Dress: Matron Saint [c/o] | Heels: Sam Edelman [c/o] | Earrings: Baublebar [c/o] | Handbag: Gucci
I shot these photos for a New Years Eve look, but never got around to posting them because little lady made her big debut before NYE even rolled around! If you’re looking for a date night look, this fitted black dress, statement earrings and sparkly shoe combo is a winner, pregnant or not.
As I look back through my pregnancy photos, it’s incredible to see what my body went through. God created us women to be walking miracles and I’m so proud to be a woman.
If you listen to our podcast, Hello Baby, we chat a lot about life with baby, but I wanted to dedicate today’s blog post to me, after baby. I want to highlight my body changes and how I’ve been feeling. So, as usual, I’m keeping it real for y’all… You know how I roll, lol! A lot of what my body has gone through after baby has been a surprise to me. After going through this process with several girlfriends at the same time, I realized that each mama had her own series of symptoms she experienced. We women truly are unique in every aspect of life. So if you’re expecting your first little one, just know that you may or may not experience all of these body changes below.
13 Postpartum Body Changes – My Three Month Update
- Hair loss: I haven’t noticed the dreaded three month hair loss yet… I have been taking as many precautions as possible to prevent it including vitamins, hair products and even washing my hair less often than normal.
- Eyelash Loss: This came as a surprise to me. My lashes look pretty darn pathetic, which is why I started getting lash extensions recently. It’s not recommended to use lash growth serums while pregnant or nursing, so extensions it is!
- Weight Loss: I gained a total of 34 lbs. during my pregnancy and now have about 8 lbs. left to lose. I’ve heard that you hold onto 5-10 lbs. while breastfeeding and those final pounds come off once you stop nursing. Chime in below with your postpartum weight loss experiences.
- Skin: My skin looks the best that it’s looked since I was on birth control. I’ve had virtually no pimples and only a single blackhead here or there. The one thing I have developed postpartum was a nifty form of dermatitis, which has pretty much cleared up with some nursing-friendly topical treatments prescribed by my dermatologist.
- Moles: I’m one moley girl and pregnancy only added to that problem for me. Some of the moles I already had stretched and stayed that way but the worst part was all of the new moles I developed. The new moles are primarily skin tags which (thankfully) are easy to have removed.
- Nails: Probably a result of the post-natal vitamins and surging hormones, but my nails are growing much faster than usual.
- Night Sweats: No one, not a single woman in my life, prepared me for the night sweats that occurred immediately after birth. It took weeks before the sweats finally stopped, but they helped remove a lot of the water I was retaining throughout my pregnancy.
- Digestive: The pregnancy gas disappeared after birth, but along came a new problem to fear: constipation. I was given medication as soon as I was able to have fluids in the hospital to prevent constipation and I’m so thankful I obeyed those instructions. I’ve found that most foods containing fiber are the foods that cause gas in babies, so constipation continues to be a concern even three months in. I combat that by continuing to take Natural Calm at bedtime.
- Vagina: Being the naive first-timer that I am, I assumed that I wouldn’t have the postpartum bleeding since I had a c-section… Wrong! You have a 6 week-long period whether you deliver vaginally or via cesarean. So, yes, you do need a boatload of maxi pads (no tampons allowed) and the handy-dandy squirt bottle for each and every bathroom trip you make.
- Boobs: We have an entire podcast episode dedicated to my breastfeeding journey coming soon, that’s how much I have to talk about on this topic. I’ve experience bleeding nipples, engorgement, cluster feedings and so much more. My boobs now dictate my day… When they’re too full, they hurt really bad and either I need to nurse or pump. Breastfeeding is hard. It’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve done, but it’s hard. Still, I love doing it. I love knowing that I’m able to provide my baby with everything that her little body needs.
- Sleep: Ah what I’d give for a full night of uninterrupted sleep. MacKenlee is sleeping like a champ, it’s me that’s the problem. I have to pump late at night or my full breasts wake me up. Then I wake up multiple times throughout the night to check on baby girl and make sure she’s ok. I keep hoping that one day soon I’ll be able to sleep peacefully.
- Pain: Unfortunately, I have nerve damage from the spinal block that I still haven’t recovered from. I now suffer from low back numbness and right leg pain daily. This is highly unusual, so of course it would happen to me, lol. I’m getting regular deep tissue massages and chiropractor care in hopes of a full recovery.
- Emotions: I could (and maybe should) write a book about the emotional roller coaster you take a ride on after birth. I stupidly thought I was above the postpartum blues… Wrong again, Ang. I cried for no reason the day I came home from the hospital. Scratch that, I sobbed for no reason. I sat on my swing with a two week old baby while my husband slept after working all night long and cried from loneliness. I teared up every time I remembered that I no longer had my sweet baby in my belly. I looked at my newborn baby and felt so out of my mind with worry that I didn’t have any idea what I was doing… In hindsight, all of the crazy emotions I encountered these past three months were way less dramatic than I felt the were at the time I was living them. Everything is heightened when your hormones are raging. I felt like my emotions finally leveled off at about the 6 week mark, and I started to emotionally resemble myself again.
Leave your postpartum symptoms and stories below so I know I’m not alone in all of this!
Photography by Kara Coleen.
I experienced a lot of the same changes after having my first daughter. I remember feeling extremely lonely, overwhelmed with breastfeeding/pumping, and just plain exhausted. Having a little one 100% dependent on you is exhausting… but I found it got much easier with time.
My hair didn’t start falling out until after I stopped breastfeeding. Then it came out in handfuls. I don’t have thinner hair now, though. It all evened out (not losing the normal amount of hair each day while pregnant vs. extra falling out after I stopped nursing).
Your daughter is just beautiful. I’m so happy for y’all!
You’re so right, Samantha… It has definitely gotten easier with time!
I’m totally dreading the hair loss, I still haven’t experienced it. Hoping I don’t lose too much!
I didn’t have hair loss till 5 months as did most of my friends around 5 months as well handfuls of hair constantly. You would swear you were going bald yet my hair never seemed to thin. Nioxin was amazing and made the hairloss almost stop after just two washes.
As for emotions I remember sobbing during the parade scene of Feris Bueller cause it looked like so much fun.
And the best thing I ever learned was that the Diva cup was safe for post birth!! Used it as soon as I got home from the hospital with babies 2 and 3 and it made it so much more tolerable. I’m sure this would not be allowed if you had any stitches down there but otherwise it’s amazing!
I’m still using Nioxin every wash, so I hope that helps prevent too much hair loss!
LOL the postpartum emotions are REAL!
I assume this is safe to use while nursing?? After my second child, my hair didn’t seem to grow in as thick. I’ve always had a ton of hair and now I totally notice gaps and it’s so much thinner. I’m scared to hit that 3 month post partum mark with my third. I’m scared I’ll be bald!! 😳 Might try Nioxin and see if it helps. Thanks ladies!
I dropped a lot of weight while nursing, almost all of my pregnancy weight and then some! With my last two kiddos, consuming dairy made them super spitty after every feeding, so I all but eliminated it during the first 9 months at least. When I did that, the weight just seemed to fall off. Both of those times I actually ended up below my starting weight for that pregnancy.
Ugh, the hair loss. I actually didn’t mind it so much for myself, although it did make it a pain to comb out my hair, but whatever hormone made my hair fall out also transferred via milk to all 4 of my babies, and they all went bald around that time!
I had a c-section my first pregnancy also, and I was also surprised about the postpartum bleeding!
So interesting that dairy-free seemed to help with your weight loss!
I haven’t experienced the hair loss yet, but MacKenlee sure is right now. 🙁
I just had my third baby and I can say that certain things get easier with repetition. I don’t worry near as much with this baby, but I am experiencing the loneliness, which I don’t recall feeling that strongly before. There are times I should be sleeping, but I stay up late just to get more time with another adult human being (my husband). Exhaustion always makes me more emotional and just being aware of that can help. I try not to overreact whenever my husband can’t read my mind. 🙂 I communicate more with him about how I am feeling, which helps, but I still find myself annoyed with him regularly. I want him to just know everything he should say and do for me. I don’t want to have to ask. I don’t like asking for help with anything though. It feels like a failure, which is just false. I know this, but still I struggle to ask for helo. I need to work on this.
I agree with what Angie said: Breastfeeding is always hard, but worth it. I get smarter about it each time, but the babies have a say too in how it goes and they are all different. 🙂 We didn’t do a bottle consistently with my first so she rejected it for awhile, which made working difficult. My 2nd was a grabber, puncher, and biter when she was nursing. Good times. So far so good on #3, but he’s only 7 weeks, so we’ll see.
I love that you are so communicative with your husband with your feelings!
MacKenlee is a grabber and scratcher while nursing too!
Definitely agree with a lot of this!! I was super emotional for a while afterwards. What no one told me was a thing: I had PP bleeding until I was 13 weeks which was super unexpected and very annoying haha
I have a ton of hair and it didn’t start falling out until I was about 4 months postpartum and it came out of NOWHERE and came at full force. I can’t do my hair without pulling out tons. I haven’t noticed a difference in my hair because I have a lot but still.
I’ve never heard that thing about keeping 5-10 lbs but I hope it’s true haha
The bleeding is totally annoying. I mean with go through enough without having a nonstop period for +2 months after birth!
I’m still holding on to the 8 lbs. and working out has been harder than ever for me!
My story is a little horrifying and extremely rare. One month after my son was born I went into the emergency room complaining about severe abdominal pain. My liver enzymes were extremely high and my blood pressure was out of wack. I was diagnosed with late onset postpartum preeclampsia. I had no idea that you could get postpartum preeclampsia! Most people who get postpartum preeclampsia get it within 72 hours of delivery, normally it is detected before your even released from the hospital. The treatment for it is a magnesium drip, if you’ve never had one it is a horrible experience! I started to experience vision loss and my supply tanked, I went from over producing to making four ounces a day. After going home I decided I want to breastfeed, I felt bad that I had to formula feed because my son didn’t want it. After tons of pumping and supplementing we made it 10.5 months!
I think once we stopped nursing my hormones started getting under control. However I still wish we were nursing, I only stopped because the doctor told me I had to so we can try and figure out why my body hasn’t recovered from the magnesium drip. My son is now a year old and I still am having problems but he is healthy and happy, that’s all I could ask for. I am so thankful that I was the one to have complications and not him.
First off, I’m so sorry you had that experience! Holy cow, I can’t even imagine!! What an awesome mom you are!!
I delivered via emergency c section at 30 weeks 5 days. Our little girl was rushed to the NICU and stayed for 7 weeks. During pregnancy, I had only gained 13lbs and lost them in 3 weeks post partum. Hair loss came with a vengeance at 3.5 months post partum but it has thankfully subsided at 5 months.
Due to my little one’s incredible journey, emotions have been very high, hormones or not. She’s very healthy and we are so proud of her but the guilt and sadness of not being able to keep her safe inside my body has taken it’s toll.
One thing I noticed, other than continuous abdominal pain from the c section, is that my pre pregnancy clothing fits..just differently! I’m hoping to go back to somewhat normal in that regard soon!
So happy to hear your sweet babe is healthy now!! Clothes definitely fit differently I’m noticing!
Thanks for sharing- I love reading these!! I was so darn lucky and lost my pregnancy weight within the first week PP! I think it’s because it was mostly water weight. I also didn’t bleed for 6 weeks but i did use the heck out of a squirt bottle because of stitches ? overall I thought my recovery was so quick and I felt like myself within days but my biggest PP problem has been hair loss!!!! 5 months pp tomorrow and it’s still happening ugh! It’s also thin and gets greasy sooner than before so there’s no happy medium (like washing less). And finally, sleep. What’s that? 😉 my son still wakes to nurse 2x and 2-3x just to be soothed each night. Yikes. I think I’ll feel like a new woman if I can get a 4-5 hour stretch of sleep one day. Lol! Please continue sharing your postpartum journey!
You go, mama! We have a new episode of Hello Baby coming soon all about our sleep journey, hopefully it’ll be helpful to you!!
I could relate to so many of these!! But the biggest one — the night sweats!! I drenched our sheets multiple nights in a row and would end up doing laundry at 2 am!! I started sleeping on a towel so I just had to change that. I was so thankful when it finally stopped happening so frequently (though I can still ruins pillow if baby boy sleeps too much and I start leaking! The extra sleep becomes such a double edged sword Ha.) I also developed mastitis early on, which only added to the night sweating and discomfort. Now I’m terrified every time I feel a knot and pray I don’t get another infection. I just started going back to work and I miss exclusively breastfeeding so much. And my baby in general. Oh and the first night home from the hospital I couldn’t stop crying because I was worried I’d never sleep again. Thankfully I quickly discovered that my bed is sooo much more comfortable than the hospital ones ?. Looking forward to your breastfeeding podcast ep! ?
Those hospital beds are a NIGHTMARE! Why wouldn’t they make them more comfortable so you can recover better?!
You’ve had eye lash loss, too?!?! I thought I was crazy!! Everyone I asked about it had no idea what I was talking about. And yeah, night sweats – so not fun!! Thank you for sharing so honestly!
Girl. My lashes are NOT the same anymore!
Yes to all of this! I was not prepared for the night sweats and had no idea why I was waking up chilled and drenched. Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I’ve ever done… bleeding nipples, egorgement, and reoccurring clogged ducts (SO painful!).
I got hit with the baby blues hard and cried every single day for about three weeks. So many things set me off… going to my two week follow up appointment without my baby inside me made me instantly cry.
I also developed a nasty rash from the disposable underwear that the hospital gives you. Not something you want to deal with while recovering from a c section!
Luckily most of this has passed… but MAN my postpartum symptoms were 1000% harder than anything I dealt with during pregnancy. I would love to see men go through any of this… the things we have to deal with as women!
We women are truly superheroes!!
Although every woman has a different pregnancy, birth and postpartum experience, it seems like we can all relate just the same.
I never know how much sharing is too much on a public forum like this, but my story in a nut shell is: I had breast cancer at 27, found just a month after I got married, one side mastectomy, chemo and radiation followed. 2 years after treatment got the ok to try for a baby, 3 1/2 years and a few early misscariges later we finally got pregnant with our little girl.
I had hyperemisis gravadaram and lost 23 lbs during my early Pregnancy, gained 22 back by delivery at 36 weeks due to preeclampsia and a failing placenta. Our girl was inter uterine growth restricted (IUGR) and was only 3 lbs 14 oz, spent 2 weeks in the NICU. She had trouble learning to nurse because of her size so for 3 1/2 mo I would try nursing, feed a bottle and then pump for later feeds. (All on the one remaining side). Then at 9 lbs she figured it out. What a miraculous feeling that was.
We had the postpartum sobbing and fears too, the only way I slept at night was because of the Owlet monitor we had. Nursing made my extra weight fall off, 60 lbs total. God works in mysterious ways. I feel blessed to have my little miracle girl. As I’m sure you and all these other mothers are.
What a miracle you are, mama! I have tears in my eyes reading your story. I’m so happy to hear that you’re living your happy ending with your sweet girl! 🙂
Why a squirt bottle every time you go to the bathroom? I must know! Pregnant with my first…
You bleed postpartum and if you have a vaginal delivery, you may also have stitches or an abrasion. Some healing will be needed and it’s important to keep the area clean. A perineum bottle allows you to easily spray the area after going to the bathroom.
I did! You pass all the blood and stuff after birth whether it’s a vaginal delivery or c-section.
I am praying for your nerve pain. I had a cesearen as well and it was with my second child. My story is different than yours but I too deal with chronic nerve pain. I internally bled for a week after delivery then had emergency surgery to save my life. 5 weeks later they found a DVT blood clot and I was forced to stop breastfeeding because of the blood thinner. Almost 7 months later now and I still have nerve damage across my lower abdomen. Both were one in a million chances- just like you. God was super gracious to keep me here after it all. One thing that helps a ton is lidocaine that you can get at your local drug store. I am not sure if you can breastfeed with it (check with your doctor) but comes in a patch or a cream and it has been a life saver! I am thankful for your honesty and transparency – the more we speak to each other as moms the less alone we can feel through physical changes and challenges!
Oh Tanya! That’s so scary!! I’m so happy to hear you’re on the mend, but hoping your numbness clears!
I was on such a high after he came four months ago, that the tears and fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks about 4 weeks after the delivery. My husband would come home to me crying and I could hardly even tell why. He was so worried and I was trying to control my emotions so he wouldn’t worry. I am so thankful that he was able to be patient and gentle with me and help me even after a long day at work. Little breaks away and some journaling have helped me to come back to center. I too felt like there were things no one mentioned, but when I would bring up what I was going through, other women would say, “me too!” I think people don’t want to be negative, and know you’ll worry if they mention some of the difficult parts, and they’re hoping you won’t experience it too… I also struggled with a lot of fearful thoughts about harm coming to the baby, like thinking I might trip or fall and hurt him by accident. I had/have to try to replace these thoughts with positive, healthy imagination and confidence that I am doing my best.
I still think about tripping with MacKenlee in my arms every time I walk down the stairs! And I’m always thinking about car accidents when we’re driving anywhere. I thought I was alone in those crazy, fear thoughts!
Terrific post, Angela!
OMG! So true about the low back and right leg pain. I still have the pain even after 2 years! Are you getting relief for the messages? My pain is getting like a nightmare nowadays.
P. S. Love your blog!
The chiropractor has been the biggest help! Turns out that my pelvis was tilted from pregnancy!
Is your weight really normally that stable? My weight goes up and down 8 pounds all the time. I’m 24, without children and it’s always been this way.
My weight fluctuates within a 4 lbs range typically. 🙂
Girl I feel you on the emotions! Those hormones are crazy! With my first, I cried all the time. I was constantly worried about him. I couldn’t even handle having other people hold him except my hubby and my mom. With baby number 2, postpartum depression has taken over my life for the last 9 months. It’s pretty rough, but luckily I have the most supportive husband in the world who helps out whenever he can. Congrats on your sweet baby girl!
Hormones can wreck you! SO happy your hubby is supporting you emotionally!