When you see a Hollywood star prancing around a beach in a bikini just weeks after giving birth, it can be easy to feel envious about how easy it is for them to "get back to normal." But if you find yourself feeling jealous, remember this: no matter how fast they snap back to their pre-pregnancy size and shape, they're still dealing with the same crazy hormonal side effects as everyone else, most of which are gag-worthy. But those gross things about postpartum are actually healthy, and they can be important milestones in your recovery.
After all your body has been through over the past nine plus months, not to mention the grueling process of delivering your baby, it would be awesome if moms could just get a nice break during the postpartum period. Sadly, that's not the case. Some changes are welcome (sweating like a maniac seems like a decent trade off for losing weight to me), but others not so much (my hair is still a disaster more than a year after my daughter was born).
In my experience, the best way to cope with these changes is to be prepared for them. Here are seven not so fun things you'll likely experience during the postpartum period thanks to your changing hormones.
1. You Sweat Like Crazy
No matter how cold the temperature might be, expect to do a lot of sweating after you give birth. Your pregnant body holds on to a lot of extra water, and it's gotta go after birth. What To Expect noted that you may even find yourself waking up at night drenched in sweat. It's a gross but necessary step in getting back to normal.
2. You Lose Hair
Say farewell to those luscious pregnancy locks. U.S. News and World Report noted that as your estrogen levels fall after birth, your hair will start to fall out. This can mean anything from tons of loose strands every time you brush to bald spots or thin patches. Thankfully, your hair should get back to normal within a year.
3. You Bleed And Clot
What To Expect noted that you'll deal with bleeding and clots for about six weeks after birth. It doesn't make a difference whether you've given birth vaginally or by C-section, so you'll want to stock up on pads and soft toilet paper.
4. You Stink
If you notice that you smell extra rank after birth, it may not just be because it's hard for brand new moms to squeeze in a shower. I've heard plenty of moms complain about increased body odor after having their babies, and some have even had to switch to a stronger deodorant.
5. You Suffer Vaginal Dryness
You may deal with vaginal dryness in the weeks after birth, which can make you even less inclined to have sex again. Self noted that dropping estrogen levels cause vaginal dryness, but things will eventually go back to normal.
6. Your Breast Size Shifts
You may want to hold off on buying new bras for a while. Parents noted that your breasts will probably swell and sag when your milk comes. If you're breastfeeding, you might also notice that your bra is much tighter just before you nurse, but gets more comfortable once your baby has fed.
7. You Have That Damn Linea Nigra
If you developed a dark line down your belly during pregnancy, called linea nigra, you may be expecting it to fade away shortly after you give birth. But if yours is still visible, that's totally normal. Babble noted that linea nigra can linger for as long as 18 months postpartum, so don't panic if you're still seeing yours.