Sarah Nicole Landry, the Canadian influencer known as The Birds Papaya, has gained a massive following through her refreshing honesty about the natural changes in shape and size that human bodies go through.
Earlier this month, she had a baby girl. And naturally, she’s sharing an extremely honest list of the changes her postpartum body went through in the week since since she gave birth. She talks hunger, thirst, pain, stitches, poop — everything.
In a post that’s racked up nearly 150,000 likes in three days, Landry detailed the things that have helped her since having a baby. Here’s her list, plus a few of our additions.
A Peri bottle is a little squirt bottle that essentially works as a handheld bidet. It’s the safest way to get clean after using the bathroom if you had a vaginal birth, since the area will be swollen, sore, and open to infection, Dr. Christina Dothager told Parents. All you have to do is fill it with warm water, point it at the area you want to clean, and squeeze the bottle.
Good toilet paper
You’re just using toilet paper to pat — not to wipe, as you want to avoid an infection. So Landry suggests the immediate postpartum period is when you want to invest in the good stuff. “If you dab with a weak ass TP, you will get it stuck all over you,” she said. Doesn’t sound pleasant, does it?
If pushing a human our of your body still hurts a few days later, or if you’re one of the many people who suffer from hemorrhoids after giving birth, do yourself a favour and get a sitz bath. It’s a soothing soak for your undercarriage that can make a big difference.
Watch: Here’s all the gross stuff no one ever told you about having a baby. Story continues after video.
Again, having a baby hurts! If you had a vaginal birth, an ice pack can help with that pain. (A bag of frozen peas will work in a pinch, too.)
It’s normal for a postpartum body to excrete a discharge called lochia — a mixture of blood and uterine lining that, as Landry says, is different in “smell, texture and flow” from a normal period. (It can also last up to six weeks postpartum.) She recommends thick cotton pads, which she says are “nicer to your stitches.”
There are a ton of options out there, from the mesh underwear you get when you leave the hospital to ultra-soft cotton to absorbent fabric to straight-up diapers for the many new moms experiencing stress urinary incontinence. Figure out what feels best to you.
Lots of water
Landry was super thirsty postpartum, she said. “Keep water with you, always. ”
Again, pooping postpartum isn’t a fun experience. Landry suggests loading up on fibre to “keep it as push-free as possible.”
The most important part of any of this, of course, is to be patient and kind to yourself. A new baby is a gigantic adjustment, and these kinds of changes to your body would be tough to deal with even if you didn’t have the daunting task of caring for a newborn.
You’ve got this!