I 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?