What To Expect of Your Body Postpartum

You have the baby and everything is sort of how you expected it to be. You likely had expectations about certain things, but not about others. You couldn’t really visualize what your new baby would look like until you were holding them in your arms. Though you may have had a birth plan, your actual labor and delivery may or may not have been in line with what you had anticipated.

There’s so much to think about that managing your expectations can often be a bit difficult. One element of the process that many women have a particular expectation about is the way that they will look after birth. They may expect that their body will bounce right back. They may even expect that they may lose all but a few pounds by the time they are settled at home. It’s important to have realistic expectations about your body postpartum, because there are some major changes that are bound to take place.

Expect the Unexpected

First and foremost, know to expect the unexpected. When it comes to your postpartum body, know that changes are inevitable. Many women are shocked with the way that they look and feel after birth and therefore it’s important to go into the process knowing a few things.

First of all, though you are overwhelmed with joy for your new baby, you are also likely feeling exhausted and emotional. Your emotions may vary and may range across an entire spectrum covering everything from elation to concern to sadness to frustration. This is all normal and means that the hormones are working properly in your body. It’s also important to know that you may very well be sore after the birth of your child. Many women are surprised by this, but with every type of delivery comes its own sets of aches and pains.

You are also going to experience what may be the longest menstrual cycle of your life. Once you give birth, your body will start to shed the uterine lining. This can be very heavy at first depending on your body and may very well carry on for about six weeks. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns, but know that the bleeding and the cramping as your uterus gets back to its normal shape and size is all normal within your body.

Embracing Your Postpartum Body

Also worth noting is the fact that your body is not going to shed all of the weight at once. There is a great likelihood that you will leave the hospital far lighter than you did when you went in. This all depends on how much weight you put on, as well as how you carried the weight.

You will shed some of the weight with the birth of your child, the placenta, and all of the fluids that built up within your body during pregnancy. This accounts for a nice portion of the weight, but not all of it. There is likely going to be some weight left behind that you will be responsible for, so just be prepared. There are always exceptions to the rule and some women will leave the hospital lighter than when they got pregnant. This is not a realistic expectation, so just know that losing the weight may very well take some time. Learn to embrace your postpartum body and know that you will be back in shape before you know it.

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