Pregnancy can bring so much joy into your life, but it can also bring a ton of changes to your body. You will change in ways that are physical, emotional and psychological due to dramatically changing hormones. Most women expect many of the things that come with carrying a child but are surprised by what can happen to your body after they give birth.

Even if you follow a regular exercise routine during your pregnancy you are still going to gain some extra weight to accommodate your pregnancy. It’s unrealistic to think that you can lose the extra pounds immediately after giving birth. Pregnancy and the delivery of a human child are dramatic things for your body to perform and it takes time for you to recover in a healthy way.

If you think that things will go back to normal after you give birth you may be setting yourself up to be disappointed. Your body needs time to return to its normal settings. Your hormones will change dramatically again after the birth to help you provide for your child. If you are already overwhelmed with being a new mom, discovering some of the weird things that can happen during postpartum might make you feel like you are going over the edge. 

Take a look at some of these normal things that you can expect during your postpartum months. From changes to your uterus, your hormones and postpartum hair growth tips, everything you need to know about how your body changes after your baby comes is right here.

Hormones

After you give birth, your estrogen and progesterone levels will drop drastically for at least a week. Commonly known as the “baby blues” this drop can catch you off guard but is fairly normal if it lasts less than a few weeks. If you are struggling with a deeper issue that can indicate postpartum depression you should talk with your doctor.

You can also expect to experience higher levels of Oxytocin which is the hormone that triggers your “mother instincts”. This can result in a higher level of anxiety, insomnia, and faster heartbeats. This will also eventually even out in your system after a few weeks.

Uterus/Vagina

It’s impossible to imagine that after the beating that your uterus and the vaginal canal will go through during pregnancy and birth that things will spring back to normal right away after your baby is delivered. You may have some swelling and bruising that will last a few weeks. 

Many women experience post-labor cramping and bloody discharge for up to 2 months which is normal. The cramping sensation comes from your uterus shrinking back down to more normal size. You can expect for your belly to lose some of its fullness during this period.

Bladder/Bowel

It’s not unusual for women that have delivered children to deal with constipation. Issues with hydration can make it difficult for new moms to have an easy bowel movement. If you have had hard labor or c-section birth, the last thing you want to do is to strain when you are in the bathroom. Drink lots of water and take a mild stool softener to help you.

Postpartum

During pregnancy, your bladder goes through a lot of changes. The extra weight of a child in your uterus can put a strain on your bladder. You may have thought that your frequent bathroom trips would stop once you gave birth but you might be wrong. You can expect to visit the powder room fairly often as your body continues to flush out built-up pregnancy fluids.

Breasts

If your breasts got bigger during your pregnancy then hold onto your seat because things are going to get busty. As your milk comes, peaking about 3 days after you deliver you can expect to see a considerable size increase in your breasts. 

They will likely feel very firm and sore at the beginning. If you are breastfeeding this will ease off after regular flow starts. If you choose not to breastfeed then tight bandages or a sports bra coupled with cold packs will help to ease the discomfort until your milk dry up naturally.

Face

Many women see big differences in the skin on their faces during pregnancy. If you have dealt with acne during your pregnancy you might see things start to clear up. Added dryness is not unusual as your hormone levels begin to get back to normal.

Hair

Many women have accelerated hair and nail growth thanks to the hormone changes of pregnancy. You can add up to ⅓ of your total hair growth during pregnancy. After you deliver you might notice that you are starting to lose a lot of hair. Don’t panic. This is just the shedding of the build-up of hair that you gained during the time you were pregnant.

Conclusion

Pregnancies can be joyful and tough at the same time. There is no quick relief once your child is born. Losing the weight can take some time, your body shape will continue to shift and change and your hormone levels will keep changing for a time. Be patient with yourself and don’t have unrealistic expectations. You are a mother now and your focus should be on the care and love for your new bundle of joy.

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