10 Ways Your Body Changes After Pregnancy

Your body goes through tremendous changes when you get pregnant. But what about afterwards?  I don’t intend to scare you, but here are some of the typical postpartum changes that happen to your body.

Hair

Remember how thick and luscious your hair got during pregnancy?  Well that is all about to fall out. Don’t be alarmed when clumps of hair start coming out a few weeks after delivery. All those raging hormones from pregnancy are gone and now your body has to compensate for it by losing the extra hair.  You will not go bald though, I promise.

Skin

Good news here is if you had acne during pregnancy, it should start so clear up after delivery. Bad news
is some moms may develop a red rash around their mouth and chin area.  You could also develop dry skin (I did).  Don’t worry though, these things should go away within a few weeks. 

Breasts

The breast changes were a hard one for me to get over. Before kids, I had perky, firm breasts.  After kids, they turned into deflated balloons.  It took some time (like 3 years) to accept that my breasts will never be the same as they before.  It helped to remind myself that it is perfectly normal and okay to have these changes. Just for the record, if you truly cannot get over the changes, you can always get a breast augmentation.  Just be prepared to spend a pretty penny for that surgery (7-9k).

Vaginal/Pelvic Pain

This one should be obvious if you just got done pushing a 6-8 pounder out of there.  Jokes aside, this one really does hurt for a
bit after birth. You will be tender, especially if you had to get stitches.  If you are breastfeeding, you may experience vaginal dryness as well. If you are like me, you may experience what is called Postpartum Pelvic Girdle Pain (PPGP).  This is when a gap forms between your pelvic bones and stretches the ligaments, usually caused if the baby’s head is pushing down a certain way during birth. My doctor told me that the pain from this can last anywhere from 3-8 months. I ofcourse got the longer sentence on this one (pain went away at 8 months). If this is something you are concerned about, make sure to talk to your doctor.

Emotional

Postpartum emotional changes was something I read about often, but I didn’t know how hard it would hit me once I was holding a tiny baby in my arms.  I’m pretty sure I went through every emotion in the book, more so with my first baby than my second.  I found myself being in extreme bliss, joy and happiness to being completely overwhelmed, angry, sad and terrified all in one.  I had what I thought were the baby blues, but it turns out it was full-blown postpartum depression (both times).  I won’t get into the details of my own experience with postpartum depression in this post, but I will say if you feel like you may have this PLEASE reach out for help. 

Getting back on track, just know you will feel everything. Sad to happy and everything in-between. I promise that you are not going crazy.  You are mom trying to adjust to this HUGE life change.  Your body is also trying to regulate itself to being a solo resident again.  Give yourself time, love and patience. You will get through it.

Stomach

Oh the stomach. The problem area for many women even before having kids.  Your stomach just went through tremendous
changes in the last 9 months (give or take). 

  • If you just gave birth, changes are you can still feel your enlarged uterus just above your pelvic bone.  This should go back to normal size in about 6 weeks.
  • In addition, the linea nigra (random brown line in the middle of your belly) will still be there, but should fade over time. 
  • You cannot forget about the stretch marks. If you didn’t get those you are one of the lucky ones! A cool thing about the stretch marks is they will also fade over time and/or get lighter in color. You can also use H-Stretch Marks Formula to help with this. It worked wonders for me!
  • A strange change that may or may not happen is called diastasis recti.  This is when the adnominal muscles that usually meet in the center of your stomach separate from the pressure of your humungo uterus when you were pregnant. You may see a bulge in the middle of your stomach from this. Your doctor will be able to give you the proper direction to take if you have this postpartum “side effect”.
  • This one is obvious, but if you are the 1 out of 3 moms who deliver via C-section, you will have a cesarean scar just above your pelvic bone.   Wear it proudly!
  • Last point I will make is your skin.  Your skin will be lose in your mid-section and chances are this will not go away.  Typically, this isn’t even noticeable unless you are activity pulling at your skin to see how far it will stretch out now. 

I will say your stomach will never be exactly as it was before, but if you do some abdominal exercises,it will help tone up that area overtime. No matter what though, self-acceptance is the key. Be proud of what that
stomach of yours just created!

Incontinence

Yep, this is a thing.  Now that your baby isn’t putting pressure on your bladder anymore, you are probably going pee less often. However, you may find that you “leak” here and there after coughing or sneezing.  The muscles around your bladder have been weakened, which make it hard to control the flow. It will probably take 3-6 months (or longer) to regain bladder control, but to help speed up the process, try doing Kegels (3 sets of 30 a day).  In the meantime, get used to sneezing and coughing while crossing your legs.

Energy levels

This one is a bit odd considering you will be (or already are) sleep deprived taking care of your new baby all day and night, but many women say they have increased energy levels in the first 4-6 weeks after giving birth. For me personally, I felt more energized than ever, even though I was running on 3-4 hours of sleep every night. I’m going to guess it had something to do with my heighten senses and fear/excitement of being a new mom.

Sweating

You may experience night sweats after giving birth. The reason is because your body does not need all the extra fluids it was hoarding before when you were pregnant. A way for your body it release it is through perspiration. This won’t last too long, but it can be annoying.

Back pain

Your back is going to be taking the brunt of your body weight for a while until your adnominal muscles get back up to par again. Because you will be putting the extra weight on your back, you might have some back pain. Don’t worry too much. This side effect usually goes away in about 6 weeks after birth as your abdomen strengthens up again.

As you can see, there are many body changes that happen postpartum. They may sound bad or terrifying, but it is nothing that you can’t handle with a little bit of patience and self-love. From physical to mental, embrace those changes as you enter a new chapter of your life. Your body went through amazing transformation and it’s all just proof that you participated in the miracle of life.