Quick warning: if you are one of my male readers (yes, I have those), this may be one of those posts you want to skip. Yes, even though it talks about boobs. Okay ladies, read on.
I still remember going to visit a friend a month after having her first baby. At the time, she was one of the first of my university friends to have a baby and most of us in attendance were childless. Someone asked the new mom what was different about her body after the baby, and she responded with, “What’s not different?” At the time we laughed, thinking that she just didn’t want to talk about it. We changed the subject. I now realize that this was one of the truest answers she could have given.
Even though I had done the requisite research about recovery from childbirth, I was still surprised by some of the changes my body has gone through since my son was born. During a recent mom’s night out with the mom squad, it became clear that I was not the only one.
So, I asked the mom squad to tell me what surprised them about their post-baby bodies:
I wish I knew how much boobs could change from one hour to the next – from huge and engorged to sad and deflated, lopsided and sore. Oh, and the nipples will never be the same. – Jessie
Yup! Oh, the nipples. I did not realize how giant they would get during pregnancy. I’m talking “I can see them from space” giant. If you want to read more about my thoughts on this, check out a guest post I did for Maintaining Me here.
My biggest surprise were my boobs post breastfeeding! I totally miss my old, pre-breastfeeding frenzy boobs that were full of life! Lol – Emma
I miss the consistency of my boob size! I know that sounds weird but with breastfeeding I feel like they can change size throughout the day. Yesterday I went for a walk and undid my bra before we got home because it felt so tight and I was so uncomfortable. – Michelle
The hair loss rivals my dog’s seasonal shedding. Handfuls of hair seem to fall out every time I wash my hair. (Which, luckily is infrequently these days.) Well, that’s fine, it grows back, right? Nope. Once you’ve lost it, it grows back as these wispy baby hairs that stick out in all direction.
“Oh I heard that your hair will fall out but I didn’t know it would be like a half a head of hair!” – Mel
“My son and I are competing with each other – whose hair will grow faster? So far he’s winning.” – Steph
Photo credit: Asim Saeed (Misa Khan) via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND
Pelvic Floor is a thing:
I had never heard of this before having a baby, but now it is a regular topic of conversation. What is pelvic floor, you ask? You know those muscles that help you not pee everywhere all the time? That’s them – or what’s left of them, after squeezing out a tiny human from an even tinier opening. Turns out that it takes a while to get those muscles to work properly again, much to my surprise. Let’s just say, I now understand why there are whole aisles of incontinence products.
Luckily, there are also pelvic floor physiotherapists. Here in Canada, visits to them are covered by healthcare. Ladies, if you have recently had a baby and not made an appointment for a pelvic floor physiotherapist, stop what you are doing and go now. I’ll wait. Okay, great.
Oh, the stretch marks:
All through the 41 weeks of pregnancy, I didn’t see any stretch marks. And then I had the baby and realized that those stretch marks are tricky little bastards. Turns out I did, in fact, have stretch marks, which had carefully hidden under my belly and on my upper thighs. I didn’t see them during the pregnancy, but they there alright. Thanks to my husband for keeping me in the dark on that one.
“I didn’t know my pregnancy would cause stretch marks on my hips, thighs, boobs and lower back, not just my belly. There were so many I couldn’t see! But some also showed up really late too. I remember at 36wks being like, awesome I guess I’m not prone to them and then at 41+ wks (grr argh) they were literally lightning bolts up my stomach!” – Karen
Photo credit: SlugsOnTheRefrigerator via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA
I find myself crying one minute, laughing the next and filled with absolute fury the next. Why? Because a container of dip fell out of the fridge and spilled on the ground. Instead of picking it up, as a rational person might do, I opted to throw it against the wall. Normal, right? Thanks hormones. And I’m not the only one.
“Yes the hormones… getting so upset for almost no reason or because of every reason or because my baby’s father simply exists.” Mel
“How could I forget about the ab blowout – and having people ask me if I’m pregnant AFTER i’ve already had the baby.” Mel
“Also I didn’t really anticipate that my abs would get blown out so much that my stomach would start to stick out all the way from my ribs to my pelvis.” Karen
So what surprised you?
Well, we’ve told you ours. What surprised you about your body after baby?
12 thoughts on “Things No One Tells You About Your Body After Baby”
I didn’t think I would have pee troubles because I had a c-section!! Boy was I wrong! Depends are my best friend!!
Oh and the lies about losing so much weight because of breastfeeding. Nope not me, I gain weight and hold on to it until I stop breastfeeding.
I would have thought the same thing about C-sections!
I am a male reader and had to read to learn more!
Fair enough. I just felt I had to warn everyone. 🙂
🙂 I feel like us guys need to be way more exposed.
I feel like we know so little about a lot of things about woman and the lived experience 🙂
You know, you’re right. It would help guys support the women in their lives after a birth if they knew what was going on with them physically.
I wish I’d written all mine down because what they didn’t tell me was that my mind would turn into mush and even though I thought that I would remember the first time that they crawled, walked, first tooth, first word… if I don’t have a picture, video or it’s written down, I totally forget!
Journeys of The Zoo
I hear that! I used to have such a good memory but now I am lucky to remember my own name.
Male reader here as well, and my wife and I have been just talking about the whole ab-blowout thing. She has been trying just about everything to get back to her pre-child body, just not happening over night. She and I actually were asked in a grocery store by an acquaintance if she was pregnant again… My wife was devastated and became very self conscience. I immediately told my very dear wife that this person was an idiot (lol) and she is as every bit as beautiful as the day we met if not more. The hugs and kisses went a long way as well. I think there should be more articles to help men understand what exactly women go through and feel during and after pregnancy.
Agreed. I’m starting to regret the opening paragraph. It’s true that all the articles on bodies after babies are directed at women and they may not want to talk about it. That may be another post for later.
Oh ab blowout. That’s the worst! Also the worst: the person who asked her that. Who does that? I almost feel like I need to carry the baby around all the time to justify my stomach.
It seem’s to me it is always someone that is either cranky with their own lives or again pardon the wording… an idiot. I feel that if you know that a woman had a child within the last year, some (not all) have trouble snapping back to that pre-baby body and so why would anyone ask that question (other than to be mean)? Again, a great read and thank you for posting your blog. 🙂
Yes, it is just a dumb question. You should never ask anyone if they are pregnant ever. EVER. Assume they will tell you.