You spent nine months growing another human being inside of you. That means you had all three trimesters for your body to change and, um, grow. You can’t wait to slip back into your pre-preggo jeans, but it’s going to take some time to get there. Hey, that’s totally okay. You can’t expect your body to snap back to its pre-baby size immediately after delivery. Read on for the totally normal ways your postpartum body may hold out on getting back to its former shape — and why that’s alright.
1. You still look pregnant. Come on, you’ve seen her before. The new mom who’s clearly pushing a newborn in a stroller, but she’s still getting, “When are you due, honey?” from passersby. Sometimes that baby bump likes to stick around for a few weeks post-pregnancy — and that’s normal. There’s no need to worry. You won’t look pregnant forever. Just give it time. Doing a zillion crunches probably won’t make that bump disappear any quicker than what your body has in mind.
2. Aunt Flo doesn’t rush back. Yes, you’ll get a period again, but the bleeding that you experience after delivery isn’t it. That’s the tissue that lined your uterus during pregnancy. It’s called lochia, and it’s not exactly a pleasant thing to think about. That said, it has to come out at some time — and that time will be right away. Over the next few weeks, it’ll gradually lighten and stop. Your regular periods aren’t likely to start again for six to eight weeks post-delivery.
3. Leaking happens. Your pelvic floor muscles got a major workout during pregnancy. Your baby pressed on them, stretched them, and made them weaker. You may notice it when you pee a little every time you laugh, sneeze, jog, or attempt a jumping jack. Major bladder control problems aren’t exactly normal, and they do require a doctor’s intervention. But light leaking happens to many moms. In most cases, leaking goes away in the weeks or months after pregnancy. Some moms — especially those who’ve had multiple vaginal births — may find that they continue to leak with heavy pressure situations, such as sneezing or intense coughing. Luckily, panty liners and a new range of light leakage products exist for these situations.
4. Acne makes a comeback. Ah, those pregnancy hormones. They gave you super-lush locks, but they also gave you a sea of pimples. Don’t be surprised if this skin issue sticks around immediately after you give birth. Your hormones are still on a roller-coaster ride. Give your body some time to level out before freaking out over your adult acne. In the meantime, your dermatologist can direct you to facial products that are safe to use. Remember: It’s super important to talk to your doc before slathering your skin with medicated creams, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
5. There’s pain down there. You had a vaginal birth. Whether you went natural or were on top of that epidural, your lady parts got the workout of a lifetime. It’s possible that you tore, or maybe the doc gave you a surgical cut (AKA an episiotomy). In either case, you can’t expect healing to happen right after birth. Yes, the healing process will start, but the pain may linger for days or weeks. You might need to take it easy right now, and avoid sitting down too quickly or for too long a time. Before you know it, that area will heal… and you might even consider getting romantic again.
6. Your breasts change. Those A cups of yours grew overnight. Yep, that was one of the perks of pregnancy. Now that the baby’s out, you’re wondering if they’ll shrivel and hide. If you’re nursing your child, it’s likely that your breasts will stay full (or get even fuller). Non-nursing moms may find that their breasts gradually go back down. Some women go back to their pre-baby size, others go smaller, and others may stay a bit bigger. Every mom is different, and you can’t really predict exactly what your breasts will do. Pro tip: A supportive bra that fits you well is essential when it comes to your comfort.
What’s your biggest post-baby body fear? Share yours and tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)