Ahh, childbirth. The miracle of life. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced, and your body is never going to let you forget it. Oh, you thought the changes were over once the baby was born? Wrong! Listen up ladies, because that little baby who “borrowed” your body for 9 months has no intention of returning it to you in it’s original form. So read up, and start accepting that your body is forever changed.
1. Goodbye Bladder Control
Having to go to the bathroom every hour was just the precursor to the postpartum life of your bladder. While you were just worrying about making it to the bathroom on time while pregnant, your new body will be constantly resisting the urge to pee your pants at every sneeze and cough. Don’t think that 6-8 weeks of Kegel exercises will fix you right up. Get ready for a lifetime of a weak bladder and fear of the common cough and cold.
2. Hello Saggy Breasts
Depending on your age when you have kids can be related to the survival of your breasts. Being in my 30’s sure didn’t help me out, but I’ve seen some 20-somethings bounce back (no pun intended). While your cup size can definitely fluctuate, one thing is for sure- the perkiness you had pre-children is probably gone. Say adios to bra-less outfits, or shirts with built in bras that offer no real support. Unless your new look is “saggy mom boobs” you’ll be wearing a bra as if your life depended on it.
3. Hips Don’t Lie
While your waist line may eventually make it back to your original size, your hips may very well stay obnoxiously wide. Yes, carrying your baby was worth it. But it’s still frustrating when you go to slide into your favorite pair of jeans only to have them look completely different on your new bod.
I’ll admit that I’ve had my fair share of dental work pre-child. But it still came as a surprise at my first postpartum dentist visit when they told me I had FIVE cavities! Whether it’s the baby “taking your calcium” while pregnant (this is a huge debate right now on whether that can actually happen), copious amounts of vomiting from morning sickness, or poor diet during pregnancy, your teeth will probably suffer the consequences.
5. Leaky Boobs
Despite not being able to successfully breastfeed and my daughter being 3 years old, I STILL have leaky boobs. Not once did it happen when I was trying to make breastfeeding work- the ultimate irony. While you surely won’t be soaking through shirts at your kids 10th birthday party, it’s totally possible to leak years after childbirth, so just plan on frequent washing of those bras.
6. Stretch Marks
Many women escape stretch marks on their belly, only to find them appear on their breasts or legs. I don’t know a single person who escaped unscathed by the stretch mark. With time they fade, but they will be there in some way forever. There should be no shame in having stretch marks (especially since EVERYONE has at least one), but it’s completely ok to not like them. Many women say to be proud of them, but that’s just not a reality for every mom. The good news is, you’re in good company!
7. New Moles
I had no idea that my skin would continue to change after having a baby, but news flash! Your body is in for a possible return of acne and also some fun red moles. When I first found one, I was a little nervous because red moles can’t be a good sign, right? As it turns out, they are common, harmless and can be a result in your surge of hormones. While they are usually benign, they are here to stay unless you have them removed. You should always watch for changes in any mole, especially existing ones that change after pregnancy.