By Jessica Gordon
Other mothers tell you that your body changes after having a baby, but it’s almost impossible to know the extent of that change until it happens to you. That’s why it’s essential to get to know your postpartum body as intimately as possible. Take stock of what’s changed and how it feels. You know about hormonal shifts, but other differences will show up as well. Getting familiar with them will help you to love and accept your post-baby body.
Understand that Some Things Get a Little Bigger
Not every woman experiences all the changes we’re about to talk about, but it’s likely that all postpartum women will experience at least one of them. Specifically, some of your body parts will get bigger.
Let’s first talk about your breasts. Not only will they feel swollen and sore initially, but if you don’t breastfeed the swelling will go down and your breasts may get a bit saggy. If you do breastfeed, then this can happen once you stop.
Your feet will probably swell due to the additional blood and fluid your body produces while you’re pregnant. It takes a while for your system to flush out the extra fluids. By the time that happens, you may have gone up half a shoe size.
During postpartum, it’s not at all uncommon to have a bit of a belly pooch. After all, your stomach has been slowly stretched for months. It’s hard to get rid of that pooch too. Both being pregnant and giving birth can destroy your ab muscles unless you work your core during your pregnancy. Even then, your abdominal muscles may remain weak after you give birth.
You may also get a feeling of fullness or pressure in your pelvis. Many women describe it as though you are sitting on a small ball. This is a symptom of postpartum prolapse which is common for women who have given birth. You do not need to worry about this as it’s normal and there are many treatment options available.
They say that thick thighs save lives. Embrace that philosophy, because your thighs, hips, and rear may seem juicier after having your baby. Again, that won’t be the case for every woman, but many moms experience it to varying degrees.
All this being said…who cares? Maybe some of these body parts will stay the way they are. Maybe you’ll return to your pre-pregnancy body without a hitch!
Love yourself either way. Caress your new curves. Study them in the mirror. This is your new body mama.
Worship Those Tiger Stripes and Scars
Stretch marks happen. As the name implies, they occur when your skin stretches. After giving birth, you’ll likely have a few climbing up your stomach. They may even show up on your bum, your hips, and on your thighs too.
Love those tiger stripes. Embrace them. Take joy in them. They’re physical reminders of the journey of your pregnancy and the little life you brought into the world. Get back in front of the mirror to memorize the way they look. Touch them with your fingertips to learn the topography of your postpartum body.
If you have a C-section scar, it deserves adoration too. You may find that it still itches or sends out phantom pains long after it’s healed. It might remain dramatic shades of purple and red for a year or two after your baby’s delivery. It’s going to be with you for the rest of forever though, so you need to get to know it better.
Love Your Body on a Deeper Level
Finding your sexual side after pregnancy isn’t always easy, but it is necessary. When you orgasm, your body releases oxytocin (better known as the love hormone) and dopamine. The combination creates a heady cocktail that leaves you flying high on feel-good hormones. You’ll be calm, relaxed, and completely at ease.
You may not want to be intimate with your partner right away. Some moms need to become accustomed to their new bodies first. That’s okay. Be intimate with yourself. Splurge on a vibrator or another toy.
More orgasms can increase your testosterone as well. As a result, you can experience more energy and a growing sex drive.
Rediscover Your Sex Drive with Your Partner
Ultimately, this will be fantastic for you and your partner. It may take a minute, but things will get back to what you’re used to in the bedroom. They may even be better than before. The two of you simply have to take your time. Explore each other like you did when you first got together.
In the beginning, introducing a few toys might benefit both of you. Postpartum sex can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful the first few times. Employing vibrating toys that your partner can use on you can ensure that the experience is pleasurable for each of you.
What changes did you notice in your body after having a baby? Share your stories with other mamas!
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