5 Weird Things That Happen to Your Body After Giving Birth (& When They'll Go Back to Normal)

nicole fabian-weberI had my daughter a little over three months ago and guess what? I still don't feel totally like myself! I mean, I definitely feel much more "normal" than I did a few months back, but dude, stuff's still going on. Weird stuff. Stuff all those people who were telling me, Think you're tired now? Wait 'til the baby gets here! forgot to fill me in on.

So let's discuss, ladies, shall we? Let's discuss what the hell is going on with our postnatal bodies/emotions/etc., and when we can expect to feel like ourselves again.

Hair loss. This was something I really wasn't looking forward to when I was pregnant. During the nine months of my gestation -- and probably yours, too -- my normally thin, fine hair was, in a word, awesome. It was thick. It was full. It was manageable as hell. Now? Not so much. I thought I was in the clear, but just a few weeks ago, my hair started falling out in unsettlingly large chunks in the shower, and it sucks. Is there anything I can do about it? Not really! Some say massage your scalp, take biotin -- I've been doing both, and nothing's seemed to change. But I guess we can (sort of) take solace in the fact that the hair loss period typically lasts from three to six weeks. I might be bald if it lasts any longer.

Baby bulge. Ah, everybody's favorite. I was lucky enough to lose most of the baby weight pretty quickly (hear me out), but right now? I'd kind of rather die than wear a bathing suit -- and I definitely still have a few pounds to go. According to Melinda Johnson, MS, RD, registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association (ADA), baby weight loss should happen slowly. She said, "The number one thing new mothers have to have is a certain amount of patience with their body. It took nine months to get there. It should take at least that long to get back to their fighting weight."

Mood swings. This is an interesting one to me, because, lately, I've been feeling, I don't know, weird every now and again. And by weird, I mean I don't sleep. And no, it's not because of my baby. I'm just super hot all the time at night and I always wind up waking up at some point. It's the worst -- especially since my daughter (and husband) are sound asleep themselves. (My theory is that that time of the month is upon me.) That said, though, I was fortunate enough to never have felt really weird (I.E. depressed) after giving birth, as I was nervous I would and as some of my good friends have. According to the American Pregnancy Association, it's normal to have the "Baby Blues" for up to 14 days after you give birth. Any longer than that, you should contact a professional. 

When will I get my period? Never! Just kidding, but wouldn't that be fantastic? It varies from woman to woman, and whether or not you're breastfeeding will make a difference. But for someone who isn't breastfeeding, your period could return within 4 to 10 weeks. For those who are nursing, it really varies from person to person.

When will I want to have sex again? Never! Just kidding, but this, too, obviously varies greatly from person-to-person. The general rule of thumb is, though, no sex for six weeks after giving birth. That may be a really bad (or really good?) thing for you.

How did you feel about your postnatal body? What weird things happened to you?


Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber

postpartum recovery, postpartum weight

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Angie Hayes

I too felt weird after having my babies... but my youngest is going to be 2 and I still don't look right naked!

CAKEC CAKEC

nothing you can do or say can bring back the confidence that my once perky full firm - prepregnancy x 2, pre-breastfeeding x 2 boobs have lost.  i feel like a mom, I don't feel confident in my body or my assets anymore. 

zombi... zombiemommy916

My grandmother pounded that "wait six weeks for sex" mantra into my head! She didn't listen to her docs and ended up pregnant at her six-week check up! lol...She didn't have to worry about me though, I had cesareans that resulted in awful infections...nothing screams "do me now!" like a flaming and bleeding stomach wound...

mompam mompam

My hair wasn't right for 2 years. Baby bulge never goes away. Sex took a few years too. My period took around 7 months, but could wait until you stop nursing. Really you never go back completely.

Sirena Robinson

I didn't lose any hair, but that was the only place I got lucky. I pumped for six months, six times a day. During that time, I produced enough to feed twins, so I was eating like a frickin' linebacker. I had lost ALL my baby weight by the time I had to give up pumping because of a split in my nipple that went all the way down to muscle and would NOT heal(I tried for a MONTH, went to an LC, my doc, no one could get that sucker to heal, and finally, they told me I was risking nerve damage to continue), but when I stopped, it took a few weeks for my appetite to go back to normal, so I put all but TWO pounds back on, and had to start over! Talk about depressing!

jharr... jharris109

My hair didn't really change, though I did cut it off after my daughter was born as most new moms do. It's just so much easier to deal with when it's short.... I had the baby blues for about 3 days, thankfully that went away. Sex for me took about 4 months, my period wasn't normal for the first year though it came back about 3 months after the birth. The baby buldge is just one of those things, if you're not a model or you don't have time to work out for 5 to 6 hours a day it's going to hang around unless you have really fabulous genes. My motto, get a one piece bathing suit and flip off the A-holes who look at your new mom body with disgust (who the F are they to judge anyway).

nonmember avatar Becky Root

Haha, I had that "no sex right after the baby" thing pounded into my head by my grandma too, she had the same problem! I did end up pregnant one year after my daughter and I have to say it is quite depressing how fast my body gladly stretched out for baby number too. My abs didn't even pretend to hold it in this time.

heart... heartnhidin

My thighs never went back to normal! I hate those suckers. My hair is awful and in between pregnancies I found out I had androgenetic alopecia. So my confidence regarding my hair is low. Your body never goes back to "normal" oh and my hips oh those damn hips.

nonmember avatar KT

Ok...this article makes me not want to have kids now. Thank you!

Chris... Chrissy9479

lol I went from a size 3 to a size 6 and not because I really got fatter or anything but my freakin butt and my hips grew so much its insane! and I always laughed at my mom and my aunt when they complained about how their theighs rubbed together, NOW I understand where they were coming from!! lol I did lose my hair for a week or two and that was not fun! I had really long hair and ended up cutting it because it was sooo nasty looking after it all was said and done. So now 2.5 years later, I am almost "normal" but there are things that will NEVER be the same lol 

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