Post Partum Horrors: Things That Should Never Be This Swollen

I am now nine weeks post partum after having my delightful Baby J.  Here is a reminder of the cute:


Seriously.  The cheeks.  The Mouth.  The little bum!  Oh my…

It’s a good thing I have had him to distract me these last few weeks, especially right after he was born.  There were some terrible things happening to my body that I was happy to try to ignore no matter how painful, embarrassing and inconvenient they were.  All I had to do was gaze into his adorable face and all my uncomfortable woes would disappear.  YEAH RIGHT!!!

As soon as I pushed the little bugger out I knew things were bad.  I could feel that my undercarriage was just… not… right.  You’re probably thinking “Duh! You just pushed out a baby.  Of course your bits and pieces are a bit sore and tender”.  No, this was more than that.  I looked at my doctor and asked if I had just busted out some extra haemorrhoids and she looked everywhere but my eyes and said “No, I don’t think so…”  LIAR!  But, in the moment, I appreciated it.

So, here is my list of terrible after-baby indignities.

1.  Haemorrhoids.  Or as my lovely husband likes to refer to them, ‘dingleberries’.  Horrid, I know.  And yes, we’ve discussed them.  I dare you to google them.  They are a result of pushing out a baby and my best understanding of them is that they are swollen veins coming out of your ass.  I am not going to leave a photo reference here.  You’re welcome.

They are uncomfortable, painful at times and once they are out of your body it is very hard to make them go away.  Did you know you can have internal haemorrhoids too?  Did you know that they bleed?  Did you know that they are also referred to as ‘piles’.  Ok, I’ll stop.  Just so you know, they are normal and permanent – like baggage.  Iced maxi-pads help.  Continue to take some stool softener after the birth for a little while and make sure you are getting enough fibre to make poops easier.  My Dr said that adding some metamucil to your diet can’t hurt and in fact she has colleagues who encourage their own families to do so.  If they are beyond manageable this way, talk to your Dr as there are surgical options as well.

2.  Boobs.  Ridiculously swollen and painful boobs.  After your milk comes in, usually 3-5 days after baby pops out, you will walk in to your bathroom, take off your shirt and scream “Holy Hell” or something similar.  You will immediately start checking for plastic surgery scars and wonder if you were kidnapped by some organ stealing ring of bandits who decided to branch out into breast augmentation crimes as well.  Seriously.  I looked like Dolly Parton on crack but with under eye circles and minus the tiny waist.  They are often larger than the baby’s head and they stick around for upwards of one to three weeks.  There is a lot you can do for boob pain like warm compresses, ibuprofen, expressing milk and cold packs.  Check out my old post for more details on boobs.


I usually sport a tiny B cup.  These are at least double Ds and I was in agony anytime anyone tried to hug me.  People should know better.  I could also squirt milk across a room.

3.  Feet.  I thought that once my baby was out that the swelling and water weight would miraculously go away.  Not so.  It takes a while for all the excess fluid to leave your body.  I still had swollen feet, legs and hands for over a week.  It does eventually go away but it takes some time.  In the meantime you can still enjoy pushing on your ankles and watching to see how long the dents last.

4.  The Belly.  For most of us, this takes a long time and a lot of hard work to go away.  I refer to my belly as my Kate Gosselin post-sextuplet belly as that is the only thing I have seen that most closely resembles what I tuck into my pants every day.  I am nine weeks out and I still feel most comfortable in my maternity pants just because they suck me in a little bit. When the rest of your body goes back to normal and you are still left with a stretched-out, soft and saggy pooch, give yourself a break.  Most of us have it and most of us are finding a way to deal with it.  Get some spanx, some tummy tamers and some sexy, blowsy shirts and be done with it.  I know it is easier said than done.  Believe me, I struggle with it every day and that is the one thing in this list that I have the hardest time accepting.  The only way to do away with the pooch is diet and exercise and even then, those of us who have stretch marks will always sport a bit of a belly.  In truth, we are the only ones who pay any attention to it.  Try to remember that and try to love it for what it gave you.  I have a hard time with that last line and I don’t blame you for wanting to punch me in the face, even if you know it is true.

So, enjoy ladies!  The hardest part of giving birth isn’t always the labour, is it?  You get kudos for pushing a baby out and often have to suffer all these private pains in silence and without being able to talk or complain about them because they are gross and not usually fodder for dinner time conversation or over coffee with the relatives.  Just know you can always come here and complain about it!  Leave a comment and tell me about your biggest postpartum complaint.  I will lend a sympathetic ear and give you a frozen pad.

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