Everyone talks about how you will lose sleep once baby comes and that being a parent, while difficult, is so beautiful.
Both are true.
But there are so many things that happen and are true that no one talks about once moms enter the postpartum season. All those things that happen to EVERYONE and that many times leave us feeling like there is something wrong with us, because why wouldn’t someone share that? (Hint, they forgot because they were sleep deprived and looking into their baby’s eyes). So here is a quick list that every pregnant or new mom needs to know about post pregnancy and postpartum life. And no… it’s not about depression.
What you need to know about your body after baby
You will lose your hair. It’s gross and it happens. For the nine months you are pregnant, you have beautiful flowing locks… because you don’t lose your hair. But then about a month or two or three after your baby is born, you start losing your hair in hands full. You might think you’re going bald and it may clog up your shower. And, yes, your husband will be gross out, and you will be worried it will never stop. But it does… eventually. And it’s just a part of your postpartum body.
You will still look Pregnant and Diastasis Recti Happens. . It took you nine months to grow a baby and build up the fat necessary to not only nourish that child in utero, but also with breast milk once born. Your stomach will not look instantly flat and for days and even weeks, it may be a similar size to what it was while pregnant. Your organs are still all moved around and not where they should be as well. So it may take 9 months to get back to a similar place where your body was before.
Diastasis Recti is the muscle separation of your abs. Sometimes when it has a hard time coming back together, it will cause a pooch in your stomach and can even be so severe that it is similar to a hernia. This is just one reason why why core strengthening exercises are so important during pregnancy.
Your Hormones will continue to swing. You may get upset over silly things your husband does or feel like you’re not a good enough mom. Or maybe something tiny might set you off. Your body is still trying to balance out hormones and then deal with all the new ones that you have because of caring for your baby. Just remember, if you’re feeling really overwhelmed or sad, it’s ok to talk to someone. And you should. Postpartum depression is a real thing and affects not only you, but your child, and the relationship you have with both your spouse and children.
It will feel like puberty again. This goes along with the hormones. Your BO is not nice and you will feel like you need to reapply deodorant all the time. Postpartum acne comes and goes. And really, you may feel really awkward.
Nausea Happens & you will want to take a pregnancy test. Again, those pesky hormones. They can cause some crazy nausea and even some migraines. I don’t know many women that haven’t felt pregnant again at some point in the first year of their little one’s life, and more like the first 6 months. I think it’s partly a subconscious fear and/or hope for more babies and partly just our bodies readjusting. Plus, many women experience nausea and pain from their gallbladder. It’s a finicky organ, especially during pregnancy and birth.
Your favorite shoes may not fit anymore. Those loose ligaments that facilitate birth? They’re everywhere including your feet. So your arches may fall and you may even get flat feet… or just one foot. This means shoes may not fit because your feet went up a size.
Nutrition & Supplements are just as important for your baby after giving birth as it was while pregnant. Breastfeeding is not joke. It takes lots of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and energy. So ensuring that you are eating well with a proper breastfeeding diet to help both your body and your baby is important. You will also want to make sure you’re taking plenty of calcium because your baby’s body will be demanding a lot of it.
You will need to get some basic check-ups. Your postpartum body is simply not the same. Not only does it not look the same, it doesn’t quite operate the same either. Pregnancy and its hormones can cause some big changes in your body. For instance, eye sight, skin conditions, and the condition of your teeth can all change due to hormonal fluctuations. So you may need new glasses and of course, it’s now a safe time to go to the dentist. And because the pregnant body can suffer more extensive sunburns, getting a dermatologist’s exam should be something you consider after giving birth.
The first several weeks and months after birth are the best time to fix even old issues at a chiropractor. Your ligaments are still loose after childbirth, so this means adjustments are easier and even old injuries can sometimes be helped during this time period. Also, sometimes your hips, tail bone, and pubic bones can go out of line during childbirth so even just a quick trip to the chiropractor can help your overall health. (This definitely helped me as I was completely out of alignment after giving birth). Also, breastfeeding women can actually get a stiff wrist because of holding their baby. That is something my chiropractor really helped with. Plus she showed me several exercises to help stretch in general.
Plus, chiropractic is a great way to deal with postpartum aches and pains, especially when coupled with a great workout and stretching routine.
You may feel disconnected with your own body. It may have stretch marks, your hops may be wider, and your birth story may be something you see in your reflection. It just doesn’t feel like the old you. It could be a great feeling or it could feel kind of somber, but either way, you just don’t quite feel like the same you.
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Kara is an author, wife, and mother of 3 children living in Boston, MA. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and even helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!