This post should probably come with a warning: it’s not for the faint hearted. Or the squeamish.
A bit like funny things they don’t tell you about childbirth, after three babies I’ve learnt there are things they just don’t tell you about lady bits and birth too, like cracked skin upstairs and swelling downstairs.
They might be vaguely alluded to by a midwife, but no-one really gives you the lowdown on what to expect in the lady bits department after giving birth, or what to do about it.
You’re left to find out for yourself that the best way to dry your foo-foo afterwards is with a hairdryer, and that using a white bath towel is a really bad idea.
Here’s what I wish I’d known.
Things I wish I’d known about my lady bits
1. Stiches itch. A lot. And being padded up to the nines with super-size sanitary towels only makes it worse. This time round, though, I’ve had help in the form of My Expert Midwife’s Spritz for Bits (£19.50 – love the name!) which you literally spray on your lady bits. It contains lavender, tea tree and witch hazel to soothe, calm and promote healing.
2. Breastfeeding can be really painful. Contrary to popular belief cracked and bloody nipples when you start breastfeeding are totally normal (see things no-one tells you about the first week of breastfeeding), and will pass. In the meantime, try to soothe them as best you can. My Expert Midwife has a No Harm Nipple Balm (£16.50) made with medical grade lanolin to reduce soreness, promote healing and repair cracked skin.
3. The skin on your tummy can hurt. As well as feeling like you’ve done ten rounds in a boxing ring on the inside, your skin can hurt on the outside too. This time I’ve been using My Expert Midwife’s Fantastic Skin Elastic (£27.50) on my tummy which contains argan oil to restore and protect.
4. Leaking upstairs and downstairs is only temporary. It might feel like forever at the time, but before you know it the super-size sanitary towels and breast pads will be nothing but a distant memory. Honest.
5. You’ll probably heal faster than you think. After each of my babies I left hospital feeling like I’d been in a car crash: swollen, waddling and in varying amounts of pain. And each time I’ve been surprised just how quickly I was back to my old self again.
Do you have any tips for post-natal recovery? Are there any products you’ve used that help?
I was sent the Spritz for Bits, No Harm Nipple Balm and Fantastic Skin Elastic by My Expert Midwife for the purpose of review. The range is the brainchild of a midwife and mum duo and is designed to break taboos for new and expectant mums. They’re using the hashtag #letsbehonest which I love! As always all opinions are my own and based on my own honest experience, and I would never recommend a product I don’t truly believe in.