If pregnancy is weird, then postpartum is even weirder.
People like to write about weird pregnancy symptoms ad nauseum, so I'm well-versed in pregnancy woes. But you know what I, and many others, are not quite as well-versed in?
It's as though the weirdness of pregnancy is perfectly acceptable to talk about because, "Oh, how sweet, you're creating a tiny miracle!", but the second that baby pops out and you start experiencing crazy hormone shifts and crazy bodily changes, well that's a little too real for people to handle.
Because of this, far too many of us spend our postpartum period feeling like defective freaks whose bodies are falling apart and there's very little information online—aside from the occasional discussion board—to let women know that these symptoms do happen for other women too and they're totally normal. Weird, but normal.
So I recently posed the question to been there, done that moms: "What are the strangest postpartum symptoms you experienced?" and here's what they had to say:
"Postpartum, my armpit smell could rival a junior high boy! Yes, I was
bathing. But I could not get it to go away! I had to use my husband's
deodorant, because mine wasn't cutting it. Ah, special memories." - W.S.
"My linea negra hung around FOREVER after I had my baby. I expected it would go away immediately. Nope. It finally went away around the time my daughter was 18-months-old... and then I got pregnant again." - B.W.
"This is so SO embarrassing, but postpartum queefing is a thing. A very real and embarrassing thing that happened to me after the birth of my third child. I would literally get out of bed in the morning or get off the couch after sitting for awhile and it would happen... long, loud, and undisguiseable. I COULD NOT STOP IT. At first I thought it was gas, but nope. It was definitely queefing. I finally asked my OB about it and she told me it's just something that happens for some women—especially after having multiple babies and having things be 'looser.' She said there wasn't much I could do except for waiting it out. It went on for months before finally going away and it was seriously mortifying." - R.L.
"My teeth got super sensitive after having my son. It went away after a couple of months for the most part, but even now, they are still more sensitive than they were before I had him." - W.A.
My tailbone felt like it was broken for a couple of months after having my son.
"The labor pains after I had my third child were unreal. They were way worse than my unmedicated labor and happened for days after giving birth—especially when I nursed my baby. I was about ready to ask for a postpartum epidural!" - C.D.
"I never got weird pregnancy cravings, but postpartum I suddenly loved things I used to hate: green olives, beer and dark chocolate! So weird!" - K.Z.
"The pooping. Dear Lord, why did no one tell me about the pooping?! For almost a year after having my baby my poops were so weird and painful. I was either constipated or on the brink of diarrhea at all times and basically every poop felt like sharp, stabbing knives. I read in an online forum that this happens for some women as their digestive system goes back into place, but I had never heard about it before!" - M.H.
"I developed terrible scalp psoriasis after having my first child. My dermatologist said that while heredity does have something to do with it (my dad has it), it's often onset by stress and hormone fluctuations. It's gotten worse with each of my three pregnancies as well as immediately postpartum and there's not really much you can do for it while pregnant or nursing." - L.H.
"My tailbone felt like it was broken for a couple of months after having my son. It was super painful and took a good bit of chiropractic work before things fell back in order." - C.A.
"I developed weird nerve sensations. My hands and arms and feet would fall asleep super easily and often and I would have to deal with that tingling, pins and needles feeling. It finally went away about four months in, but it was so strange!" - K.P.
"After having my baby, my face was drier than the Sahara desert! No face lotion was strong enough to quench it. The rest of my skin was completely normal though!" - A.S.
"Vaginal discharge is weird and annoying postpartum. My discharge smelled super strong and I had so much of it all the time that I had to wear a panty liner 24/7 otherwise it would feel like I peed my pants. But then when it was time to have sex, it was drier than dry down there. Thanks hormones." - C.L.
"After I had my baby, I had the worst uncontrollable gas! It smelled so awful! I felt really bad for my husband, but there was nothing I could do about it. Also, I feel like he couldn't really complain after I birthed a human." - D.S.