Mother and Baby

14 things you definitely didn't realise could happen to your body after childbirth

Pregnancy is fraught with unwanted side effects including indigestion, swollen ankles and constantly needing a wee. But what happens to your body after you've had your baby?

Of course, we aren't designed to 'pop back' into 'shape' weeks after birth, no matter that the celebrity armed with a nanny/chef/trainer/team of help, says.

There's a power in talking about these changes openly, so we realise, we are not alone and no, we're not turning into ET.  

23 mums from #mumtribe community reveal the one thing they didn't realise could happen to their body post-birth 

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1) Being scared to go to the toilet

"STILL being scared to go to the toilet sometimes, 3 to 4 months postpartum! Hair loss at 4 months postpartum. Boobs forever leaking. Breastfeeding sweats!" - Molly 
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2) Hair sprouting out at weird angles

"The amount of hair I'd lose. No one told me it carries on for months too! And then the hair that starts sprouting out at weird angles in its place!" - Sam 
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3) Sweating profusely 

"Sweating shed loads after giving birth. Blurghhh. If you have a forcep delivery you will have absolutely no pelvic floor muscles and its really scary!" Meggs. 
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4) Stinging when going for a wee

"Cold sweats post birth that wake you from your sleep .... (I only got these with baby number 5). Stinging when going for a wee (so started drinking only water and also going in the bath to do one)." - Kelly 
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5) Never-ending hair loss

"Hair loss, what felt like a never-ending, molting Chewbacca! Sitting down post birth was interesting, no matter what cushion you use." - Rach 
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6) Raging hormones

"The hormonal side of things! I was prepared for most of the physical changes (except the vast quantity of hair I’d lose!), but I was really not prepared for how hormonal and fragile i'd feel for months afterwards." - Amy
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7) Undressing in public

"That I wouldn't care about getting my clothes off in public. I was getting a bridesmaid dress resized 5 weeks postpartum, i was asked to try it on and started getting undressed out infront of everyone and they were like 'woaaaah go into the changing room' - it didn't even occur to me, so used to whipping my boobs out in the hospital." - Laura
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8) Increase in body temperature

"Sweating my guts out for the first few weeks after birth. Nobody told me that your body temperature increases. Sensitive teeth. Saw dentist this week. She said it's common after birth with all the hormone changes." - Ann
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9) Bladder prolapse 

"Bladder prolapse!! Luckily mine healed with kegels but they really dont talk about it enough!" - Nilüfa
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10) Your vagina isn't the same

"Yes to everything already said! Also, vagina doesn’t go back to what it used to be, who are we kidding! Also, and importantly, why does no one tell you that pregnancy widens not only your hips/pelvis but also your RIBCAGE, and that it doesn’t actually go back to normal, leaving you with a sort of box-shape figure with no waist?? Can’t be just me.." - Kat
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11) Weight gain 

"I didn’t expect to gain wait after having her. I thought you gave birth and started losing weight. I weighed myself 3 weeks post partum and at 8 months I was en extra 8lbs up.
It makes sense now that I’m here- although I have an office job there’s still some activity to getting up and getting there and I’d always walk at lunchtime so I’m definitely less active now. Also the mum eating.... you get to tea time and you think to yourself “I’ve not eaten today, just a slice of toast this morning...” and you have foodnesia for the biscuits and crisps you’ve munched on all day because it’s not proper nourishment." Rosie 
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12) A new level of tired

"That you are actually knackered. Pre baby days you would complain or moan you were knackered, but being post baby knackered is a total game changer - especially if your juggling a extra kid or 10/working full time/a single mum/a mum with a partner even... Mates with no kids tell me they're tired and I just laugh at them!" - Aimee 
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13) Stomach changes

"When you sit down your stomach looks like a folded up pillow" - Laura
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14) Postpartum thyroiditis 

"That your bladder could go into rentention after birth, and also that pregnancy can affect your thyroid. 7 months after birth I got diagnosed with post-partum thyroiditis which has turned into a long-term underactive thyroid! Wouldn't change it for the world though."- Sarah 
 Did you experience any of the above after having a child? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Now read:

The 6 most common birth fears (and how to beat them)

The on-screen labour scenes that are nothing like actually giving birth

"Giving birth was like having an orgasm!"

 

Alongside her role as the Digital Editor at Mother&Baby, Aimee runs the #mumtribe Facebook group and leads the M&B Awards content strategy.


Winner of Immediate Media Award for 'Magazine Journalist of the Year 2016. Her hobbies include truffle mac and cheese, Class Pass and relentlessly checking (and scolding!) the weather app.