What to REALLY Expect After You Have the Baby

postpartum bodySo I just read an article in Fitness magazine that purports to tell us moms (or at least those aspirational -- or downright masochistic -- moms who torture themselves by looking at the hard-bodied specimens in Fitness magazine) the truth about their bodies after they have a baby.

The article warns that it might take a while to lose the baby weight around your middle (nine months on, nine months off, and all that -- though it's been more than six years since I had my second child, and I'm not seeing much improvement; could they have meant nine months on, nine years off?). It notes that you might, you know, shed some hair a few months after you give birth, losing those lustrous pregnant-lady locks, and suggests "eating foods high in protein, iron, zinc, flavenoids, antioxidants, and silica," some of which I swear I've never heard of, though I'll be sure to look for "Silica Snax" at the grocery store next time I shop.


It says, yes, okay, after you give birth, you might have some unsightly skin issues: "Hello, Acne!" the magazine cheerily chirps, as if you're greeting a much-loved old pal rather than, well, you know, acne.

It explains that your belly will be all pooch-y not because your uterus is stretched out, but because of a separation of the abdominal muscles, a condition called diastasis recti, which I keep reading as disastrous recti (which sounds like a plural of ... oh, never mind).

It notes that as many as 90 percent of all women get stretch marks during their pregnancies, and declares the widespread belief that you can snack with impunity when you are breastfeeding to be false. False! False? It's a good thing they didn't cast aspersions on my three-bowls-of-ice-cream-a-day habit while I was nursing each of my children or, raging with hormones and hunger, I might have thrown my hairbrush full of rapidly shed lustrous hair at them!

Look, I'm not saying none of this is true. In fact, it is all too, too true. And I'm sure there are expectant and new mothers out there who want to know -- in graphic detail -- what will happen (and what has happened) to their bodies once they cede it to the careless ravages of pregnancy. Probably the very same body-aware expectant and new mothers who read Fitness magazine, come to think of it.

I'm just saying that, personally, if I had known, before I got pregnant, what my post-baby midsection would look like (ahem ... Shar Pei), I might have given serious thought to adoption.

What postpartum body issues are you glad you didn't know about before you got pregnant?

Images via Mrs. Flinger/Flickr

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