For nine months your body stretched, ached and changed as a baby grew inside of you. This journey was no easy feat.
You glowed, you belched, you had acid reflux, while you enjoyed certain aspects of pregnancy, like the fluttering movements or the compliments from strangers and the excuse to indulge more than usual, you are relieved that the journey has come to an end and you can get your body back.
But wait, there are more body changes after the baby is born. You betcha. Not every woman experiences these changes, but they are fairly common and totally normal.
18 Your vagina resembles road kill
Sorry girls. Your once pristine lady parts are ripped, bruised and damaged. You just generally ache down there for the first couple of weeks.
Some ladies find comfort while sitting on a super trendy donut, putting pads in the freezer with witch hazel or soaking in a warm tub. Just note: you will get better and your lady parts are not damaged forever.
Once you feel comfortable enough, start those Kegels to get back to your natural state. Be kind to yourself as you recover. You just completed the ultimate challenge.
If you had a cesarean you will avoid the v-gay problem, but will have an incision to look after. Because of that incision, you’ll realize just how often you use your core muscles: sneezing, laughing, lifting, walking up stairs, vacuuming, bending, etc.
Try to avoid tasks that you can (like vacuuming!) until you are totally healed so you don’t run the risk of complications. A cesarean is a major operation and you will need more time to feel like your old self.
17 Your breasts become an all-you-can-eat buffet
Your breasts changed in pregnancy and will change again after the birth. You will not wonder, “Did my milk come in yet?” because you will just know.
There will be pressure and pain as your soft breasts become rock-hard beasts. You may cry. Your baby may cry because it’s harder to latch. And you may wonder how in the world people say breastfeeding is so natural.
The engorgement phase is short lived. Your body is just figuring out how much milk to make. Your breasts are wondering who’s all dining at this all-you-can-eat buffet: one baby, twins, triplets, more?
15 Your nipples change colour
Mostly this is due to your breast size increasing as you produce milk. Maybe you had nice pink nipples only to come out of pregnancy with brown or pale nipples. Sometimes the colour change is permanent.
But no worries, this is another case where unless you pointed out to someone the colour change no one will ever notice.
13 Your hormones are out of whack
During pregnancy your hormone pendulum swung to one extreme. Then the clock ticks and it dramatically swings back. You will cry, laugh and scream possibly all in the same minute. You will be a mess for a few days as your hormones balance out again.
During this time you may be euphoric on your babymoon. Or you may be freaking out and crying because you are overwhelmed. Give yourself some time to balance out as you get to know your baby. If your husband is considering calling the mental hospital, tell him to hold that call for a few weeks.
11 Your stomach is gushy
For nine long months your stomach slowly grew inch by inch until you were a human blimp. Now that baby’s out, there is a lot of stomach still there. And it’s squishy.
Since you cry so easily these days, you may cry over this too. But think of the benefits! The extra padding is so comforting to your delicate newborn.
If you’re not Heidi Klum, you don’t need to fret about getting into your bikini for Victoria Secret’s runway in six weeks. With time and a healthy lifestyle, you’ll deflate back to normal as well.
9 Your treasure trail is either harrier or browner, or both
Another side effect of pregnancy is this brown streak that leads from your belly button to your pubic hair. And along this lovely trail a few of the hairs on your belly have decided to grow in thicker in longer.
Sometimes this sorts itself out, and for the less fortunate, you'll find that you'll have to add tweezing your belly to your beauty routine. Sorry ladies!
7 Your feet grew a size larger
Were you wearing crocs and flip flops for the last month of your pregnancy? You might have to say bye-bye to all your other shoes.
Some woman experience a foot growth during pregnancy and it is permanent. Why? Researchers say it’s a combination of the extra weight on your feet with the joint-loosening hormones that cause this irreversible damage.
There’s only one way to solve this problem. “Honey, where’s your Visa?”
6 Your shirts don’t fit
Let’s say baby is a few months old now and you are nearly your pre-pregnancy weight. You are digging into your old clothes like a caveman into a wild pig.
You put on your favorite Tee and can’t believe it. It doesn’t fit right. You look closer and realize the shoulders are tight. You try another shirt and another and finally accept that your shoulders are now broader.
This change may be extremely noticeable to you right now, but others won’t notice at all.
Again, you may just need to borrow that credit card for a shopping spree
4 Your hips are wider
You’re feet and shoulders are bigger as well as another body part. You’ve guessed it – your hips. You can thank pregnancy hormones and birth for that one too.
Just think: you’ve got a new baby, new role, new lifestyle and a whole new you! Just kidding. You are simply modified and transformed a bit.
Since there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, try to enjoy being more curvalicious. Again, mostly you will notice this one. And maybe your hubby…but he’ll probably like it.
3 You lose patches of hair
One pregnancy perk is having thick, luscious locks but you can kiss them good-bye in the weeks after birth. Some women shed hair like in their pre-pregnancy days but it feels like a lot because of nine months with little to no shedding.
Other less fortunate women will lose a patch of hair in a specific location (or more). And these bald spots can be noticeable. Perhaps the hair loss will cause you to try a new ‘do. Or with a little patience, you’ll see re-growth in a few weeks.
2 Your vision changes
If you have glasses, or even if you don’t, you may notice a change in your vision after the hoopla of pregnancy and birth. Some optometrists recommend a visit six months after birth. Again, you can thank the wonderful power of hormones for this one.
All that pushing you did to get baby out may have also pushed out some unwanted hemorrhoids. There’s nothing funny about this for us mothers.
No one likes these nasty invaders who are part of the “Push! Push!” package. All you can do is care for yourself, get a donut for your derriere, eat lots of fiber, drink water and use over the counter medicines if you really need some help. Usually these pesky guests go away in a few days.
- Daniela Sacha