These beautiful words were written by Amy from @belovedpostnatal, following the birth of her first baby.

For me, this story highlights the shear amount of pain and struggle we have to manage postpartum. As I read this, all I could think of was the visitors, the random people on the street, the cashier in the shop. All asking the same things.

‘How is the baby?’

‘Are they good?’

And our answer, always the same.

‘Oh yes, they’re great, thanks. We're both doing fine'

Or the birth announcement that states ‘Mother and baby doing well'.

When Mother is exhausted, bleeding and overwhelmed.


Postpartum recovery is...

A retained placenta

A snapped umbilical cord

Losing a gush of blood

A crash button 999 call

Being stabbed with countless needles to get blood out and fluids in

Being transferred in an ambulance with your 1 hour old baby

Your husband having to travel separately through rush hour traffic

Lying in excruciating pain while doctors around you decide what to do

Having a bladder so full that they drain 1.5litres of urine from you

Having your placenta manually scooped out by a doctor

Screaming through a pain worse than childbirth


Fainting when you try and go for a wee

Being fitted with a catheter for 3 days

Bleeding more than you could think ssible

Trying to hold a newborn with bruises up both arms

Trying to sleep in a hot hospital ward with constant interruptions

Trying to learn to breastfeed while your whole body aches

Being sent home

Taking a catheter home with your new baby, trying to work out how you’ll shower with it

Crying with the pain from your tense muscles from a very intense labour

Learning to breastfeed

Not getting more than 3 hours sleep per night for days

Returning to hospital to have the catheter removed

Starting to feel better

Being visited by a range of different midwives

Being proud and in love with your baby

A poorly baby, an ambulance trip to the hospital

Your baby being prodded and poked by doctors

Being sent home, told to watch him closely

Not being able to sleep, checking he’s still breathing

Wanting to feel normal again

Learning to breastfeed

A health visitor telling you your baby isn’t gaining weight


A huge bleed and blood clots passed in the middle of the night

An ambulance call

A 4am trip to hospital

An antibiotic prescription and no real answer to the bleeding

Being sent home

Learning to breastfeed

Another big bleed, more blood clots

Another 4am trip to hospital

Waiting 12 hours for a scan

Having an internal scan with healing stitches

Being told that you still have parts of your placenta in your womb

Deciding that you want surgery to remove it


8 attempts to put in a needle

An overnight stay

IV antibiotics

Not being allowed to eat or drink for 12 hours, whilst breastfeeding

More needles, more bruises

Compression socks and a hospital gown

Leaving your baby to go to surgery

An operating table

General anaesthetic, feeling scared

Waking up in a different room in a different bed

Feeling so thirsty, 2 jugs of water

Being wheeled through the hospital

More waiting

News of a successful operation

Being sent home, again, for the last time

Embarking on the rest of your recovery, slowly and surely...


To share your postpartum story, please email or DM me @postpartum_matters.

I hope that by sharing our stories, we can change the conversation from ' bouncing back' to resting and recovering. And, as a society, we can start caring for and holding space for those who are postpartum.

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