Post-baby body reality | What happens after childbirth

My Post-baby body reality | What actually happens to our body after childbirth

I am sure that you are a bit concerned about how you are going to look, after childbirth or when you are in your postpartum phase. And it is quite natural if these thoughts come into your mind. The main question here is what exactly happens to our body after childbirth? What's the truth?

Body before and after a baby can be a lot different. Pregnancy and childbirth both change our bodies. Some changes in pregnancy can be a reason to keep your baby safe inside the womb and give the baby what it needs in there. 

Boom !! now the baby is out, the system needs to get back to what it was like before. There are a lot of changes seen in a postpartum body so that this little human can get what it needs from you to survive in this world.

A lot of hormones going up and down, changing us from within and outside during pregnancy. Post childbirth your body will take some time to get back to normal. Well, this “normal” can be a bit different for a few including me.

Postpartum recovery won’t be in a few days. And it won't look like a pre-baby body that fast. We carry a little human inside us for months so the post-baby body needs some time to heel and function the same way as it used to before.

Many things happen to our bodies right after childbirth. Let me share my post-baby body reality with you.

Linea Nigra-Post-baby body reality
Linea Nigra

Skin changes:

During pregnancy, the skin of our belly expands and a vertical line is formed. This line is called linea nigra. After the childbirth, I still had it on my belly for a few months and then it eventually faded.

The skin around my neck, my knuckles, knees also darkened in pregnancy, but it was back to normal after 2-3 months’ time. The experts say that at the time of pregnancy, the skin produces more melanin which causes the darkening.

Thank God!! I finally stopped looking like a zebra now.

The glow on my face was replaced by acne. I had breakouts quite often. Also, I used to sweat a lot which was strange to me in the first few weeks. Maybe because of hormonal changes in the postpartum phase were causing these.

Baggy belly with stretch marks
Baggy belly with stretch marks

Baggy belly:

The belly area undergoes a lot of changes than any other part of the body. Pooch sticks out.

What should I say about the kind of feeling I had when I touched my belly in the first few weeks of postpartum? My belly resembled a pizza dough, especially when you punch down to release the air inside to prepare pizza base. It was baggy (a lot of loose skin around) and bigger than what was before pregnancy.

I guess I lost the firmness of the skin there. It took me nearly 6 months to fix this. Generally, it's been said that a balanced diet and getting some exercises that target the abdominal area can help in flattening the stomach area. But I never believe in spot reduction. It's better to mix cardio in the routine with a lot of other exercises.

I was quite conscious of wearing a dress without body shapers. I am talking about the time when my daughter was 3 months. Body shapers /Spanx were my only go-to thing when I had to go out.

Not only you get a pooch, this pooch has red stretch marks too. I applied a lot of creams initially so that I can reduce their appearance but believe me, it takes time. 

Now my daughter has turned 2 and I still have it on my belly but they are silverish, not red anymore. Stretch marks on the belly is a permanent change you can experience after pregnancy and won't vanish without treatment. 

Bleeding vagina:

Ooh man! another big thing you realize is that after giving birth you bleed like hell down there. I asked my midwife if it's periods they said it's lochia similar to periods and will last for months or around 6 weeks. The body gets rids of blood and tissue. In my case it stopped within a few days of breastfeeding.

No bladder control:

When I decided to go for a natural birth, I knew about the tear and the stitches. So you can say I was mentally prepared. I was on pain killers for a week after the delivery. Walking, sitting, going to the toilet was not easy for a few weeks moreover, you lose your bladder control. 

Every time I sneezed or coughed, it leaked. I realized I couldn’t hold my pee. I know, it's just damn annoying but it is the common thing in the postpartum phase. The health visitor explained to me that childbirth can weaken the pelvic floor muscles and affects the nerves of the bladder which controls the bladder.

Basically, the whole body according to me is traumatized at the time of childbirth!!! So lots of pelvic floor exercises must be done to gain control of your bladder.

Changes in breast:

Soreness, sagginess, engorged breasts are quite common problems also the size of boobs can change.

The soreness happens because of the baby is not correctly positioned or not latching properly but can be fixed by a good latch and using a nipple shield.  

The shape and look of the breast changes after childbirth. It grows bigger to fulfill the needs of newborns and involves a lot of stretching in the breast muscles which can cause sagging. Nice and supportive bra while nursing and massage can control it.

When you miss a feeding or two, generally the breasts get full with milk and it becomes hard and uncomfortable. I remember when I had gone out for a bit longer, it  gave me a hard time even after using breast pads there were leaks and then I kind of rushed back home. 

Hair Loss
Changes in Hair

Hair Loss:

In the 2nd month of the postpartum phase, I started realizing that I was shedding a lot of hair. In pregnancy, my hair was better and dense but after childbirth, I was losing clumps of hair. I almost thought I would turn bald. 

Then I chopped off my hair myself at home, it did not do wonders but I guess shorter hair was more manageable and gives a denser appearance. After a year of the postpartum phase, my hair was like it was before pregnancy.

This is the reality of postpartum body or post baby body, everyone has a different story though but in general, this is what women often experience in the postpartum phase. I am sure now you are quite aware of what is going to happen when the time comes and you will have to go through this phase which can be a bit overwhelming as a first time mom but I am sure you will sail through or maybe you will also rock it.

Thank you for your time.

Also, read my recent post:

20 Pre-baby bucket list, Things to do before having a baby



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