After giving birth to her daughter in July, Cardi B was set to go on tour with Bruno Mars this fall. But she had to drop out of the tour, saying at the time that she simply wasn’t ready. Now, in a new interview with W, Cardi B revealed more details about why she had to cancel, including the many postpartum difficulties she experienced.
“Four weeks after giving birth, I was supposed to start rehearsals for a fall tour with Bruno Mars, and I couldn’t even squat down,” she explained in the interview.
“People don’t really talk about what you go through after pregnancy,” she continued. Specifically, Cardi B said she had to deal with many unexpected physical and mental changes, which surprised her, as she found no one really spoke to her about these changes while she was pregnant.
“Like, they don’t tell you that you get stitches down there or that your first two weeks you’re constipated. Or that you get contractions because of breastfeeding. I wasn’t expecting that,” she continued. “When Kulture was born, I felt like I was a kid again; everything was making me cry, and I needed a lot of love. I be feeling like, Do babies know who’s they mom? I feel like babies love whoever is giving them the milk, and I want to give the milk the whole time. I want her to know me. I feel better now, but sometimes I just feel so vulnerable, like I’m not ready for the world yet. It’s weird.”
The challenges for the rapper started as soon as she found out she was pregnant, when those close to her began questioning how a baby might impact her career. “I was f*cking freaking out,” she recalled. “Everybody around me was like, ‘No, this never happened before. Every artist that had a baby, they already put in years in the game. This is your first year. You’re going to mess it up. How are you going to make it?'” (We have a feeling she made it and is doing just fine, thanks.)
Although we don’t know the specifics of Cardi B’s situation, we do know that the so-called “fourth trimester” period is often full of surprises, as SELF wrote previously.
As if your body hasn’t already been through enough, during the first few months after giving birth, you might notice that your breasts continue to get bigger, that you lose some extra hair, or that you have night sweats.
But you might also notice some physically painful changes. As Cardi B mentioned, you can expect to experience some pain as your body recovers, whether you had a C-section or a vaginal delivery. Although the exact level of discomfort varies from person to person, it can take six weeks or longer for your body to heal. Along with that, you might have some cramping or contractions (sometimes called “afterpains“) as your uterus adjusts.
And, yes, you’ll probably notice some weirdness when you’re going to the bathroom. Dehydration and prescription pain medications can cause constipation. And if you tore during delivery (which could require some stitches), peeing is probably going to sting as that area heals.
However, it’s the mental changes that many people find to be more subtle. Although it’s common to experience some mood shifts in the first two weeks after pregnancy (commonly referred to as the “baby blues”), feeling off for longer than that may be a sign of something more serious. Postpartum depression may cause typical depression symptoms—persistent sadness or hopelessness, a loss of interest in things you once enjoyed, changes in appetite or sleep patterns—but it can also cause irritability, anxiety, and even psychosis in severe cases.
So, although it’s pretty much impossible to avoid all of these changes, you can ask your medical team about the mental and physical changes to expect and also make sure you have support systems in place to help you deal with them.