Pregnancy is one of the biggest changes that your body will ever go through. From the morning sickness to increased breast size to your swollen belly, you’ll experience plenty of changes by the time you give birth.
However, some of the biggest changes you experience may be after you have your baby. After nine months of growing an entire human being inside of you, your body has come a long way. Although you might want to believe that you’re suddenly back to normal immediately after giving birth, it isn’t always the case. Eventually, you’ll feel “normal” again, whatever that may mean for you personally. However, in the meantime, expect the following changes after giving birth.
Although not all women’s bellies are the same size throughout their pregnancy, a good portion of them stretch a considerable amount to accommodate the size of their baby.
At the end of your pregnancy, your baby may weigh in as much as ten pounds, with an average length of 20 inches. Therefore, it’s no surprise why your stomach may resemble a deflated balloon immediately after.
Some women turn to surgery to get their stomachs back to where they want them. However, others choose to embrace their bodies and accept it as a part of motherhood. It all depends on how you choose to see the situation!
If you gave birth vaginally, chances are that your vagina will be quite swollen and tender for up to several weeks after your birth. Applying cold packs and sleeping on your side may ease some of the pain.
If you had a cesarean, you’ll be tender in different ways. It may hurt to cough or sneeze, and you may feel quite stiff walking for a few days following the procedure.
Rapid Weight Loss
Your uterus alone weighs an average of 15 times its original pre-pregnancy weight. Your body is also full of extra fluids, a placenta, and let’s not forget the baby! You may lose up to 15 pounds in the first week alone.
While it’s not always true for everyone, breastfeeding can lead to slow and steady weight loss. You burn 300-500 calories a day breastfeeding alone. Therefore, if you’re also walking around and eating sensibly, you’ll notice that your body starts to drop the excess weight pretty quickly.
Cramping / Bleeding
Regardless of whether you had a cesarean or vaginal birth, you’ll have the equivalent of a heavy period of at least a week. Your body is busy shedding all of the linings of the uterus that accumulated during your pregnancy.
This bleeding is often accompanied by cramping as well. You should wear pads during this time as tampons can lead to infections.