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6 things women don't realize happen to your post-baby body

Posted November 11

 (Deseret Photo)

We all know what tends to happen when you get pregnant. Suddenly you blow up like a balloon, your feet swell and sleeping will never be the same. But what happens to your body after you have your little miracle? Does it just bounce back to how it used to be? Not quite.

Here are six changes you can expect to happen after you give birth:

1. Breast pain

We all know that women's breasts grow during pregnancy because your body is producing milk for your baby. What most women don’t expect is what takes place while you're breastfeeding. You might have leakage, extra tender breasts and cracked nipples. Your chest in general will often feel heavy and can create back pain.

2. Swelling

You will swell literally everywhere after giving birth. This lovely side effect is called edema. From your toes, to your feet, to your neck, all the pushing you've done just pushed extra fluid to your face and limbs. Elevate swollen legs, feet and ankles to help reduce the size. Rubbing lotion into your skin can help massage out your swollen limbs until your body naturally gets rid of all the excess fluid.

3. Sweating

Your body's temperature increased during pregnancy for your child's comfort. Now that your baby is no longer inside, your body is trying to regulate its heat again. It will take time for your body to be able to manage its own temperature, but sleeping with a cool, damp towel can help you sleep through the nights where you are tossing, turning and sweating.

4. Lots of blood

Expect to see lots and lots of blood in the first few weeks following birth. Your system is trying to clean itself out, meaning you'll be seeing bloody discharge for a while. After some time, this side effect will go away, but wearing pads in the meantime will make laundry days that much easier.

5. Thinning hair

I hate to say this one, but those lustrous locks you enjoyed during your pregnancy will fade away. The amount of hormones your body produced during and after your pregnancy will determine how much hair loss you might endure post-baby.

6. Depression

About 1 in 7 new mothers experience depression post-pregnancy. As a new mom, your life becomes stressful, your hormones are everywhere and you are sleep deprived. All of this can lead to some severe baby blues that you should discuss with your doctor and husband. Changes in weight, pervasive sadness, feeling of worthlessness, severe anxiety and insomnia are only some of the symptoms to be aware of.

It is not easy being a mother, let alone a new mother. Talk with other experienced moms and your doctor to get advice on how to deal with the changes.v Don't forget to drink plenty of water, eat healthy, sleep when you can and love your new little angel. Over time (and with the help of your doctor) these post-baby changes will go away.

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