Here's How Childbirth Affects Your Uterus

In my house, my uterus has been dubbed the "baby apartment." My oldest son thought up this name when I told him that's where he first lived. Now it's a running joke, with references to being evicted for not paying rent and such. But all joking aside, an expecting mom's womb becomes the star of the show as soon as that baby belly pops (rightfully so). After delivery, the focus is on the baby and no one is really thinking about that baby bump anymore, although a change is happening behind the scenes. How does childbirth affect your uterus? It's a process.

During the course of your pregnancy, your uterus transformed from an everyday organ to a full on habitat for your baby-to-be. Thankfully, after the birth of your child, your uterus only has to undergo one more change before it's back to its old self again. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the process of your uterus shrinking is called involution, and begins just minutes after you deliver your bundle of joy. For the first few days after delivering, this will cause a cramping sensation called afterpains, that should lessen as the days pass, as the March of Dimes explained.

Once those afterpains have passed, you'll start to feel better, but your uterus won't be done with the involution process. As Baby Center explained, it takes at least four weeks for your uterus to shrink back down to its pre-pregnancy size, which is about 3.5 ounces or less. Keep in mind, your body works on its own timeline and it could take a little longer for your uterus to adjust back. For some women, they may not notice a change until closer to the six week postpartum mark, according to The Bump.

As you recover from childbirth, you'll experience many body changes over the next few months, as Parents magazine pointed out. Even though it doesn't seem like a speedy recovery, your uterus is returning to its old shape and size in a relatively short amount of time. Being patient with the process and being good to your body will give help as you transition back to your body before baby.