As we all know, pregnancy is a blessing. The fact that you can grow another human inside of you... don't even get us started. And then the result is a tiny, precious bundle of joy all for yourself? It's truly miraculous! Still... we can't help but ogle at some of the effects pregnancy has on your body. It takes its toll, that's for sure. Check out these weird, gross, kinda-sorta-not-funny-at-times things that happen to your body after you have a baby.
1. You'll probably have to rock your stretch marks. Learn to love 'em, ladies, because they're probably here to stay. The sooner you embrace them as empowering battle scars, the better.
>> Read more: Got Stretch Marks? NBD, So Does Chrissy Teigen
2. You're gonna be sore down there. Nearly all new mothers who give birth vaginally experience some sort of tearing during labor, especially in the perineum (the area between the vagina and rectum). Are you cringing yet? Chances are, you'll have to get some stitches to patch everything up. So you'll definitely want to abstain from using tampons and having sex for a while... Four to six weeks seems to be the consensus.
3. The swelling doesn't stop. At least not for a couple weeks, that is. All that swelling in your legs, feet and ankles? It might not leave your system immediately after having your baby. Why's that, you ask? Well, once your uterus is empty, all the blood has to go somewhere. Just give it a few weeks.
4. Maxi pads serve many functions. Not only will you experience lochia (post-birth discharge made up of blood, mucus and uterine tissue) for a few weeks after delivery, but you'll also notice your bladder isn't quite what it used to be. Your pelvic muscles will be weakened (even if you had a C-section!), so you'll have to work on your kegel exercises to build them back up. And stock up on maxi pads!
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5. Your boobs could get infected. Um, what? That's right. Apparently, breastfeeding can lead to infections in your breasts. You'll know it when you see it: one part of your breast may be harder than the rest, you might have a fever, your breast might be warm and red. Call your OB-GYN. Also, it's possible that your shrinking uterus, which contracts during breastfeeding, could also hurt during feeding time. Being a mom is fun!
6. One word: hemorrhoids. Yep. It's gonna happen. Luckily, a simple over-the-counter cream (and maybe even something as easy as a bath) should help!
7. You might get a little constipated. Orrr a lot constipated. Your hormones basically rule your body all the time, but especially during and after pregnancy. They slow down your gastrointestinal system, which really messes with your bowel movements. Make sure you're getting lots of fiber in your diet, and don't be afraid to use a stool softener — especially if you have those nasty hemorrhoids we talked about earlier.
8. Your hair might fall out. Not to completely scare you away from having kids, but you might start to notice some hair loss about three months after delivery. You can thank your hormones (or lack thereof) for that. The sharp decline of estrogen sends some of your hair follicles into their terminal stage. Womp, womp.
9. You're gonna be a sweaty Betty. If you wake up to finding your bedsheets soaked in sweat, you're not alone. After childbirth, that extra pregnancy fluid in your system has to go, so your body sweats it out! Your hormones are also putting your body to work by trying to regulate and get back to normal, so that's another reason you might get the night sweats.
So what do you think? Ready to have a kid?!