Pregnancy is rough.
Probably it’s to prepare you for the beat down motherhood puts on you.
While everyone’s experience is different, there are few women who will tell you that motherhood wasn’t one of the most emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging things they have faced in life.
It consumes you at times. It overwhelms you at others. It’s confusing and confounding and a bunch of other words that my mom brain is too tired to think of right now.
And also, it’s unpredictable.
For example, one never knows precisely how one’s body is going to react to pregnancy or how it will behave postpartum.
And, in case no one has mentioned it to you yet, it could be a hot mess.
6 Ways Your Postpartum Body Will Probably Betray You
The Snapback is Not Real
Not for most of us. Not immediately. Maybe not ever. Most women report that their postpartum bodies are distinctly different from their pre-pregnancy ones. Sometimes better, but almost always different. And that truth works from the inside out. When we see celebs flaunting their “post baby snapback” pics on social media, it leads us to believe that it’s instant. And easy. It’s neither. Truly.
Expect your body to be this new entity. It will feel different, it will move different, and it will definitely look different. And the whole baby belly thing doesn’t just go away instantly. It often takes days, weeks even for your abdomen to retract to something of its prebaby inhabited form.
Don’t fret, it’s normal to look 5 months pregnant days after giving birth. Some of us still look five months pregnant 8 years after giving birth. Consider yourself normal.
You’re Going to be Cold and Then Hot and Then Really, Really Cold
It’s the hormones, tricky little punks that they are. They’ll have everything from your emotions to your body temp swinging all over the place. Expect them to level out eventually. Until they do, expect to be swaddled in a blanket like your baby one minute and naked from the waist up the next.
You Might Really Worry About Being Bald Headed
Many women report massive hair loss. Like clumps and clumps of that stuff just falling out of your head. They say it’s normal (HORMONES, THE BLOODY HORMONES!). You feel extremely abnormal –because how can simply combing your fingers through your hair result in snarls of strands in your hands?
Everything’s Swollen and Lots of Stuff Hurts
This is an immediate thing. Your uterus is going to be crampy. Your lady parts are going to be achy. Your swelling may not go down for a few days or even weeks. And your boobs. If you’re not nursing they’re going to hurt and, if you are nursing, they’re still going to hurt. The pain should subside when your body gets the the-baby-isn’t-using-this-stuff memo or you set a healthy nursing routine with your baby. And let’s talk for a minute about the rhoids. They. Are. Brutal. They feel like a hot poker in your butt, but they are actually just swollen veins around your anus. They make special creams and sprays to help you deal, and you can sit on a donut shaped pillow to relieve the pain when you sit. They usually go away without any major intervention but until they do, expect to hate lots of people and all of the things. Most of your aches and pains will be gone before you see your OB/GYN for your postpartum checkup but if they’re not let him know what’s up.
Your Brain Is a Mess
Expect this one to go away never. Pregnancy brain gives way to mom brain and then when your kids are all grown and gone, you get a teeny bit of time of sheer freedom before you’re just senile. It’s awesome. Pregnancy brain gives way to mom brain which slowly, but surely, leads you into senility. You will maybe get a few years of normal cognition shortly after they all leave home, but expect it to be short lived.
And You Might Even Pee on Yourself
This one is to come. Two, three babies in and a few years down the line and do no act surprised when you sneeze and pee yourself. It is the beginning of the end ladies, and proof that those Kegel exercises you heard about are not to be ignored.
Read More: Sometimes pregnancy sucks. Here's how to deal when pregnancy is the worst.
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