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

postpartum recovery, postpartum weight, motherhood


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corri... corrinacs

My stomache....and how misshapen it is.  I am a petite person, but will NEVER be bikini worthy again LOL.....and my butt happened to suffer the samfe fate.

Lynette Lynette

luckily breastfeeding took all the weight and then some off me with each of my 3 kids.  It's when they wean I gain it back.  Lol, and yes no matter how thin I get(I have been a 2) my belly will never be bikkini ready!

Water... Water_geM

prasie be to the plastic surgeons who remove stomach pooch!!!

tayanna2 tayanna2

My gigantic feet that just keep getting bigger...

xavie... xavierlogan09

I wish someone would have told me how your body will never be the same even after you lose the baby weight. I lost a lot of my hair and it's thickness. My breasts are both different sizes. 

nonmember avatar Cathleen

I don't know, but AHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! I totally just woke up the hubs laughing at this! Thank you!

Melis... Melissa042807

I got all the weight off (and then some) and kept it off, but my body's not the same either. My boobs are flat and floppy, my stomach may have gotten flat but I still have the stretch marks and wrinkled skin, and my butt went away. It just....went away. It's totally flat now. And it won't come back!!! 

I was pretty shocked by the state of my stomach right after giving birth. I remember standing in the bathroom at the hospital poking my sad soggy belly and whimpering. I now consider it my duty to warn other first-time mommies about the sad soggy belly. Gently, of course. 

LadyS... LadyStork

My small boobs got SMALLER. My stomach looks like a train wreck and my grandma so LOVINGLY told me I'd never be able to wear a bikini again because my body looks like hell. Pft, I'm not out to impress anyone so thhhhpt! :p

Timeo... Timeout4mom

...oh jeez... your Gramma sounds a little mean... I too will never wear a bikini again - after 3 kids, it's all relatively good but the tummy just sticks out... and there's no way I'm getting a tummy tuck. I'm good with it but sometimes I get depressed when I see celebrities - and they look fabulous! look at Victoria Beckham, Heidi Klum and Octomom. How do they do it?

Class... ClassyMom619

I guess it just boils down to everyone's pregnancy is different and so is their resulting body. I just had my 3rd child 3 weeks ago. My last 2 were born 12 & 10 years ago, so I'm an older mom but my body bounced right back within a week. I had 3 c-sections and I'm now smaller than I was before I got pregnant, now I'm at 114 pounds and I'm 5'3, so it's pretty evenly dispersed on my body. I also never got stretch marks because the weight gain was so slow and little during the pregnancies. No one can believe I just gave birth, but that's also because I kept in shape for the entire pregnancy, worked out right till the end and ate very healthy foods. I know I am lucky and not everyone has the same outcome, but you can't put down those that look decent after having babies. I'm proof it's not all about plastic surgeons. I'll be sporting my bikini proudly next summer. 

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