Many Thanks to Depends for sponsoring today’s post about the #underawareness movement!

Reader advisory statement:  This post will contain the messy truths and realities of the last trimester of pregnancy and the postpartum period. 

Do you remember watching the video of the Miracle of Life in middle school where the woman gives birth on television.  I do (maybe I’m dating myself).  I think it was a great way to cut down on teen pregnancy in my generation.  There are many truths to pregnancy– like labor hurting and being a lot of work, as is shown in the video.  There are a lot of other truths about the end of pregnancy and the period immediately post-partum, and I’d like to share them with you.  Most importantly, as I mentioned above about this post being sponsored by Depends, I want to draw your awareness to the fact that many women end up developing bladder leakage as the result of pregnancy.

My Mom Made That: Secrets of the Third and Fourth Trimester

Acid Reflux (All of Third Trimester): During the last months of pregnancy, I couldn’t lie down because of acid reflux.  It wasn’t just spicy food, it was any food.  Drinking water caused reflux. After admitting that taking every OTC medication allowable and bottles of antacids every day, the doctor finally gave me script for medication that worked.  You might think that you have experienced acid reflux before, but I promise you that until you have had pregnancy-induced reflux, you don’t really know what Acid Reflux is like.  There is one upside, as soon as you give birth, the acid reflux goes away.

Itchy Skin (Third Trimester): There are a bunch of different conditions that can ultimately cause itchy skin.  Most of them aren’t serious, but boy can you itch!  I scratched my skin raw and was covered in cortisone throughout the tail end of the third trimester.  Luckily this condition resolves within the first few weeks after giving birth.

Hunger Versus No Room (End of Third Trimester):  One of the greatest paradoxes, at least for me, during the very end of pregnancy– I was hungry, but I couldn’t eat.  I would get full after just a few bites.  Sometimes I was starving, and I would eat a regular-sized meal.  If I did that, it would come right back up. YUCK!   I ended up living on nutritional supplement drinks for my last two weeks of pregnancy because I knew I had just enough room to drink one of them.  Again, this resolves immediately after giving birth.

My Mom Made That: Secrets of the Third and Fourth Trimester

Swelling (Third Trimester & Fourth Trimester): Edema is common in pregnancy.  I think the majority of woman experience some swelling at the end of pregnancy.  Here’s something interesting though– for me, I end up swelling after giving birth.  Who knew?  I was so alarmed when I got home from the doctor that I called my OB/GYN, and found out that swelling can be a result of processing all of the extra fluids from the end of the pregnancy.  Luckily it resolves within the first two to three weeks of giving birth.

Tears (Fourth Trimester):  Yes, you get weepy during pregnancy; however, the tears you experience  during the first few weeks of the postpartum period is a strange thing.  (I’m not talking about postpartum depression which is a serious medical condition, and for which you need to seek medical advice!)  There are such huge fluctuations in hormones during those first few weeks that tears can just come out of nowhere.  When bring the Little Peanut home from the hospital, I burst into tears in the car because I was probably never going to get to experience bringing home a baby from the hospital again.  I WAS SOBBING!  The Mellow Man and the Big One looked at me like I was nuts.  These feelings of intense emotions usually go away by 6 weeks postpartum, and if they are impairing, see a doctor!

Night Sweats (Fourth Trimester):  After giving birth, you have a lot of fluids left over, and you end up sweating them out, at night.  With the Big One, it freaked me out.  I thought something was really wrong because no one warned me.  I’m warning you now– you sweat a lot for the first two to four weeks after giving birth.  It’s a way of getting rid of all of the extra fluids from pregnancy, but it is extremely gross.  Sleep on top of towels to prevent yourself from having to change the sheets every morning.

My Mom Made That: Secrets of the Third and Fourth Trimester

Bladder Leakage (Third and Fourth Trimester and BEYOND):  This gets so much worse the more times you give birth and the more pregnancies you experience.  It’s something that  is embarrassing to women, unless they are talking to other hugely pregnant woman.  Here’s the reality: badder control is compromised at the end of pregnancy, and may not fully improve after giving birth.  Ever!  Now when I was traveling in Turkey, in all of the pictures above, I used Depends.  Yup, I was wearing protection for my bladder leakage.  I had to because I couldn’t count on myself to make it to the restroom in time.  Here’s the secret truth that most women pre-pregnancy don’t realize– more people under the age of 50 have bladder leakage problem than due people over 60. (Approxiately 65 million people!) I don’t have any data, but I’m guessing those numbers include a lot of very pregnant and postpartum mamas.

Plus, bladder leakage isn’t something that resolves right away either.  For me, after having a catheter during delivery (another secret that you don’t find about until later in the pregnancy), my system struggles to re-regulate for the first week or so after giving birth.  This means that using a product like Depends Silhouette Active Fit is a great way to feel protected from mild to moderate bladder leakage while not feeling like an invalid wearing diapers.

Thankfully for me, most of the bladder leakage problems resolved once my system restarted about 10 days after the Little Peanut arrived; however, I want first time moms to be a little more prepared for the secret realities of pregnancy and the fourth trimester.

More importantly, I want to help eliminate some of the stigma surrounding bladder leakage in women.  That’s why I’m happy to support the #Underawareness camp again by Depends.  I’d love for you to also show your support for women and MOMS with bladder leakage. For every photo and video shared using #Underwareness and featuring Depend products, the Depend brand will donate $1, up to $3 million, through 2016 to fund charities that advance the research and education of bladder leakage.

If you are a woman who is experiencing bladder leakage, please visit www.Underwareness.com to support the cause and request free samples of Depend Silhouette Active Fit. Depend Silhouette Active Fit briefs are a new moderate-absorbency brief that feature a thin design for complete comfort with the trusted protection of the Depend brand and a lower rise+ for an underwear-like look, fit and feel. As a category first, the product is available in black and beige colors.  They really do!  Be sure to check them out!

To encourage you to learn even more about #Underawareness, I’ve got a Giveaway going on right now to win $15 Cash via Paypal!  Yup, another $15 Giveaway.  Hope you’ll enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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