fails have a wee while you’re in the shower.

5. Use moist toilet wipes after a number two as the dampness will make it softer on your bits with less friction than loo roll.

At a glance

  • Your breasts will leak - usually at the most inappropriate moment!
  • You'll have postnatal bleeding
  • Find out how to deal with stitches

The honest guide to after the birth