Actress and singer Ashley Tisdale, who welcomed her first child (a super cute daughter named Jupiter) with husband, Christopher French, last month, has shared a candid post detailing the unexpected postpartum side effects that she experienced, in the hopes of educating more future parents.
Detailing that ahead of giving birth, she was in the middle of her pregnancy when she discovered she'd likely need to wear nappies after delivering and that a friend also told her, "'Oh yea [sic] you bleed a lot after'... It’s like your friends hide the details and when you get pregnant they forget to mention the worst parts."
Ashley also spoke really honestly about her body's own reaction to and recovery from her delivery, saying that in the first two weeks afterwards she experienced side effects such as "Night sweats (drenched FYI), blood (gross), and I had some real fun symptoms that aren’t normal postpartum including nausea and extreme back pain".
Night sweats aren't uncommon in the early postpartum stages due to hormone levels changing and postpartum bleeding, according to the NHS website, "usually stops by the time your baby is 12 weeks old". It also states that back pain can be helped with strengthening exercises and that if a physical problem is bothering you, ask a GP or health visitor for help at any time.
Continuing on, Ashley said that her back pain was the post-birth symptom that she found the hardest. "The back pain was definitely the hardest part for me, especially because I didn’t know where it was coming from," she writes. "Talking to my doctors about this and trying to figure it out was hard as well. I felt like no one could tell me what was going on with my body and why I had extreme nausea to the point where sometimes I missed a feeding with the baby, and my husband had to supplement formula."
Ashley also shared that luckily, after three weeks of "crawling onto the floor because my back hurt so bad", she was able to pin down the root cause. "I remembered my doctor asking me what they had me on, which was Motrin," she says. "He mentioned that Motrin builds acid in your stomach after a while. I had horrible acid reflux when pregnant, and I wondered if this had something to do with that. I Googled back pain and acid reflux, and there was a link!"
She adds that, "Thankfully, after taking the medicine my doctor gave me for it and it was completely gone."
On her reasons for wanting to discuss her post-birth experiences so candidly, Ashley explained that she's motivated by wanting to keep it real, especially as we live in a world where social media dominates but doesn't always show the full picture.
"During this 'fourth trimester' you’re physically going through it, but you’re also mentally going through it," she notes. "I was lucky I didn’t have postpartum depression, but I was just trying to find who I am in this new role. Doing normal things like hiking and activities I love to make me feel like the 'old Ashley' [helps]. It’s important to talk about our real experiences and not hide the parts that aren’t so pleasant or cute enough to show on Instagram."
We can't help but applaud Ashley for her honesty – and if you're experiencing any symptoms after giving birth that you weren't expecting, or would just generally like more advice on the postpartum experience, it's always best to reach out to your GP or midwife.
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