Being pregnant is a beautiful and blessed time in any woman’s life. But, let’s talk about the postpartum body. Just like pregnancy, childbirth also has its ups and downs. Giving birth is such a surreal experience, you will always be in awe of how you brought your baby to life. With that being said, I’m going to share with you how your body changes after giving birth.
I loved both of my pregnancies and births. With my first pregnancy I gave birth vaginally and with my twin pregnancy, I gave birth via C-section. Both of my labor were different, but my postpartum period were very similar. My body went through a lot whether I had a vaginal birth or a C-section.
There were a lot of things that I didn’t expect from my postpartum body as a new mom. Yes, I’ve read books about pregnancy and talked to my family about what to expect during and after labor. But, like always some things were not said and so I was left experiencing unexpected things after birth. I’m here to ease your curiosity and actually tell you the truth about what can happen to your body after you give birth.
What is a postpartum body?
“Your body goes through a lot during pregnancy. … Your body has a lot of work to do in the postpartum weeks: recovering from the hard work of labour, healing any tears or bruised tissue and getting milk production underway. It will take time for your body to return to its non-pregnant state” (source)
How does your body changes after having a baby?
Your body literally just went through major changes! From pregnancy to birth. You are going to understand your postpartum body changes. Just keep on reading 🙂
14 unexpected things that happen to your postpartum body after birth
1.Pregnant belly stays
With my first pregnancy, I honestly thought that my pregnant belly would magically disappear the moment I give birth. I was so wrong and naive I guess. You will indeed still look pregnant, not 9 months pregnant but 4 months pregnant. It will take some time for your stomach to look like it was pre-pregnancy.
Your belly will shrink and eventually go back to it’s original size in about 6 to 10 weeks. Your belly skin however may take longer.
Many women experience diastasis recti where your abdominal muscles separate. This is caused during your pregnancy where your stomach muscles separate to make room for your growing baby.
Right after you give birth, whether is via C-section or vaginally, you will experience heavy bleeding. Also known as “lochia” or postpartum bleeding. The heavy bleeding will usually last about two weeks.
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Be prepared with these postpartum 3. Breast engorgement
Another thing you’re going to experience with your postpartum body is engorged breasts the days following your baby’s birth. Your breasts are producing more milk than your baby is drinking. Your breasts may be more fuller and at times can be painful. make sure to buy the right size bra to fit your postpartum breasts.
Ease engorged breasts by:
- online breastfeeding class. Learn how to breastfeed like a pro in just 90 minutes. Videos that are easy to watch from a real lactation consultant! Worth checking out!
Remember the linea negra you had during your pregnancy? Well mama it stays for a while! It will not disappear immediately after birth. The good news is that it will eventually go away. You will have to Embrace it for now.
5.Swelling down there
If you gave birth vaginally, your area down there will swell in your vagina. If you had vaginal tear and have stitches, it can be uncomfortably painful the first couple of days. Normal everyday things like peeing can be a dramatic experience.
These products can help:
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Are you feeling contractions again after you gave birth? You are not imagining things, you are in fact feeling cramps that are also called “after pains” that can make you think you are contracting.
The reason for this is that your uterus is shrinking back to its old self pre-pregnancy. These after pains can last for a couple of days.
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7.Stretch marks are here to stay
Your stretch marks are here to stay mama. You may feel sad or totally okay with it. Either way, just know that your stretch marks may be less noticeable and can even fade a little in color.
You may try these helpful stretch Mark products:
- 8.Hair loss
I do not remember experiencing hair loss after both of my labors, but I do know many women do experience this. Hair loss is actually a normal and temporary thing.
Things that might help:
- Drink plenty of water
- Do not over brush your hair
- Avoid heat on your hair (blow drying or hot iron)
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9.Swelling on your feet and face
You may still experience swelling on your face and feet after you give birth. This is called “postpartum edema” and it happens because of the excess amount of fluids you have remaining in your body.
Another thing to look out for with your postpartum body is hemorrhoids. Some women may only experience itchiness and some may experience pain. Hemorrhoids may also vary in size. The good news about hemorrhoids is that they aren’t serious and can be treated at home.
Products that can help:
- 11. Water weight
After giving birth you will loose about 7 pounds of water retention. You will also loose a couple of more pounds from the placenta which is good news. Your body will be loosing more water weight during the up coming weeks after giving birth.
Having constipation can be something that many women may experience after birth. It may take a couple of days for you to have regular bowel movements again.
Ways to help with constipation:
- Eat high fiber foods (beans, fresh fruits and vegetables)
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day
- Stool softeners can help but first consult with your doctor!
13.Shoe and ring size increased
After giving birth to my first born, I noticed that my ring and shoe size increased half a size. I used to be a size 7 1/2 in shoes and now I am an 8. My rings pre-pregnancy do not fit anymore, which I was truly surprised and I didn’t expect that to happen.
Many women suffer from bladder control which is also called incontinence. Where they accidentally leak when laughing, coughing, sneezing or exercising. Doing pelvic floor exercises like ”kegel exercises” can help strengthen the muscles in your pelvic area.
Your postpartum body have gone through so many changes. You may feel drained after giving birth and that’s totally normal. Try to rest as much as you can and remember to take it easy. Ask for help when you need it and enjoy this special moment in your life.
There are a lot of changes happening to your body after birth. That you may know about and then there are other things that are totally unexpected. Your postpartum body is beautiful and remember it just did a big job. It birthed your baby. Give it time, give yourself grace and enjoy your motherhood journey.
I hope you have found this post insightful on what unexpected things can happen to your body after birth.
- 8.Hair loss
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