I’d be lying if I didn’t wonder what my body was going to look like after I’d had my baby. It’s something I’m sure most of us have thought about at some point during pregnancy and in all honesty, I truly thought I was going to hate my post-baby body. I was prepared for stretch marks, sagging skin, lumps, bumps and more but let me talk you through what actually happened…
One Day Postpartum: No-one prepares you for the fact that you’ll still look pretty pregnant post-birth. You’re left with a saggy, squidgy bump that strangely feels empty and a lot like jelly. However, you won’t hate it. You’ll suddenly have a new appreciation for the skin you’re in, after all, it created your newborn and carried you through your labour and now it’s going to feed and support a new human.
Your Uterus: Up until now you probably never considered your uterus, however, it’s got a lot of work to do over the next few weeks. During your pregnancy it stretched many times it’s original size and now it needs to contract until it’s almost as small as before your first pregnancy. Not only will your uterus shed it’s lining which is why you may have noticed some blood when you go to the toilet but your baby suckling during breastfeeding will stimulate your uterus to contract further to it’s non pregnant size.
Boobs: Say hello to the best boobs of your life! I mean if I was up for having sex right now my partner would literally jump on me and make baby number two! The changes to my boobs were the most unexpected; random leaking and itchy armpits were two things I didn’t know much about, but they happened! Leaking is common, if you miss a feed or are feeding on the left boob then you can expect the right boob to drip, so always have a bottle to catch the milk or wear these breast pads to prevent wet patches. Itchy armpits were something I actually had to Google and apparently it’s due to the fact that your milk ducts extend up to your armpits and can become irritated. I’d also recommend looking for an aluminium free deodorant or one that has less fragrance.
Going to the toilet: No-one prepares you for your first toilet visit, peeing is usually fine but might be a little uncomfortable if you’ve had stitches so I recommend taking a cup up with you, fill it with lukewarm water and wash it over you post using the loo, honestly you’ll thank me. Your first number two is a whole new experience and in total honesty it took me seven days to attempt but trust me, I was more scared than I needed to be and it was totally fine. Breathe, relax and if you need to speak to your midwife about options to soften your poo then do.
Designer Vagina: This never crossed my mind during pregnancy, however after 39 stitches I came to the realisation that it might be sore for a little while. I’m going to be frank with you guys here, I wore these adult nappies for about nine days, then I moved from maternity pads to ultra slim pads and then finally at just over three weeks, I stopped bleeding and simply stuck to these Marks and Spencers comfy pants, I’m actually not sure I’ll ever go back! To help my vagina heal I had a bath with Epsom salts every morning (while little one was asleep) and applied Sudocream to the area as well as doing the above when I went to the toilet. I also recommend getting back onto finding your pelvic floor as quickly as you can, you might feel like you’ll never find it again but you will, start slow and try to do it morning and evening or whenever you think about it. I recommend this Kegal Camp App for after birth or the incredible Elvie Trainer but please don’t use this until at least six weeks post birth. (You can also get 20% of the Elvie using code: CARLY20) I’d love to hear your thoughts on your post-baby body, so please leave them in the comments below!