Funny Postpartum Stories: Not So Funny at the Time

Funny postpartum stories: we all have them. Lack sleep, inexperience, and the more physical aspects of having a baby are what lead to these anecdotes in the first place. We’re worn down and dragging, yet this being is totally dependent on us, so we run on autopilot. The results are often hilarious.

Mindy Cockeram, author of a book on breastfeeding, appropriately named “Breastfeeding Doesn’t Have to Suck,” remembers not understanding that her baby was giving her certain cues. “In the first few days after my first baby was born, I called to pediatrician to ask about my child’s odd head movement. She would turn her head and crane her neck towards me. I called it the ‘Woody Woodpecker’ move and thought she must have some neurological problem. I remember the response I got vividly:  ‘She’s rooting for the breast – she’s hungry!’

“I was terribly embarrassed that I didn’t know the basics.  I recount that story about three times a week because I now teach breastfeeding and cover it when we discuss feeding cues!”

breastfeeding newborn

Gross and Funny Postpartum Stories

Cockeram is not the only new mom to have awkward stories about breastfeeding. “I have A LOT of gross and funny stories to share about postpartum life after my three kids, but the most memorable was nearly blinding myself with my own breast milk. I was trying to clasp my bra back together after feeding and just wanted to see what I was doing, but Ol’ Reliable decided that was the time to squirt out a bunch of milk, which went all over my face, and, most importantly, right in my eye. Why did no one tell me that was a thing that could happen?!” said media executive Hannah Pierce.

Heidi McBain, a therapist for moms and moms to be, has a funny postpartum story that illustrates the way young siblings may not exactly understand the “purpose” of the new baby. “Our three and a half year old daughter was so excited about having a little brother to play with when he came home from the hospital. She would pile her stuffed animals around him and wait for him to play. Then she’d look at us and ask when he was going to do something. Luckily, those early days are short-lived and soon he was ‘doing something’ and eventually became old enough to play with her!”

McBain still likes to retell this story to the two siblings, who today are 16 and 13 years old. “As teens they don’t find these early stories of how cute they both used to be as funny and endearing as we do. Or maybe it’s more about us and a way parents of teens get through these trying years, by reliving funny stories from the past.

mom holds nose while changing newborn diaper

Funny Poop Stories

Poop stories are always a fun time, as Liesel Teen, a labor and delivery nurse, and mom of two young boys can attest. “In the first few days and weeks postpartum, hands down the thing that was funniest and most surprising to me is the POWER behind a newborn’s poops! It seriously made me laugh out loud when it sounded like a trumpet of poop was going down in his diaper. It feels like a little bathroom humor is just what you need in those foggy, exhausting, early days and my husband and I found so much comic relief in our baby’s poops.

“The second story happened when my guy was 5 months old – and also involves poop. He was in his little baby activity center/bouncer thing and had a HUGE blowout. I was busy doing the dishes and didn’t notice for who knows how long. He was just happily bouncing and babbling at me. When I looked over poop was literally EVERYWHERE. He had been bouncing in it, it was all over his legs and feet, all over the activity center, and truly all I could do was laugh. We went up to the bath, got him cleaned up and hosed off the thing outside. It’s a story I will DEFINITELY be telling him when he’s older.”

Teen has put her funny postpartum experiences to good use in the online classes and resources she offers at Mommy Labor Nurse that help to prepare women for pregnancy and birth.

Mom asleep in tent as daughter shushes

Funny Postpartum Wrong Tent Story

Sleep, sleep, sleep. It’s the thing we need most after giving birth, but it’s in short supply. It makes new parents groggy and prone to ridiculous mistakes. Like Lisa Daniels, a content editor who “disappeared” during a family camping trip, as a new mom. “My family decided to go camping when I was two months postpartum. With my husband, my two toddler boys and my two months old newborn, our family is complete. It was a typical family night with a few campers in tow. I asked my husband to look after the kids for a while when everyone chose to go to bed since I felt compelled to do so by the call of nature.

“I went straight to bed when I got back to our tent since I was so weary. Just as I was ready to close my eyes, I heard my husband shouting out my name, as if I am a missing person. Then I was in shock when I realized that the tent was not ours. Having the tent’s owner look at me as if I was a burglar made it an extremely embarrassing experience for me!

“‘Til now, I’ve always told this story to my children and they’ve all had a good laugh!”

mom caught eating in restaurant as newborn sleeps

“You Forgot Your Baby!”

It’s one thing to invade the wrong tent during a family camping trip, but Cockeram one-ups Daniels with this story of forgetting a baby altogether! “My neighbors and my husband and I went out for dinner when our newborns were about two weeks old. We left our baby home asleep with a relative but they brought their baby and put her under the table asleep in her car seat. When we finished and left the restaurant, they forgot the baby under the table! The owner of the restaurant came running out yelling ‘You forgot your baby.’ It still makes us laugh that this could have happened!”

Every parent has a funny postpartum story. Perhaps we add a bit to the way we retell them over the years. But these are memories we cherish, that make us smile, and they’re great to share with other new parents and with our children. Most parents, in fact, can relate to these afterbirth stories, and appreciate them as much as their own, personal anecdotes of new parenthood.

As we tell these funny stories and listen to the stories of others, the memory of those early days with a newborn bring back those feelings we had as new parents. The insecurity and the fatigue, but also the almost overwhelming love we felt as we held, nursed, and bonded with our infants in the first few days and weeks. It makes us laugh, but also warms our hearts to tell and retell our funny postpartum stories, to anyone who will listen.

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About Varda Epstein

Varda Meyers Epstein serves as editor in chief of Kars4Kids Parenting. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Varda is the mother of 12 children and is also a grandmother of 12. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Learning Site, The eLearning Site, and Internet4Classrooms.