Giving birth has been described as beautiful, surreal, and a miracle. For many women, it's most likely a blur; all they want is to snuggle their little one. Just like some women absolutely love being pregnant and others find it exhausting, some women will love giving birth while others will find it too painful to repeat. It's a totally subjective and personal experience
There are many things that new moms have to familiarize themselves with after they deliver their baby and come home from the hospital. One of those things is what their body will look like and how it will change now that they are no longer pregnant.
Here are 10 things to know about the post-pregnancy body.
10. That Much Lighter
When you're pregnant, you imagine the moment you meet your baby for the very first time. You're probably thinking that you will feel overcome with happiness and love. You might be a bit nervous or anxious about your new role, too. At that moment, you might not be thinking about how your body will feel, but it's definitely something important to consider.
How does your post-pregnancy body feel once you've delivered your baby? Fitness Magazine says, "You're 9 to 12 pounds lighter now that you're no longer carrying a 6- to 8- pound baby, 1 or 2 pounds of placental weight, and 2 pounds of blood and amniotic fluid."
9. The Bathroom Breaks
Bathroom habits aren't exactly a topic that many of us like to discuss on a regular basis (although we might have to hear about them if we have a boy, as boy moms know all too well). If women experience constipation while expecting a baby, it can still happen after they have their baby. Parents magazine says, "An episiotomy or hemorrhoids may make a bowel movement painful."
The publication suggests drinking juice, milk, and water and also eating fiber-rich foods because those "can help ease the pain." It's not fun and no one wants to deal with it, but for some, it's a reality of your post-pregnancy body trying to go back to normal.
8. Changing Hormones
Being hormonal is a real thing after having a baby, and it definitely affects how you feel in your post-pregnancy body. If new moms feel anxious, there is a reason why, and it's tied to their hormones.
Dallas-based author and psychologist, Ann Dunnewold, told Today's Parent, "Some of your hormones go from the highest they ever will be to the lowest, just before delivery to just after." She continued that you experience the "bonding hormone" or oxytocin, after giving birth: “It turns on mothering behaviour, and one aspect of that behaviour is being able to see danger in your child’s world. So when oxytocin goes up, so can anxiety.”
7. Goodbye, Hair
It's a common experience to notice some hairs on your brush or in the bottom of your shower when you're washing your locks. If you feel like you're losing more hair than normal and you've just had a baby, you're actually on the right track. This is another thing to note about your post-pregnancy body.
According to Parents magazine, "A few weeks after delivery, you may start losing large amounts of hair." The publication mentions that women can expect this for six months after having their baby and added, "your hair will soon return to its normal growth cycle."
6. These Parts Are Sore
Your body goes through a lot when you're pregnant and then later when you deliver a baby. Knowing how serious labor is, it makes sense that some of your body parts would be sore after.
New moms might find that they have sore shoulders and wrists, and if that's the case, it's definitely tied to hormones as well. According to Fit Pregnancy, pregnancy ups the creation of relaxin, which is a hormone, and "this can weaken the joints afterward."
As the publication mentions, this can be tough when a new parent is carrying around all the baby bags and tools, along with their baby. This is pretty normal for new moms.
5. Back To It
Pregnancy is a beautiful experience but also changes your body a lot, and after you give birth, you feel like your body is still changing.
You know that your post-pregnancy body will feel a certain way, but how long until you feel like you're back to where you were previously?
Three months after you have your baby, you should experience a few different things, and all of them mean that your body is basically back to where it was before. As Fitness Magazine says, "Your hormones should return to their pre-pregnancy levels, meaning your menstrual cycle should begin again, any excess hair you developed during pregnancy should go away, and any mood swings you've experienced should level out."
4. Tooth Story
How do your teeth feel after you've given birth to your beautiful baby? That might not be a question that you ask yourself, but it turns out that you should.
New moms might not think about their teeth because this doesn't seem like the most obvious part that might be different after pregnancy. But your teeth can actually deal with some serious post-pregnancy changes.
According to Today's Parent, new moms might notice certain things about their teeth: "Shifting hormone levels and blood volume during pregnancy can make you more susceptible to cavities and gum disease after baby, so don’t skip your usual dentist appointment."
3. Feeling Those Abs
It makes sense that your stomach will change after you give birth. So how do your abs feel after that amazing and beautiful experience of delivering a baby and meeting your little one for the first time? Well, they might not feel too great.
As Very Well Family says, this is because of a hormone called prolactin (which is responsible for breastfeeding moms having milk). The publication says, "In 66 percent of women, the vertical abdominal muscles separate and take at least 6 weeks to heal."
The publication also says that serious ab workouts will have to wait until after two months.
2. Post-Baby Back
When a new mom is thinking about how her body feels after pregnancy, it's very possible that she will say that her back hurts. This is a really common experience. It makes sense since your body has gone through a major surgery and you're also carrying around a baby 24 hours a day.
NHS suggests some ways to feel better, including this one: "While feeding your baby, always sit with your back well supported and straight. Put a small pillow or cushion behind your waist to support your lower back. Make sure your feet can reach the floor."
1. Simply Exhausted
When it comes to how a new mom feels in her post-pregnancy body, there is one main thing that she would say: that she's simply exhausted.
According to Very Well Family, "The one inevitable challenge which confronts all new mothers is coping with fatigue. It takes only seven to eight hours of missed sleep in a week to begin showing signs of sleep deprivation, and fatigue is one of the principal causes of depression."
Moms often joke that you won't get much sleep with a newborn and then it happens all over again when your children are teenagers... Bring on the coffee, right?