It’s not a secret that your body changes during pregnancy; it needs to accommodate a growing human being inside of you.
Which is why your stomach muscles stretch, your body creates a placenta for your baby, and your hips widen in preparation for the birth.
But something that a lot of women overlook, or forget, is that your post pregnancy body also continues to change.
Keep on reading to find out how your body will continue to physically change after giving birth, to meet the new demands of looking after your new-born baby.
10 Miraculous Things That Happen with a Post Pregnancy Body
Your body experiences a lot of hormones during pregnancy and even after you give birth. These hormones can change your body both physically and mentally, so it is important that you prepare yourself for these miraculous changes.
1. Larger Breasts
Your breasts will grow during pregnancy, but after giving birth, your breasts will be larger than they were before. This is perfectly natural.
After birth, your breasts get larger because your estrogen and progesterone hormone levels decrease, which allows prolactin (the hormone that allows you to start producing breastmilk) to take control.
Your body after birth will initially produce colostrum, a substance that is thicker than milk and high in nutrients and antibodies. Colostrum helps to protect your baby from bacteria and viruses and also helps your baby pass his/her first stool.
The increased blood flow and milk in your breasts will make them bigger and feel sorer for the first few days after birth.
The pain and discomfort you feel during breastfeeding can be relieved by frequently nursing your baby. You can also relieve pain by applying warm packs before breastfeeding and cold packs after feeding your baby.
2. Baggy Stomach
For two weeks or so, your post pregnancy body will have baggier skin, especially around your stomach area.
Why will you have a baggy stomach? Your stomach expands to accommodate for your baby during pregnancy.
Your stomach should return back to its old self after a few weeks. Breastfeeding helps to tighten your loose skin, as does a healthy diet.
Once your physician says it is okay for your body to do some exercise, you can try some gentle exercises to help tighten your muscles. Try going for a walk every day with your baby and be sure to visit here for more tips on how to lose your baby weight.
3. Hair Thinning
During pregnancy, your hair might have been thicker and fuller – due to the hormones in your body. However, after giving birth your hair will start thinning and falling out due to the new hormones in your body after birth.
Don’t worry your hair will return back to normal after a few weeks or months. To help repair your hair you can try and use organic shampoos and conditioners.
4. Weight Loss
A few weeks after you’ve given birth, your body will lose anywhere between four and six pounds of water weight. Well, there has to be something good that comes from needing to wee all the time right?
Women who are breastfeeding can also expect to lose more weight because nursing your baby can burn up to 500 calories.
If you practice a healthy diet and participate in the right amount of exercise (ask your doctor for more details about what is right for you) then you could be back to your old body sooner than you thought.
5. Loss of Control in the Pelvic Floor Area
Many women experience accidentally leaking urine after giving birth. This is completely natural.
Your pelvic floor just experienced a lot of pressure during labor and sometimes the signals that are normally sent from the bladder can be disrupted.
Doing pelvic floor exercises can help prevent bladder incontinence. Spending less time standing and more time sitting can also help to repair your pelvic floor.
If you are particularly concerned, you can discuss your bladder movements at your pelvic floor assessment. Which is usually 6 weeks after giving birth.
Your body will shed the uterus and any extra blood, so you can expect fairly heavy bleeding for about a week after you give birth.
The bleeding will be heavy for a week, with bright red blood, but after a week it should start to lighten. This will happen whether you have a vaginal delivery or a C-Section.
Speaking of bleeding, when can you expect to have your next period? This depends on whether you are breastfeeding or not.
Women who aren’t breastfeeding can expect their periods to return with 6 to 8 weeks.
Women who are breastfeeding can enjoy being period-free for longer. Your periods will start again depending on when you breastfeed less, which for many women is around 6 months after giving birth. Yay!
8. Being Very Emotional
Just because you might not have your period for a while, it doesn’t mean that you can’t expect a whole range of emotions.
This is very normal and is due to all the hormones that are in your body. You may cry more and feel more irritable. Your hormones will start to calm down after 10 days, so just breathe, you’re doing great mum!
9. Blurry Vision
If you notice you have drier eyes or blurrier vision than usual, this might be down to your pregnancy hormones. Once your hormone levels start to balance out again, your blurry vision or dry eyes should clear up.
If you are concerned about your vision or eyes, make sure you make an appointment with your optometrist.
10. Vaginal Dryness
Due to lower levels of estrogen in your body, you may encounter vagina dryness. Your body’s estrogen levels will eventually return to normal.
If you are ready for sex again and encounter vaginal dryness, be sure to use water-based lubricants and go slow and steady. You may encounter some pain or discomfort when you first have sex again after giving birth.
Every Body is Different
No one body is the same, so remember that you might encounter a range of different symptoms with your body after your baby. But it is all part of a natural journey.
Not sure if something is normal? There’s a lot of post pregnancy body information that is readily available for you, such as on websites, or in books and magazines.
Do not hesitate in contacting your doctor if you think something is wrong with your body.
And remember not to be embarrassed by any symptoms you encounter during or after giving birth – it is all natural.
Check out more parenting blogs for excellent tips and insightful advice from experts and other parents who have been there before.