They say parenthood changes you, but whoever coined that famous phrase probably wasn't aware of just how much of an understatement it would actually be. Motherhood doesn't just change you — it warps, distorts, and re-models you until you're a barely recognizable figment of your prior self. In the best way possible, of course. Somehow, despite all of the creepy things you never knew about your body after having a baby, motherhood is still one of the most magical and worthwhile endeavors.
Pregnancy and labor, though, can really throw your body for a loop. And many of the changes to your body, both internally and externally, may be unexpected. As with most things, being prepared about the not-so-pretty side of postpartum life (and really, it may seem like the only pretty side is your newborn baby for a while), is in your best interest.
Whether your labor was a breeze — who are you?! — or you feel a bit like you crawled out of a battle scene after giving birth, these postpartum side effects can affect anyone and everyone. Chances are you'll notice a few of the good, the bad, and the downright creepy, as your body (and mental sanity) slowly inch back towards normalcy.
1. You Might Feel "Phantom Kicks"
You're not technically pregnant anymore, but it will probably feel like your body hasn't gotten the hint for a few weeks (or even months) after giving birth. According to Consumer Health Digest, these "phantom kicks" are completely normal, however much they may freak you out.
2. Your Bladder Control Will Be Like That Of Your Newborn's
Fit Pregnancy noted that incontinence is basically par for the course after giving birth. Things that used to come easily, like jumping, laughing, sneezing, or you know, breathing too deeply, may cause you to pee your pants at first. Don't worry though, there's nothing that kegels and time can't heal.
3. You'll Cry About Everything And Nothing
You may not even recognize your new emotional self after giving birth. Some refer to the highs and lows of the postparum period as the "baby blues" but just be prepared to cry — a lot. But, as the American Pregnancy Association (APA) notes, if your "blues" don't go away or worsen after a few weeks, be sure to see your doctor.
4. Your Linea Nigra Might Hang Around For Months
If you were among the pregnant women who developed a dark line down their belly (called the linea nigra), don't expect it to disappear right away. Much like your stretch marks, the linea nigra may hang around for months, or as Baby Center noted, even a year after giving birth.
5. You May Be Dry As A Desert For A While
While not necessarily creepy, it's worth noting that you should be prepared for your sexual side to stay buried deep down in a dark cave somewhere. Although some moms find that they're ready to jump back in the sack after their doctor gives them the ok, many are worried that their sexual urges will never return. Sex usually hurts after giving birth, and according to What to Expect, it's normal not to desire it for weeks or months after labor.
6. Your Taste Buds Might Change
Not even your taste in food is safe after giving birth. With all of the other hormonal and physical changes, Mom.me noted that you may find your taste buds have changed as well. You may start to swap your iced latte for a hot one, or crave spicy foods more than you used to. To this, the only thing to say is, "telle est la maternité".
7. Your Hair Will Do Weird Things
Fall out in handfuls? Change color? Be suddenly straight or abnormally curly? These are all a few symptoms of the postpartum period and, according to Parenting, are temporary changes that flabbergast most postpartum moms. Alas, not even your hair is safe from the postpartum goblins.
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