You made and grew a human being, maybe even a couple of them. This process is definitely going to take a toll on your body. Many of us know the changes our bodies will go through during pregnancy, but there are a few more changes that will take place after you give birth. Just remember, we all go through these physical changes so be patient while you return to a more "normal" state.
Immediately After Birth
You Still Look Pregnant
Expect to still look a few months pregnant when you leave the hospital. Over the next few weeks your uterus will contract and decrease in size.
Many of us know our feet are going to swell during those last few weeks of pregnancy but did you know there is a possibility your feet could grow? If this happens to you this change will be a permanent one, unlike the swelling.
You will most likely have a fluid IV hooked up during labor. All of this excessive fluid needs somewhere to go so you will become a little swollen, especially in your lower extremities. Once you have a chance to expel this fluid from your body, the swelling will subside.
Changes Due To Breastfeeding
You may have noticed you nipples getting slightly darker and bigger during pregnancy. This is to make breastfeeding easier for your baby. These changes will stick around after you have given birth and, if you continue to breastfeed, you can expect to see a few more changes.
Your breasts will become larger, and possibly painful, when your milk supply first comes in. Also, most breastfeeding women experience a delay in their menstrual cycle. They may not return to a regular cycle for months or even a year.
A Few Weeks To A Few Months Postpartum
The linea nigra you formed during pregnancy will fade over the next few months. If it is taking longer than you like, try scrubbing it with a little rubbing alcohol. This will remove any dead skin on your stomach and will help the line to fade a bit faster.
Stretch marks, unfortunately, are there to stay. Expect to see them fade quite a bit but never completely disappear. Also, many women experience changes in their skin type. Your skin may start to break out, get oily, or become very dry. These changes are due to your hormones adjusting to not being pregnant anymore and the possible start of breastfeeding.
The muscles that keep you from peeing your pants every time you laugh may have been compromised during pregnancy. Women frequently find themselves with an unreliable bladder post-baby.
Remember to keep up with your Kegel exercises before, during, and after pregnancy. Also, consider joining a mommy and me yoga class for additional help with strengthening these muscles. If you are still experiencing problems a few months after giving birth, mention it to your health care provider to make sure nothing else is causing these issues.
It is not surprising for women to experience hair changes such as straight to curly or normal to oily during and after pregnancy. In addition to the texture changes you will probably see noticeable hair loss.
Your baby may be little when it first enters this world, but that is going to change, and quickly. Expect your arms to get unexpectedly toned from carrying around your chunky little bundle.