I consider myself to have a pretty solid understanding of the human reproductive system, and especially how women’s bodies work. But! There are a few things I only came to know when I started working in reusable menstrual products (since I’ve yet to produce, grow and birth out my own tiny human). These 3 things blew my mind:
1. Postpartum bleeding.
A baby and the placenta: that was my understanding of what came out of the vagina at the ultimate climactic, birthing moment of pregnancy. But it doesn’t end there, folks! After delivering the placenta, your body (which has drastically increased its blood supply during pregnancy) continues to bleed. And bleed. And bleed. Part of this blood comes from the blood vessels which held the placenta in place; the rest is lochia, which is a mixture of the remaining blood, uterine lining, and mucus. The flow of lochia lasts anywhere from three to six weeks!
2. How nipples work.
There’s not just one tube that predictably drips out milk, guys. It’s more like a showerhead. (I just said this aloud in the GladRags office and one individual who shall remain nameless gasped, “WHAAAT?!” and crossed her arms across her chest.) Breastmilk can drip slowly, or shoot out with uncontrollable force.
3. Pee happens.
This one isn’t limited just to women who have given birth. Light urinary leakage (aka stress incontinence) will happen to many women throughout their lifetimes and isn’t always attributed to childbirth. However, having a tiny human pressing on your bladder/urethra (and then the stress of pushing said tiny human out of your vagina) can definitely be a contributing factor! Sneezing, coughing, laughing, running, yoga, trampolining, yeah … drip drip drip!
Why don’t we talk about these things? If I hadn’t started working at GladRags back in 2009, would I not have learned about postpartum bleeding until it happened to me? How scary it must be to not know what is happening to your body. Let’s make women’s bodies–and the many strange and wonderful things they do!–be a topic of conversation this month. And, to celebrate Pregnancy Awareness Month, save 15% on the following items at GladRags.com from today through 5/24:
For postpartum bleeding:
For leaky boobs:
Putting the “pee” in “pantyliner”:
I really want to know: what most surprised you about pregnancy or postpartum? Tell me in the comments!