freepeoplea/Fotolia

15 Things To Know About How Your Body Changes Postpartum

By
Share
Ad failed to load

When you're pregnant, there's a ton of build up to the day your baby is born. You've stocked up on diapers and bottles, installed the carseat, and packed the cutest outfit ever for your little one to wear home. But have you prepared for the self-care you will need post baby? Before you even deliver, there are things to know about how your body changes postpartum, because you don't want to go into a panic when you pee your pants a little every time you sneeze.

Although there are a lot of possible ways your body can change after giving birth, most of these are temporary and resolve in due time. Some of the more common after effects of childbirth is your body healing itself from nine months of pregnancy as well as the delivery. Even those most of these conditions are minor discomforts, if your symptoms are extreme or go on too long, you'll want to consult with your doctor or midwife to see if there are more underlying problems.

To understand more about what goes down once your baby is born, read over these 15 things to know about how your body changes postpartum so you won't have too many surprises.

Ad failed to load

1Cramping

giphy

Even though the contractions are over, you may still be experiencing abdominal pains. What you're feeling is your uterus shrinking down to pre-pregnancy size, according to The Bump. The good news is, it won't last long; the average time is about two weeks.

2Hemorrhoids

giphy

As Mayo Clinic reported, many women who delivered their baby vaginally experience hemorrhoids. This can be easily treated with special creams, warm soaks in the bath, and by taking stool softeners.

3Moodiness

giphy

You've been through a lot between pregnancy and delivery, which can take an emotional toll. According to the website for the American Pregnancy Association, postpartum mood disorders have a wide range. While some woman experience mild symptoms last only a few days after delivering, others develop serious conditions that require medical attention.

Ad failed to load

4Constipation

giphy

If you've been having trouble in the poop department, know you're not alone. Many women suffer from constipation after delivery. But as What To Expect's website pointed out, you can get things moving again with some nutritional tweaks to ease constipation.

5Breast Changes

giphy

You may have watched your breasts grow during pregnancy as your milk supply built up, preparing to feed your baby. Whether you're breastfeeding or not, changes in breast size is typical after giving birth, according to Today's Parent.

6Hair Loss

giphy

If you're noticing an abnormal amount of hair falling out after your baby arrives, don't panic. As Parents magazine reported, postpartum hair loss is due to your estrogen levels changing, but usually returns to normal around the six month mark.

Ad failed to load

7Vaginal Pain

giphy

This symptom may be more likely if you needed an episiotomy for your delivery. But the more kegels you do, the faster you'll strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, according to Fit Pregnancy's website.

8Stomach Changes

giphy

Your stomach is the part of your body that's experienced the most changes throughout your pregnancy, and that doesn't change after delivery. As Parents pointed out, common post pregnancy stomach changes include stretch marks and loose skin.

9Vaginal Discharge

giphy

Once you've delivered your baby, your body is still trying to flush out the remainder of the fluid you built up during pregnancy. As the wesbite for The March Of Dimes reported, postpartum vaginal discharge may start out heavy, but tends to lessen and go away within a few weeks.

Ad failed to load

10Incontinence

giphy

After having a baby, just a little cough or sneeze can make you wet your pants a little. The stress, swelling, and loss of sensitivity of the bladder is what causes postpartum women to leak a little pee without being able to stop the flow, according to Baby Center.

11Lots Of Sweating

giphy

Is it just me, or is it hot in here? Room temperature has nothing to do with the reason growing sweat rings on your shirt. As the website for Dr. Sears reported, postpartum sweating is your body releasing extra fluid that still in your system.

12Bleeding

giphy

Whether you had a C-section or delivered vaginally, you will likely experience some vaginal bleeding after childbirth. Much like the vaginal discharge, your body is trying to eliminate any leftover blood that is still in your uterus, as What To Expect pointed out. However, if you feel the amount of blood is excessive, contact your health care provider for further investigation.

Ad failed to load

13Swelling

giphy

Since your it's possible for your body to hold on to extra fluid gained during pregnancy, you may experience swelling for a few weeks after having your baby. According to Fit Pregnancy, postpartum swelling is common in the extremities, but can be combated by drinking lots of water and cutting back on salt intake.

14Low Energy

giphy

Have you been drifting off to sleep while sitting up straight, in the middle of the day? Low energy levels are normal, postpartum, but you can rev up your wakefulness naturally with energy boosters suggested by Parenting magazine.

15Heavier Periods

giphy

I know this one hurts, but after having a baby, your periods may become heavier than it was before your were pregnant. As obstetrician Steven Goldstein told Everyday Health, "pregnancy causes the surface area of the uterus to expand, which means that after childbirth, there is twice as much surface area to shed through menstruation as before, hence the heavier bleeding than before childbirth."

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at Names.org recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills
)}