You definitely know about certain postpartum body changes from people around you or from the Internet. There are some postpartum changes that pretty much no one shares with you. You will find them here!
First off, having a baby can drastically change your body. While some women may bounce back to their original self after they had their baby. Others do not. When I had my first child, I couldn’t move from one place for like a month. The intense vaginal pain didn’t go for about 4 months. I was so focused on my baby and the pain I hardly had time to notice the postpartum body changes I started to have.
I was somehow flying blind for the most part of postpartum. After some time battling with pain and adjusting to the new lifestyle, I started to notice a few body changes after postpartum. I don’t want other women to have the same lousy experience that I had. S, to help you with your postpartum body changes as a new mom, here are some important things no one told you about:
- 1 Your Hair Might Fall Out
- 2 You Might Have Brittle Nails
- 3 You May Experience Loose Skin
- 4 Stretch Marks Are Real
- 5 Inflated and Deflated boobs
- 6 Breastfeeding Might Be Difficult
- 7 Your Bladder Weakens
- 8 Hemorrhoids Can Be Painful
- 9 Pooping Sucks No Matter What
- 10 Postpartum Back Pain
- 11 More Abdominal Contractions
- 12 Having Heavy Periods
- 13 Overwhelming Emotional Changes
- 14 Your Smell Will Change
- 15 Your Fertility Returns
- 16 Bonding May Take Some Time
- 17 Last But Not Least It Gets Better
Your Hair Might Fall Out
When I was pregnant, I had the most beautiful. Probably because of all those vitamins I took during pregnancy. This didn’t last long. As soon as I gave birth to my first baby, I witnessed my hair falling out in clumps. I had curly hair before my first child, which somehow turned a little straight after giving birth.
I can tell you it’s great when you’re pregnant and your hair and nails are luscious and grow faster. But this ends when the postpartum body begins the hormonal shift from pregnant to not pregnant and all that glowing skin and thick lustrous hair is traded in for dull skin tone and dry falling out hair.
You may also notice the texture of your hair changes and this is one of the worst body changes after postpartum. Hormones may also be responsible for hair change. However, with all the body changes during postpartum this makes sense that your hair would follow suit.
You can still help yourself with some hair loss solutions like a thickening shampoo or taking some good biotin supplements. And you should continue taking your prenatal vitamins to help with hair fall. Other than this maintaining a well-balanced diet is important for your overall health and especially hair loss as it is with any other postpartum body changes.
You Might Have Brittle Nails
Unlike most women, some might experience brittle, weak and thin nails during postpartum as their body changes. Well, thanks to the hormones again!
I as mentioned above having a healthy and well-balanced diet help prevent the nails from breakage. Your body is continuously changing and it is crucial to take care of yourself. Again, I cannot stress enough on taking your prenatal vitamins before, during and after your pregnancy.
As for the nails, if you are suffering from brittle nails, make sure to have regular manicures. There is no need for going to a salon for that. Save some couple of dollars and buy a good nail buffer and nail strengthener. Also, to add an extra boost you can buy a good vitamin. I can swear by Sugar Bear Hair.
You May Experience Loose Skin
Just like the hair falling out skin takes a hit during the postpartum period by becoming dry and lose. During pregnancy, your skin stretches when you pun on some weight. Once you deliver the baby, it becomes saggy or loose.
There are several reasons as to why your skin’s elasticity is affected, such as:
- Being overweight
- The weight you lost
- Your age
- Your exposure to the sun
- Whether or not you smoke
If you are experiencing dry and itchy skin make sure that you are taking care of yourself and eating a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables while getting plenty of water. You must take at least a gallon of water every day. These 128-ounces of bottles are amazing and you won’t have a problem refilling them again and again.
Other than eating healthy, consider working towards regaining your body’s collagen by adding collagen powder to your daily routine. Apply some coconut oil every day and once you have gained strength you can do some exercises to shed that weight and loose skin off.
Stretch Marks Are Real
There are women I honestly envy the most. The one who doesn’t get stretch marks. Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the sentiment here that is to be proud my body was capable of producing life and no worries if it’s stretchy.
The fact is, it might be a badge of honor but sometimes I do feel a little insecure about my stretch marks. Stretch marks fade, I know, but when I was pregnant my body had a tendency to get stretch marks no matter what I applied to it. Those were deep red marks. For some, these are a little white and fades with time.
Inflated and Deflated boobs
This is one of the perks of postpartum body changes. Whether you choose to breastfeed your baby or not, the boobs will tend to swallow during pregnancy and once you give birth to your child.
When you start breastfeeding, the tenderness will subside for a while. But once you miss a feeding… well, you have a pretty good idea of how it feels. Your boobs will be sorer than you ever thought was humanly possible. Become friends with some good nipple cream and apply some ice packs as well.
Unfortunately, when those same breasts are emptied, they look something like deflated balloons. It’s just how boobs work. Now you need some push-up bra’s, pectoral exercises, and sometimes just losing some weight and getting healthy can help to alleviate the pain and sagginess. But let me tell you a truth about this postpartum body change, those boobs you had will never be back again. Someway or the other they will change.
Breastfeeding Might Be Difficult
If you choose to breastfeed your baby then get ready for some little work. When I gave birth to my daughter, I thought the toughest part of motherhood was giving birth to a child after 20 hours of labor pain. But when I started breastfeeding, I found out that it has its own perks.
Breastfeeding was honestly the most difficult part where my daughter had difficulty in latching and me having low milk supply. This is why I highly recommend having a good diet with your prenatal vitamins. There are some really good courses I found on the Internet when I was pregnant with my second child. They helped me and can help you as well. They are:
- The Ultimate Breastfeeding Class – This course will help you go through the breastfeeding process smoothly.
- The Ultimate Back to Work Pumping Class – This class will help you familiarize yourself with the Breast Pump and to actually pump. It has numerous ways to increase your milk supply, so don’t miss it.
Breastfeeding moms often have to deal with leaky breasts and it’s pretty embarrassing when it happens. It’s totally normal, though. Don’t be shocked if your shirt is suddenly soaked. It’s actually a sign that you’re breastfeeding properly because you’re producing milk. Be sure to have some nursing bra pads on hand and change them often so your nipples don’t get sore from exposure to moisture. Another way is to give yourself a hug to apply a bit of pressure on your breasts.
Your Bladder Weakens
I never peed my pants during pregnancy. After pregnancy? Well, let’s just say that was an entirely different story for a good long while.
Women experience a weekend bladder if they had an episiotomy or the nerves that control the bladder were damaged during childbirth. If this is a case get used to crossing your legs every time you sneeze, cough, or laugh. The Ultimate postpartum sore body changes one has to bear with!
Urinary bladder weakness is a real thing for new moms that can be embarrassing. Trust me, this happens to a lot of women, you are not alone and it is nothing to be embarrassed about. The childbirth can weaken your pelvic floor muscles and this is why you experience this.
Try to wear panty liners so that if you sneeze or cough you won’t have to worry about changing your pants when you dribble a little. Do Kegel exercises, pelvic tilts, lunges, and gentle yoga abdominal work. Once the pelvic floor is strong again then urinary incontinence is no issue. You can also get a Kegel exercise toner if you feel you need an extra boost in your Kegel workout.
Hemorrhoids Can Be Painful
One of the scariest postpartum body changes is Hemorrhoids. I never had hemorrhoids when I was pregnant, so I thought I am lucky. But hemorrhoids can seriously come whenever they please. I never had this problem, but I had other cuts and tears that were equally horrific. If you had a c-section then you don’t have to worry about it.
Hemorrhoids happen when the veins in your rectum swell as a result of the pressure from pushing either a baby or a stool. They can be very painful sometimes resulting in bleeding, and additional swelling around the anus. If you feel intense pain you must go and see your doctor. No need to live in misery.
As for home remedies I always used this donut pillow to keep myself a little alleviated. This helped me with my tears and cuts as well. It can help you if you have problems with sitting being very painful. To ease the pain and swelling, enjoy a little sitz bath with soothing bath salts. You can also use creams to prevent itching and swelling.
Again, if you are experiencing severe symptoms, contact your health care provider to help you with your condition.
Pooping Sucks No Matter What
With all due respect, you just had a baby, which is pretty big like taking out the biggest poop of your life. I know it’s not a very fancy explanation of giving birth, but it’s kind of accurate.
Whether you are constipated or not, or you have hemorrhoids or not, this is pretty obvious. But if you have hemorrhoids then this can make it worse. So, make sure to treat it. When you give birth everything in your lady parts is swollen and sore. This is natural to feel pressured and uneasy to pass stool.
I had severe pain in the passing stool for a month due to the cuts. I literally cried a lot before going to the bathroom imagining the horrific pain I would feel. If this is a problem for you, you better start taking a stool softener to prevent having to push too hard when you have to go.
Taking a stool softener makes the whole experience less daunting. You would be smart enough to add this item to the list of stuff you are going to take to the hospital. Lastly, don’t worry this is also temporary and you will eventually have that lovely experience of pooping once again.
Postpartum Back Pain
You just gave birth to a baby and your hips and back might be feeling it. It is totally normal for a while, but eventually, it should reside and if not better go to a chiropractor. This is the best advice I can give you as I am still having that freaking pain after giving birth to two babies 3 years ago.
Going a little deeper, your body goes through hormonal changes when you become pregnant. These hormones take time to regulate back again. This causes a lot of pain in our backs. Furthermore, if you are breastfeeding then you might experience a lot of back pain due to bad posture. Try to breastfeed in the right way and posture.
During pregnancy, the back has so much work to do making your abdominal muscles weak. When they are weak they cannot support your back. Thus back muscles need to do some extra work. The best advice is to try some yoga poses and start taking an over the counter pain reliever might also help with the back pain. You might also find some relief by using a postpartum girdle to support your back and give you a good posture.
More Abdominal Contractions
Seriously did you get enough of those contractions so easily? I don’t think so! When you give birth, your abdominal muscles get weakened. That’s why they are unable to support your back as I mentioned above. Don’t be shocked if you have extreme cramps after giving birth, dearie.
When the uterus shrinks back to its pre-pregnancy size, it is a little uncomfortable. You will likely feel that pain for a day or two but then it will subside.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, you deal with this even more because oxytocin is released with the baby sucks, which triggers contractions. I somehow felt the exact pain I felt at the start of labor when I was trying to breastfeed my baby for the first time. There are a few ways you can ease this pain. Try massaging your tummy or taking ibuprofen.
Having Heavy Periods
Another postpartum body changes you might face is the heavy periods. No matter how you give birth, be it vaginal or c-section. There will be postpartum bleeding and heavy bleeding. This discharge is called lochia and it may last two to three weeks or as long as six weeks after birth.
You should be prepared for this heavy bleeding for approx. 10 days from giving birth. The hospital will provide you with thunder pads because you simply cannot use tampons as it can introduce bacteria into your uterus.
Your body is simply shedding the blood and tissue it needed to nourish the baby while you were pregnant. It’s uncomfortable and annoying, but it will go away too. You need to buy some good maxi pads and keep them in your hospital bag. They can be as big as your sofa cushions no worries.
Overwhelming Emotional Changes
Becoming a new mom is an exhilarating experience, but it can be overwhelming at first. To be honest, it is totally normal to freak out when you take your baby home with you. I didn’t even know how to look after my baby without my mother’s help. When my baby didn’t suckle, I cried. Days when she pooped and I didn’t know what to do exactly I cried. When didn’t sleep, I cried. I literally cried over everything. This is normal.
Many women experience postpartum depression as a result of their birthing experience, their postpartum body changes, lack of sleep, poor nutritional habits or lack of support. This isn’t a bad thing but don’t let it take over you. If you are experiencing emotional changes that you find difficult to deal with, speak with your partner or your doctor.
It is the best choice to have a good and strong support system. It might be difficult to take time out for yourself but your physical and mental well-being are tied together. When you take care of yourself physically, you should also take care of yourself emotionally.
Don’t panic and be sure to be open for any help that is offered during the first few days of being home with your baby. I had great support from my mother which I am thankful for, for it helped me a lot with my postpartum depression.
Your Smell Will Change
Another unexpected postpartum body change is that for some reason you will sweat a lot and your body odor changes. Normally women will sweat more at night and sometimes they may wake up feeling totally sweaty. It is totally normal and your body is simply shedding excess fluids that were retained during pregnancy.
Now you can thank your hormones for being drenched in sweat. Don’t panic its for it’s for some weeks and then it will subside. You might also feel a different odor and this is completely normal as your body is releasing toxins.
Drink lots of water and eat a healthy diet. For sweating, you can use a good deodorant which is natural and safe.
Your Fertility Returns
This is something most new parents don’t even consider. You just had your baby and you are not thinking of having another one yet! But there is something you must know about fertility. You might be told you won’t have a baby until your first periods return.
While this may be true but your fertility can return to normal within a month after giving birth. Although if you are breastfeeding, this might suppress. But for mothers who aren’t, it’s important to take precautionary measures to ensure you don’t get pregnant too soon.
Bonding May Take Some Time
We all have expectations to instantly wall madly in love with our babies the moment we look at them. It does happen but you don’t actually bond with them right away. It takes some time. So please don’t overwhelm yourself with this.
It can be upsetting to not feel an immediate connection, but it doesn’t take much longer. Don’t just feel guilty about it. Bonding is more complicated by having a C-section or if your baby has to spend time in the NICU. Just continue to offer your baby skin-to-skin contact whenever possible.
Breastfeeding can help a lot in having a good bond with your child. Make use of that time when you are feeding your baby. Talk to him and enjoy your time with him as much as you can. Another best thing you can do to yourself and your baby is to start babywearing. For more info, you can check my article where I have mentioned the benefits of babywearing for both mom and the baby here.
Last But Not Least It Gets Better
Postpartum really sucks! I know, I can tell. But it gets better. Your baby will eventually sleep through the night. Your boobs will go back to normal and pain will vanish. The cuts and tears will heal and your body will get normal after some time. Life goes on and you will figure out how to handle things.
You’ll have sex again and your pregnancy and postpartum will not ruin your marriage life as most people think it will. These miseries are for time being and happy days are ahead. Just breathe mama and let it go!
Being a new mom is hard, whether it’s your first kid or your fourth. You need to prepare yourself for the body changes your body experiences during postpartum. With that, you need to care for yourself as much as you care for your little one.
Apart from this, remember most of these postpartum changes are temporary. So, embrace your beautiful self and your new postpartum body for the miracle it did.
So, share some of the other changes apart from these you guys experienced. I love to hear from you people. Share your views in the comments.