As many people know, the pregnant body goes through many strange and mysterious changes — “WHERE DID THAT NIPPLE HAIR COME FROM?” — yet the post-pregnancy body is rarely discussed, except in the requisite Us Weekly and Life & Style covers featuring an airbrushed celebrity mom in a bikini, hand on hip: “HOW I GOT MY BODY BACK!”
Well, let me tell you, some strange and mysterious changes strike the body after giving birth, as well. And I think everyone should know it. Here are my Top 10 Post-Pregnancy Bodily Surprises:
10. If you are breastfeeding, your vagina will likely have something in common with the Sahara Desert. And, no, I am not talking about Dung Beetles taking up residence down there. Not usually, at least.
9. That dark line running down your stomach will go away, but may decide to hang out for a few months after pregnancy. On the bright side, vertical stripes are slimming!
8. Postnatal bleeding can last for weeks — like six to eight, even — and tampons are a no-no, so don’t throw on those white jeans just yet.
7. Sex after childbirth can be freakin’ painful — for up to a year. Took me nine months to enjoy it again after my first baby. True story. So either ease back into it slowly or, as your husband may prefer, practice your fake O-face in the mirror to make it convincing.
6. Post-pregnancy urinary tract infections are common. Thanks, urinary catheter!
5. Speaking of urine… in the hospital, a nurse will have to accompany you to the bathroom just to assist with the peeing process. Check your pride and humility at the bathroom door.
4. That luscious hair you grew during pregnancy? Yeah, it falls out, leaving you with unruly wisps around the face. HOT.
3. Your feet may grow. Permanently. Which is awesome when you already wore GARGANTUAN SIZE 9 SHOES. Not that I know anything about that. *Ahem*
2. After my first baby, I did not know that my breasts would spontaneously spring a leak — sometimes a very BIG leak — just from talking or thinking about my baby. Which led to a very awkward encounter with my male Starbucks barista while chatting about our kids.
1. The power of post-pregnancy hormones are severely underestimated. Hormonal levels drop precipitously the minute your baby is born and the placenta is expelled (YUM!), because the placenta was the hormone production factory in the body. True story. So not only can this cause extreme mood swings and depression, but it can also make you think that SUDDENLY DYING YOUR HAIR CLOWN RED IS A GOOD IDEA. *Ahem* Again, not that I would know anything about that. Or cried for four days straight after doing so. But all I can tell you after finally restoring my hair to its pre-baby color is: BY GOD, DO NOT LET THIS HAIR TRAGEDY STRIKE YOU!