Home > Birth > Body > Health > No One Told Us This Would Happen After Birth

From the nearly pooing ourselves at breakfast to crying over spilt coffee. These completely normal side effects were not on our radar!

So, we spoke to the health and mental health experts at Kari Health to find out how you can deal with them and how normal they are.

That We Might Shit Ourselves

We were warned about the bouncy castles and trampolines. But no one told us we’d need a poo – like now! But how normal is it to experience anal incontinence? And what can you do to stop it?

Louise Hinton, Lead Nurse at Kari Health says, “It’s extremely common, actually 1 in 5 women experience a level of anal incontinence after a vaginal delivery, ranging from a few embarrassing “accidents” to lifelong OASI (Obstetric Anal Sphincter Injuries). This will be temporary for some as they recover control after pelvic floor trauma, which can stem from pushing or stretching during labour. But for others who suffer nerve damage or sphincter injuries, it could be permanent. Your pelvic floor looks like the number 8 and controls both your vaginal opening and anus. Doing pelvic floor exercises is vital to reducing the chance of this happening and improving the condition. Faecal incontinence can be worse if you don’t eat enough fibre, drink too much alcohol and caffeine and don’t stay hydrated. Some women will have a dietary trigger, which can worsen it, and some will have no warning whatsoever. Establishing a bowel habit can help, but not in all cases. If you are experiencing anal incontinence, speak to your GP, Midwife or Health Visitor and ask for a referral to a physiotherapist who can help with pelvic floor injuries. You can also talk to an Obstetrician/Colorectal surgeon who deals with sphincter injuries and nerve damage to see what can be done.”

That We’d Cry at EVERYTHING!!

We knew we’d be tired, but on teary day 3, we even cried at the Postman. How normal is it to feel these low emotions? When will you feel this way? For how long? And when should you worry?

Kari Health‘s Integrative Counsellor and Psychotherapist Chloe Pollock says, “Also known as ‘baby blues’, low feelings commonly occur 3-5 days after birth and typically last 2ish weeks. You might experience unexplainable crying over small triggers, significant mood swings or be noticeably irritable. There may also be higher worry and anxiety. Roughly 80% of mothers will experience this, and it’s due to changes in hormone levels, tiredness, changes in routine and feeling overwhelmed. Simple things like eating well, resting as much as possible and doing something you love can all help. You might not be getting enough sleep, but you can look after yourself with self-care.

Stay Connected
Stay Connected

Try and reconnect with your partner too. Find the time to check in with each other so you feel supported. Ask for help, whether it’s cooking, cleaning, or running errands – don’t try and do it all! Stay connected and speak to someone! It doesn’t have to be a professional – just someone who is non-judgemental who can provide a space for you to talk and offload. Attending a Mum Club event is a great way to improve your mood and speak to other mums in the same boat as you. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms for over two weeks, consider speaking to your GP/medical professional, and remember you’re not alone.

Find Your Nearest TMC Event
Nurture Yourself
Nurture Yourself

Pregnancy + New Mother Support provides you with the recommended daily dose of essential vitamins and minerals needed throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding, as advised by the UK Department of Health.

Shop Now

That We’d Feel Like a Rusty Bucket

We expected a certain level of repair (*especially in certain areas! No guesses where necessary). But overall, general immobility was not something we were prepped for. We ran during pregnancy, but why do we feel too clunky to even think about it after birth?

Louise Hinton, Lead Nurse at Kari Health, says, “It’s so normal to feel clunky after giving birth. And many women find that they continue to look pregnant for a few weeks. This is because it takes this time for the funds (the top of your uterus) to descend back into the pelvic cavity. It is an excellent idea (for weight loss and mental health) to do exercise post-partum. However, waiting until 3 – 6 months post-delivery is advised to allow for any internal and external healing. Running too soon can cause incontinence, injury or prolapse. So please don’t rush! Extra caution is needed to avoid injury for those who did not run pre- or during pregnancy. During pregnancy, the hormones relaxin and progesterone increase, allowing your ligaments to become looser to accommodate and support your body shape and size change. It takes 6 – 12 months for the ligaments to return to normal, so therefore some women find exercise more difficult post-partum, especially high impact or core strength workouts.”

Give Your Body a Helping Hand
Give Your Body a Helping Hand

Bone + Muscle Support is a botanical blend with vitamins and minerals for bone, teeth, joint and muscle support.

Shop Now

That We Might Not Instantly Love Our Baby

We talked and sang to our bumps like our pregnancy yoga teachers told us. And to be honest, we expected our babies to be the ones with a bonding issue – not us! But is it normal to not feel maternal love instantly?

Kari Health Psychotherapist Chloe Pollock says, “Bonding can be immediate for some, but for others, it can take time. And this is entirely normal. The process isn’t linear. You may find the attachment grows as you provide care for your newborn. Having a c-section or having a traumatic birth, which meant you did not get to see your newborn straight after birth, can make the bonding process challenging. Post-partum depression can also impact the mother’s ability to bond with their child. Challenging family dynamics can also be a factor. Bonding occurs in many ways, like skin-to-skin touch, feeding time, breastfeeding, and general care like bathing or rocking them to sleep. The love you have for your child grows and grows, and it’s ok if you don’t feel an instant rush of love. If a few months have passed and you still feel a lack of connection, speak to your GP or Health Visitor, and they can determine if a psychological or health issue may be playing a part in the challenges.”

That We’d Be SO Sweaty

Motherhood is one hell of a journey! And in those early days, we seemed to be leaking from every orifice. But why the sweats and a high temp? And when should you worry?

Nurse and Midwife, Jasmine Sneyd says, “Hormone levels are high during pregnancy, and after birth, they decline. This fluctuation and your body’s attempt to regulate itself leads to night sweats. The most apparent sign of post-partum night sweats is waking up from sleep drenched or soaked in sweat. It’s completely normal and should only last a couple of days. You might get a mild fever when you first start producing milk, and it happens because the breasts can swell too much and become inflamed when your milk starts to come in. However, there are a few reasons why you might have a high temperature after birth, and it’s always best to get checked out by your GP or midwife, especially if you’ve had a c-section.”

Give Your Body Some Extra Support When Breastfeeding
Give Your Body Some Extra Support When Breastfeeding

It won’t fix the sweats but Breastfeeding Support is formulated for mother and baby, to support at a nutritionally demanding time. A botanical blend that helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue, support cognitive development and helps maintain bones and teeth.

Shop Now

That Our Periods Could Bring Us New Levels of Agony

Many women say that when their periods finally returned, they were heavier and or more painful. But why? Will they be like this forever? And is there anything you can do?

“Some women mistake heavy periods post-partum for the very normal phase of Lochia. Lochia is heavy at first but gradually subsides to a lighter flow until it goes away”. Some women experience heavier periods because their uterine cavity is bigger after having a child, so more endometrium is produced each month to shed. However, many women experience much lighter, shorter periods. If your periods are much heavier, more painful and longer following childbirth, it is advisable to see your GP.”

Wuka Wearable Hot Water Bottle

If you’re really struggling with periods taking a supplement like Premenstrual Support is designed to regulate hormonal activity, support skin health, promote a positive outlook and maintain energy during and in the run up to your period.

Shop Now

That We Wouldn’t Want Sex *for a Laaang Time

We knew it would take a while to get ‘it’ back, but we didn’t realise we’d lose our want and need for anything sexy. Why does this happen? Can you get it back?

Midwife Jasmine Sneyd says, “When one resumes personal and sexual relationships is a very individual and often cultural decision”, so please don’t feel there’s a rush. “Due to hormone changes during pregnancy and after birth, vaginal dryness may occur. It is important to have a postnatal check-up so you can discuss any concerns with a Midwife but try not to worry as it does take time. When you want to have sex and you’ve been given the go-ahead, a lubricant can moisten the area if you’re experiencing dryness. And your pelvic floor exercises are essential in this area too! As they can help with sexual health by bringing a good blood supply to the area.” And all of the things that help improve your emotions can also help here! If you’re happy and well-nourished, you’ll be far more likely to want to get it on with your partner.”

That Our Hair Would Make Us Look Ridiculous

We’re not sure what was worse, the fallout or the regrowth. Why does it happen? How long does it last, and is there anything you can do?

Midwife Jasmine Sneyd says, “Again, due to the pregnancy and afterbirth hormone changes, some mothers may experience hair loss. It is considered completely normal and usually begins within five months of giving birth and then tends to slow down. It often corrects itself as time passes, and there are different thoughts on why this may happen. Good nutrition will help. And you can make sure your body receives the proper nutrients required for healthy hair. Some professionals may advise additional supplements to support your diet. Try to be gentle with your hair and avoid harsh shampoos and hair dyes until things improve.”

Shop Now

Why You Need to Know About Kari Health

Kari Health is a Women’s Health Platform that is changing the way women view and care for their health. Designed and run by a team of women’s health experts, you can find expert advice, and articles as well as solutions for your health. Kari Health covers topics other platforms may not.

Find out more


Based on what you love