Top 10 Post-Pregnancy Bodily Surprises



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…

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. *Ahem* Not that I know anything about that.

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!


  1. 1

    Sharon says

    I think you missed the one where it hurts like no other just to pee! I dont know how it is there, but here in Norway, the hospital bathrooms have a small shower hose to use while peeing to lessen that pain. I had to continue for a week at home in the shower before I was “man” enough to tough it out.

  2. 2

    Pattie Crider says

    Great post….I learned the hard way too about leakage from thinking or talking about my newborn. :-) Pattie

  3. 3

    Melissa says

    Or if like me you ended up with a c-section (after 24hrs of unsuccessful labour) Your lovely parting gift is an extreme fat overhang that is prone to topical yeast infections along my scar during the hot summer months. Sexy.

      • 5

        zinkemom says

        Mine did the same thing jackiee. I was lying in bed and raised it up to sit when my dad and step mom came to visit and there was a big gush. I looked to to see a puddle and thought at first it was vaginal. Nope. My incision opened up and kept doing so for six more weeks.

  4. 6

    MomMom says

    How about he fact that it seems impossible to get back down to your pre-pregnancy size! I only gained 15lbs when pregnant. Lost it all plus 5 lbs within the first 3 months but I never could squeze back into my size 2 :( My actual bone structure of my hips changed and got wider! So even if you do lose all the weight it doesn’t mean your clothes will ever fit the same again!

      • 8

        MomMom says

        Hey at least you got back into your pre-pregnancy size! My son turns two next month and I’m still a size 6, despite being 5lbs less than i was pre-pregnancy. Whole closet full of clothes i’m sure i’ll never wear again but can’t bring myself to get rid of lol.

        • 9

          Linda says

          yeah, it sucks to lose your whole wardrobe. I got rid of all my old clothes when we moved because it was too depressing to hang onto these clothes when I thought I would never lose the weight! You never know, you might still get into your 2s again. how old is your child? like I said it took me five years ( but I do have two kids) Weight isn’t the thing. Fat weighs far less than muscle and gives you a different shape.

    • 11

      JBong says

      Same here! And why don’t the guys get it that once your pelvis spreads to cradle the baby it doesn’t EVER go back?!? They all think we can exercise it back in place. I’d like to see them accomplish what we have.

      • 12

        MomMom says

        Well actually my bf loves it. The added width of the pelvis gives the illusion that i actually have a little bit of an ass lol. Also have bigger boobs than i used to so he got all the benefits…but he’s not the one who has to be sad when nothing fits!

  5. 13

    Stephanie says

    The shoe thing really threw me – really. I had a ton of beautiful shoes that I had to get rid of because I went up a full shoe size. Tragic.

      • 15

        Stephanie says

        I was a 6 1/2 – I worked for Nine West and took full advantage of the employee discount. I cried – for days – getting rid of my red boots.

    • 16

      Raina says

      Me, too. I was sick to my stomach the first time I tried on my favorite pair of Blahniks. Ended up selling off all of them on eBay. I now wear a 9.5 and it’s a hard size to fit for some reason. :(

    • 17

      Cassi says

      I was floored that my feet grew a size . After each pregnancy. When I started at size 11. I miss buying shoes in a store :’(

  6. 18

    katie says

    For about 6 months after my daughter was born, I would get the sensation that I had just been kicked in the crotch. Constantly. For no reason.

  7. 26

    Jessica says

    Yeah…. The whole postnatal bleeding thing….I don’t remember EVER hearing OR reading about it. EVER! Talk about unprepared…

    • 27

      Rachel says

      Yeah, and now they have this suppository they give you right after the baby is born, that makes the bleeding lighter. Yay, except no one mentioned that it makes it last longer!

      • 28

        Jessica says

        That is good to know considering I’m due with my 2nd kid in April. Hopefully I’ll be a little more prepared with everything this time around.

  8. 29

    Allie says

    My feet grew! That was unexpected.

    But I am not telling you what else happen to me but you listed a few, lol!


  9. 30

    Brandy P says

    The shoe size thing definitely, the boob leaking thing absolutely, but no one ever mentioned to me the sheer weight of your breasts when your milk comes in. I remember rolling out of bed (literally cuz I had a c-section) and standing up and feeling like I had two 10 lb weights hanging off my chest. I was like omg owwwwwie! Between the leaking and the weight the only time I took a bra off for the first 6 months was when I was in the shower.

    • 31

      Jessica says

      Yes!!!! I remember my boobs growing like 10 times their size and were heavy and hard as rocks! And my boobs are already no to begin with so that really sucked!

    • 32

      lindsay says

      I’m having the same problem right now. Nobody told me my breasts were going to get so big and heavy. Mine were good sized to begin with (36c), now I’m wearing a 40dd and its too small! I never take my bra off, Its so uncomfortable.

  10. 33

    Michelle says

    About 4 days post pardum I suddenly had kankles and sausage toes and it hurt to walk! I had no idea what was happening! Freaked me out!!!

    • 35

      MomMom says

      Me too! I had a c-section and was just leaving the hospital on my 4th day PP. It was 30 degrees outside and i had to go home with no shoes on because my feet were too fat! My doc said it was the extra fluid from the iv most likely.

      • 36

        Andrea says

        Same here! I literally could only wear slippers for a week post-birth, even flip-flops hurt like hell because they cut into my sausage feet, and I swear my calves weighed twenty pounds each from water weight. Considering I refused to be seen in public pre-pregnancy in anything less than cute jeans and heels, taking my daughter to her three-day peds checkup in maternity yoga pants and sock monkey slippers felt like a huge kick in the teeth.

    • 37

      Jamie says

      Edema happened to me at 5 months pregnant. My ankles and calves were so big, I wore men’s slippers for the rest of my pregnancy! I guess it was better, seeing that my shoes didn’t fit me ever again anyway. :(

  11. 38

    Heather @ Kraus House Mom says

    The first shower after giving birth, you suddenly realize you not only grew a baby, but a set of balls between your legs too. There’s also the loss of sphincter control. Made sure I bought flushable wipes for myself.

  12. 39

    Jayzandra says

    I didn’t expect stretch marks on my boobs, ass, and thighs. But mostly, I never, EVER heard that after the 2nd birth you experience painful uterine cramps while it contracts back to it’s pre-baby size. And it gets worse with each pregnancy/birth.

    • 41

      Raina says

      I know. I have them on the backs of my knees, where my arms join my body, my boobs, my stomach and they make nice criss crosses on my hips. I had to get rid of all my cap sleeved clothes. :(

    • 42

      L.jackson says

      I know what you mean! No one told me about those cramps hurting so much. I thought I was going to crap myself every time it happened.

  13. 44

    Kacie says

    Who took a picture of my stomach and posted it on the internet?!

    Im sure its not mine, but damn does it look the same. all i can say is yes… to all of the above.

  14. 45

    Liz says

    I didn’t realize I would be able to feel my scar where they cut me for the rest of eternity, that breastfeeding takes dedication, or what a complete bitch external hemorrhoids can be. I hated pooping for a year.

    • 46

      Kathy says

      I got the hemorrhoids with my last birth. Big enough to make the nurses say “OhMyGawd!!” They’re still there. The baby just turned 31 last November.

      • 47

        lindsay says

        Breastfeeding is a bitch! The lactation consultant kept telling me “breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt” What the hell……It was awful for the first 5weeks, I’m talking toe curling pain. But we are all good now. It takes a lot of practice and yes, dedication.

  15. 48

    Nicole(Whole Strides) says

    No one prepared me for what a process it would be to use the bathroom in the days post-birth. It was like a 10 step process with all the sprays and the creams and the ice packs and everything else. I wasn’t expecting that at all.

    • 49

      Jamie says

      RIght?? It’s so surreal to think the crazy mesh underwear, sitz bath, and enormous pads filled with ice were my best friends in those days!

  16. 50

    Jenni P. says

    I never had swelling during the pregnancy, and I had a lot of energy and worked out almost every day. How bad could post-pregnancy be?,i thought, regrettably. From the extreme feet and leg swelling that scared me for 2 long weeks, to the painful intercourse, to the “not able to work out after work because the baby needs me to get right home to him so he can eat”… I lost most of the pregnancy weight within a few weeks but gained it back because with breastfeeding, I am ravenous.

  17. 51

    Elizabeth says

    I was not too pleased that a tiny tear near the urethra caused burning pain everytime a peed for 4 weeks. yuck. The midwife said it was too tiny to stitch, but that that I would feel it for awhile. Oh thanks, good fortune? NO. OUCH. It hurt to do both pee & poo. The whole process of going to the bathroom took a long time & it hurt… and I had a 2 year old in the next room yelling “mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy”…

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