Childbirth is an amazing experience but just like labour, for some women, the recovery process is anything but straightforward.
“I don’t know if it was a different story for other women, but during my first pregnancy (and even now in my second), all of the focus was on the delivery – not the recovery,” she says.
According to Monica, recovery after vaginal delivery is normal and every woman has varying experiences with it.
“I kid you not, it was not until my doctor was literally patching me up after I delivered my daughter that I realized, ‘Wow, my body just went through trauma.’ Yes, trauma. Your body goes through trauma when you give birth. Plain and simple.”
As well as the physical trauma, the emotional impact cannot be underestimated, she warns.
“At one minute, you’re smiling and crying tears of joy from being able to finally hold your baby. The next, you’re confronting a wave of grief, as you’re forced to come to terms with how your baby, whom you’ve been carrying for 9 to 10 months prior, was physically separated from you. Not to mention dealing with the exhaustion of feeding baby around the clock and being sucked of any energy you have left.”
Monica also advises other mothers – don’t let the lactation specialist get you down.
“Mila was too small to latch at first. The lactation specialist made me feel like a failure – as if my milk was the only way to feed my daughter and I was depriving her of her basic nutrients. Eventually, my milk supply went up and I was at least able to pump milk for Mila, ironically after I got home from the hospital and away from the stress of this specialist’s ‘expertise’.”
“Every woman (and baby, and boob) is different. Same goes with milk supplies. It will all work out.”
Partners also have a huge role to play in helping women through this difficult period, says Monica.
“My fiancé Chris had no clue what I was going through, and how could he? Men, word of advice: a little bit of patience and a lot of compassion go a long way.”
How was your recovery process after birth? Did you feel prepared or was it a shock to the system? Share your story with us HERE!