Pregnancy and birth are amazing experiences that take a toll on your body and your mind. A lot of expecting mothers research what will happen during their pregnancy, charting where they are week by week watching for exciting milestones like their baby’s first kick or hiccup. Expecting couples usually take birth preparation classes and learn about how to take care of their new baby.
There are also some very surprising things that you can expect after giving birth that you may not be aware of and are not so commonly known. Just like your body went through changes as your baby was growing inside of you, your body will take some time to adjust after giving birth.
Surprising Things To Expect After Giving Birth
During pregnancy your uterus slowly and surely expanded along with your growing baby. After you have given birth your womb is hard and weighs just over one kilogram. For the next six weeks your womb will be contracting until it reaches about sixty grams.
When your uterus contracts you may feel pain. This is particularly noticeable when you breastfeed your baby as this stimulates your uterus to contract.
So prepare yourself for cramps when you feed your baby and take heart that although it is uncomfortable it is your body starting to go back to its pre-pregnancy state.
Sweating At Night
During pregnancy many women are swollen and retain a lot of fluid. After birth your body starts to release all this excess fluid. You may land up needing to make a lot of bathroom trips at night to urinate and you may also find that you wake up covered in sweat.
Sweating can be caused by low levels of estrogen after giving birth combined with losing excess fluid.
Your Hair Falls Out
During pregnancy you may find that your hair grows faster and becomes much thicker. This is thanks to all the estrogen which makes your hair growth phase last longer and you won’t shed as much hair.
After the birth of your baby your hair may fall out in clumps. This can be very distressing if you are not aware of this postpartum symptom but it is very normal. You can have clumps of hair falling out for six months after birth.
Menstruation and Breastfeeding
After you have given birth it is perfectly normal to bleed for up to six weeks and thereafter your period will typically return if you are not breastfeeding.
If you are breastfeeding you may find that you don’t get another period for many months, perhaps for as long as you breastfeed your baby.
Women that breastfeed their babies often only start menstruating from nine months to eighteen months after giving birth, or after weaning their baby.