It’s Not All Snuggles and Games: What They Don’t Tell You About Your Postpartum Body

pregnant woman with hands on tummy

There is nothing routine about having your first child. In fact, everything you experience is new and strange. From the moment your baby enters this world, you’ll need to be ready for anything.

Sleep schedules are off. Your baby doesn’t understand night from day. And you don’t know how you’ve gone from blissful happiness to a sobbing mess in a matter of minutes.

Change is a major part of motherhood. And, those first few days at home are a testament to this. 

But the biggest surprise may be in your postpartum body. It doesn’t return to its prepregnancy self like magic. You may not even recognize it, anymore!

Your Postpartum Body: What They Don’t Tell You

Your birth story ends when your baby is born. But, this recovery story is only beginning.

Major body changes are some of the most in-your-face parts of it. Here are some things to expect from your postpartum body.

You Still Look Pregnant

You thought you could bring those pre-pregnancy clothes to the hospital with you? Nope. Better pack those maternity leggings.

Your body will still look like its pregnant. The uterus has not had time to shrink to its original size. You’ve also been carrying around extra weight to grow a child.

Cut yourself some slack. Wear the leggings. 

You’re Leaking, and Not Only Blood

Yes, you’ll be bleeding, but you may expect that. What you won’t expect is some of the other stuff that might exit your body. There will be mucus, tissue, and strange looking stuff coming from below.

Guess what else leaks? Your enormous boobs after your milk comes in!

Better wear those nursing pads. Or, you’ll be changing your shirt every time the baby cries.

Cramps and Contractions Continue

This isn’t fair, but you will continue to contract and cramp for a few days after birth. Your body has a lot of work to do to get your uterus back to normal. Grab your heating pad and hang in there.

Your Lady Parts are Swollen and Hurt – A Lot!

You don’t need to look to know this is happening. No, it will not look the same. So let’s not look, yet.

Grab an ice pack or some frozen peas and have a seat. It’s going to be a few days before the swelling is gone. You may hurt for a few days more.

You’ll Never Pee The Same

Right when you feel the urge to go, it may be too late. Many women have incontinence issues postpartum. You may need to wear a pad to help with leaking urine.

After you’ve recovered you can try a kegel trainer to strengthen those muscles, again.

You Can’t – Or Won’t – Poop

It’s a sad fact. Things stretched and broke during birth, and they still hurt. You have no desire to push anything out of anywhere.

But, you’ll need to go at some point. Take those stool softeners and try to relax.

Changes Happen, Try to Relax

There you have it. Now you know things are going to be a little weird for a while. Your postpartum body has a lot of healing to do after your baby is born.

The best way to handle it is to go with it! Give your body what it needs and let it recover on its own terms.

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