During pregnancy, most women are spending their time preparing for the newest arrival. There are car seats to research and bottles to buy! Consequently, few consider exactly how they will feel about their bodies in the postpartum period. All of our attention is focused on the baby. 

Knowing this, it can come as a shock when your post-baby body isn’t immediately recognizable to you. There are so many changes that you might not be mentally ready to even think about during pregnancy, let alone when you are drowning in milk and getting no sleep. Here’s the thing: every other postpartum woman is going through the same process, and wondering if it is possible to ever feel normal again in their own skin. Curious to know what some of those things are? Read on to find out five truths about post-baby bodies.


Your belly button may never look the same again. 
Every woman hears about how easy (or difficult) it is to bounce back after a baby. But one body part not often talked about is the navel. Chances are, your belly button was stretched to maximum expansion as your belly grew, and it probably won’t ever look the same as it did before. It won’t look bad, just different, and simply another post-baby body feature to get used to over time. 


You will not arrive home with a flat tummy. 
No matter how little weight you gained, no matter how strong your abs were before pregnancy, no matter how much weight you lose in the hospital... there is one universal truth. Your uterus grew big enough to nearly touch your ribcage. And that growth doesn’t just settle down in one day, think more like 4-6 weeks. Don’t expect to carry your newborn home with a flat stomach, it just isn’t logical after all the growing your body did!


Your old wardrobe might not fit your new body. 
Even when you do manage to lose the baby weight, which can take months, your old clothes might not fit your changed body. During pregnancy, bones shift to make room for the baby and to handle the birth. Those parts don’t necessarily shift back after pregnancy. So don’t be surprised if your pre-pregnancy skinny jeans no longer fit over your slightly widened hip bones. 


You will have mood swings and hormone surges. 
The baby is out, but that doesn’t mean that hormones aren’t still pumping through your body. You might feel hot or cold flashes, headaches, and mood swings due to hormone fluctuations. These feelings can be heightened if you are breastfeeding. Something else to look forward to? Once the hormones do start to level off, most women will lose a lot of the luscious hair that they grew during pregnancy. It can take up to a year for your hormones to settle down after birth.


Those stretch marks really will fade. 
If you were one of the lucky ones who didn’t end up with bright red stretch marks on her belly, butt, and breasts, then this won’t apply. However, for everyone else, there is hope. Those marks might still seem bright and angry after you give birth, but within several months they will begin to fade into light and shimmery marks, small reminders of the life you held inside you for the better part of a year! 


Luckily, if you are prepared for these post-birth body changes, you won’t be shocked and upset when you notice them in yourself. The truth is, nearly all women experience such changes, and the whole idea of “bouncing back after baby” is harmful to postpartum moms.  Many moms will be so engrossed in their newborns that they will wake up one day and realize that they feel normal again, and it will come as quite the surprise! Your post-baby body might not be exactly the same as before, but within a year you will likely be feeling back to your old self. In the end, all of these changes are proof that your body is amazing and powerful, and it can do miraculous things. Embrace it!



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