There are many things they forget to tell you about having a baby. They forget to tell you it’s 40 weeks instead of 36, meaning it is really 10 months you’re pregnant. They forget to tell you that once you deliver the baby, it’s still weeks before your belly goes down and you don't still look pregnant. With everything changing from the inside out, here are six things they forgot to mention about your post-baby body.
1. Belly Bloat
Although you’ve delivered a healthy 6 to 9 pound baby, you may not see that difference on the scale the next morning. Worse, your belly will still be swollen and will look like you’re still 6 months pregnant. Give yourself 6 to 8 weeks for your belly to return to somewhat normal and depending on your weight gain, give yourself a year to return to your skinny jeans. Bring pregnancy pants that are comfortable to the hospital - it's unlikely your jeans will fit.
Although you haven't had a period for 10 months, now you’ll have period-like bleeding for a few days post-baby. But forget the tampons as nothing can be put in there after a delivery. Pads are the only thing you’ll be using and if you’re not used to that, it can feel strange.
3. Swollen Feet
Especially after a C-section, swollen feet or elephant ankles can be normal. Just like they forget to tell you about your feet growing a half size bigger, it’s normal that you may have swollen feet for a few days after delivery and that your feet will stay a larger size. The ligaments in your feet are loosened during pregnancy and they’re unlikely to shrink after the spread.
You will be changing baby diapers every few hours, but you may find yourself with bathroom issues as well. Nerves in the vagina may become temporarily numbed while the baby’s head passes through, and because the messages to the brain are somewhat blocked, you may find yourself wetting your pants. The nerves regenerate quickly and wearing sanitary pads, which you’ll need for post-partum bleeding anyway, should take care of the accidents. Practicing “Kegel” exercises and belly breathing can help awaken these nerves but if the condition lasts for more than a few weeks, consult your doctor.
Once you deliver your baby, your milk will come in whether you breastfeed or not. It happens within a few days of delivery and your breasts will feel rock hard. This engorgement may be painful and inevitably you’ll start to spray from the nipple. If you’re not breastfeeding, you might be inclined to squeeze them to empty them, but your breasts will just fill up again. It only takes a day or so of discomfort, but wearing breast pads can help prevent embarrassing leaks that will happen at any time over those few days.
6. Hair Loss
After you have your baby, estrogen levels drop and hair enters a resting phase around 3 months post-baby. You won’t need a wig, but you’ll see a noticeable difference in your hairbrush. Normally, your hair is growing between 85 and 95 percent of the time, which means it’s in a resting phase the rest of the time.
But the best news is that being a mom is a wonderful experience and it is possible to regain your pre-baby body in time. And don't feel alone, most new mother experience the post baby body blues too, even celebrity moms.