As a breast-feeding mum my periods didn’t arrive for a long time after I had little man and due to my postpartum complications I felt hesitant to dive straight back into tampon use. I made sure I was given the OK to do so and the Doctor had said there was no reason for me not to be able to use tampons again
However no one ever warned me that once I had a baby my use of tampons might change so I was pretty shocked when aunt flow finally arrived for the first time 9 months after giving birth and I found myself feeling like a teenager trying to convert from pads to tampons for the first time.
Understandably, you are not allowed to use tampons immediately after the baby’s arrival for medical reasons, yet the use of pads just made me feel like a duck waddling around, and even once I was off the high-grade hospital version and on the slim line discreet available from the local supermarket, I knew I wanted to go back to tampon use as soon as possible.
So when the day arrived, I calmly searched out the box of tampons that had become hidden in my bathroom cabinet behind eighteen months worth of other products and set about doing what 100’s of women do every day. Except that’s where the normality of this ritual and calmness ended.
I literally cried as I tried to insert the applicator, and my initially thoughts quickly turned to my postpartum complications on which I squarely laid the blame for my inability to use a tampon like most adult women. However the Doctor had given me the green light so just didn’t get it.
In desperation I hopped online and a quick search of Google and a scan of several mum forums later, I was comforted in the knowledge I was not alone, although no solution was insight. Instead I found horror stories of mum’s never being able to use tampons again, having to double up with two tampons at a time and even a case of a lost tampon somewhere in the dark depths!
That day was a big fail for me as a woman and a new mum and probably one of the most traumatic mentality. I felt uncomfortable, on edge and if honest if I was a lesser character I doubt I would ever of picky up a tampon again. It didn’t sit right, it didn’t stay put, it leaking, it just generally was the worse experience of my womanly life and that’s saying something having just had a baby and a difficult after birth recovery.
Undeterred and resolute that I was never gonna covert to into a pad type of gal, I vowed not to be beaten. So the following day armed with a higher absorbance and a gritty determination and an abundance of tampons, I took about trying to get it right.
Firstly, going up to a higher absorbance, solved problem one, the leaking stopped, not because my flow was heavier, but as there is more material it allowed it to create the seal needed for tampons to be effective. Secondly, whilst I didn’t always get it right having the patience to feel out where I was going and what I was going rather than just absent-mindedly aiming and shooting, allowed me to nail it most times. (There were two occasions I had to change it 3 times in quick succession) which again having a slightly larger size I think helped with as well.
On a recent visit to my doctor and told him my tales of woe, and he looked at me quizzically. However he reassured me that with a little pelvic floor work and a good helping of time, things will improve further and there is no physical reason why I cannot resume using tampons like I did pre baby. He was quick to point out that things will never be the same as they were pre baby and that due to the trauma I experienced I will never fall into the category of the lucky few who would never know they’d delivered a child, yet I will if I continue to persevere get back to living a new normal for me, that will include being able to comfortably use tampons again.
So if you are out there frantically searching for some support on this matter, I hope that whilst I might not be able to offer you can golden tricks, I can at least comfort you in the knowledge you are not alone, there are others like you who are or who have gone through what you are going through now.