It’s no secret our bodies change SO much when growing a baby. What we talk less about are the changes that happen after baby has left our bodies… and taken all the good stuff with them. So what should you really expect of your body after having a baby?
When you are so busy growing a baby and celebrating getting bigger and rounder, you don’t realise the things that you are giving up for this to happen.
Then, all of a sudden they all hit you like a tonne of bricks. Your hair starts to fall out, your nails are suddenly brittle and your mood is all over the shop (oh wait, that’s the same still…).
Then there is the way your body looks and feels and fits into clothes. You are in between maternity and nursing clothes and it can be really hard to see any progress back towards your pre-pregnancy body.
After having my first child I have been through poking and prodding all my new lumps and bumps. I went into a dark place and started to resent my new family. Luckily I have a supportive husband who was able to constantly remind me of what my body has just achieved. I just birthed a healthy 3.8kg baby for F’s sake!!!
This constant reminding (and the odd compliment) helped me to focus on the positives of early motherhood instead of my body, which let’s face it, was NOT where I had left it when I got pregnant.
As time went on I found little wins and chose to celebrate them and parade them around the house so hubby could get excited with me.
These things were not particularly controllable by me, as in I didn’t do anything special to get to these little ‘milestones’ if you will. But focusing on them and giving myself a pat on the back whenever some little realization popped up made me feel like it would all get better with time.
Here I have noted the things that I noticed changed about my body after having my first baby.
Losing between 5-10 kgs!
Yep the fact that childbirth can last around 36hours (only 12 for me, lucky!) means it is the most intense workout of your life. You would think that alone would burn 9 months of calories but unfortunately not!
You will still walk away with a 4-5month pregnant tummy but internally nothing is the same anymore.
Other than the baby which can be an instant 2-4kgs off the scale; think about all the extra fluid, blood and placenta that exits your body when you give birth!
Not to mention the subsequent days of heavy bleeding and shrinking uterus which is sure to lighten your load. Yep, there is an upside to postpartum bleeding after all.
I was lucky to have left behind 10kgs at the hospital after giving birth. Unfortunately, they made me take the other 10kgs home + baby…
I have searched everywhere but there is no scale for what percentage my body is made up of cheeseburgers and lemonade after 9 months of shamelessly giving into cravings.
Able to shave your own legs – standing up!
Sorry mumma, no more excuses! In the later stages of my summer pregnancy I refused to walk around with the wind blowing in my leg hairs but there was no way I was going anywhere near a wax pot, ouch!
Although I was useless in the tub without the help of hubby in the bath – while I flailed around like a turtle on my back. Still had to use the wall to hold myself up in the shower due to my balance being shot but hey progress is progress and silky-smooth legs are worth the trouble, right? #selfcare
Reintroducing yourself to your bikini line
Hello old friend. Yep around week 25 I wasn’t able to see anything below the belly button, including the lovely stretchmarks that were apparently forming. I just moisturized and hoped for the best but no dice!
No more adult nappies
Postpartum or not, any lady would agree that thinner pads just feel better. No more feeling like you are wearing a harness. It could almost feel like a normal time of the month and I wasn’t to annoyed because let’s face it, I had skipped 9 months of aunty flow and I had a new baby so it was a fair compromise.
Fitting into your pre-pregnancy undies
Ok so there may have been a few extra bulging bits but hey you don’t have to wear granny panties anymore (even though you kinda liked the way they felt – be honest). That being said, I won’t be cracking out my favourite g-string just yet…
As for my old bras? Yep no chance they will ever fit these babies again, ever!
Packing up maternity clothes
This was a huge milestone for me. I have always had a tumultuous relationship with clothes and weight gain/loss. It felt good to know I was not a size 18 anymore and could store away all my maternity clothes into a roller tub.
As I folded, I realized that the next time I see these clothes will be when I am pregnant with Jaxon’s sibling and that in itself was a tear-jerking moment (damn hormones need to level out now please!)
It was also important to me to have a definite line between maternity clothes, nursing clothes and normal clothes so I could celebrate little wins as my body changed yet again.
Hello favourite leggings
Ok so they may not have been skinny jeans but they are no longer ‘over the bump’ which made me feel like I was somewhat normal again and if anyone knows me I LOVE my Blackmilk!
Back in the sack with hubby woopwoop feeling like a woman and not just a milk machine. No surprise after 6 weeks of nothing it was delightful to say the least – enough about that though…
Hitting the gym
Getting back to weightlifting just felt right! I trained through my pregnancy to week 38 but I stopped from week 39-41 and all through to week 6 post-partum. That’s 8 weeks of no gym and I really felt it missing. I knew I had to heal my body from the inside before getting back into it so from week 2 with Jax we went for walks twice a week with the pram.
Endurance like nothing else
I have a new determination when doing my workouts. I now have labour and contractions as the benchmark for how much pain I can endure so mentally I am a machine – just working through getting my body to catch up (but being realistic in my expectations).
This is purely based on my own novel experience through my postpartum period and is written to be used as a laugh.
Every woman and their body are different and the only advice I can give is to focus on the positives. There is no benefit in feeling sour about your post-partum body.
It’s going to be different, its going to be stretched and even in some cases scarred – but look at what your body has created and focus on that instead. You will get smaller; you will get stronger and you will love your body again.
How did your body change after having a baby? Did you find yourself getting excited about otherwise mundane realizations? I’d love to hear from you!