The body goes through amazing changes during pregnancy, but after you give birth, you’re blindsided by a whole new wave of changes.
Be prepared for these five changes after you welcome your little one into the world.
1. Back Pain
Back pain is par for the course during pregnancy, but I have some bad news: You’ll have to deal with it a little while longer after giving birth.
During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles stretch, and it will take some time for them to become strong again. In the meantime, you’ll be putting more weight on your back muscles. Once your abdominal muscles regain their strength and tighten up, the pain will diminish.
Back pain usually clears up six weeks after giving birth. If it doesn’t, it may be time to see a chiropractor.
Meanwhile, try booking a massage, taking a warm bath or using a heating pad to ease your pain.
Our friends and moms never warn us of the embarrassing side effects of giving birth – like incontinence and difficulty urinating.
Now that your baby is no longer pressing against your bladder, you’re not running to the restroom every hour on the hour. But when you gave birth, the delivery process put a lot of pressure on your urethra. That pressure makes it more difficult to “go” after giving birth.
Other moms experience the opposite problem. Incontinence is the leaking of urine when there’s pressure on your bladder. If you leak when you sneeze, cough, exercise, laugh or lift something heavy, you may be dealing with stress incontinence.
A variety of urinary incontinence supplies are available to help you manage the problem. Your doctor may also recommend bladder strengthening exercises.
3. Breast Changes
During pregnancy, your breasts go through a lot of changes. But the changes don’t stop after giving birth. Your breasts may be swollen, flushed, engorged and sore for a few days after giving birth. You may also have some milk leakage for a few weeks even if you’re not breastfeeding.
The swelling will go down after you stop breastfeeding, but once it does, you can expect your breasts to start sagging because of the stretched skin.
There’s little you can do about the changes in your breasts, and the discomfort will ease in a few weeks after giving birth.
If constipation plagued you during pregnancy, things may not get too much better after giving birth. You may be dealing with hemorrhoids, which can make bowel movements uncomfortable.
A high-fiber diet can help ease constipation. Staying hydrated can also help move things along.
5. Hair Loss
Pregnancy brings about many uncomfortable changes, but there’s one change that you probably welcomed: Your hair never looked better.
A few weeks after you give birth, you may start losing large clumps of hair. Before you freak out, you should know that this is completely normal. People normally lose 100 hairs each day, but you lost less hair during pregnancy because your hormones were raging.
Now that you’ve given birth, your body needs to compensate for the extra hair you’ve been holding onto.
Don’t fret – your hair will soon return to its normal state and growth cycle.