How did your body REALLY change after giving birth? #I've got a question!#bodies#pregnancy#self esteem#starred June 13 | Offbeat Editors @offbeatfamilies runs these advice questions as an opportunity for our readers to share personal experiences and anecdotes. Readers are responsible for doing their own research before following any advice given here... or anywhere else on the web, for that matter. Photo by NWCORAZÓN Photo and Video. I know that I can expect my body to change after giving birth — it's kind of obvious to me that growing a human, gaining 30-60lbs, and then pushing a human out of my body will do that. I'm curious about the REAL CHANGES — not just what happens on the surface (stretch marks, acne, etc.). What changes did your body experience after giving birth throughout the first year of your child's life? -Amber Related Post Nursing gave me a supposedly-perfect body (but I wanted my A-cups back) I was astonished by this transformation into my ideal body. I felt lighter on my feet and more comfortable in my skin. In one year,... Read more We've talked about what post-partum life is like practically, and you guys were all over the post-partum period discussion… but we've never REALLY delved into The Body Talk. So we want Offbeat Families readers to tell us: How did your body change after you gave birth? We think the comments on this post are pretty enlightening… here are a few we especially love: Fact is my body was completely changed by child birth. The reality is you must come to accept this new you or consistently struggle to get back to the old. Because no matter how much you work out,you will never be perfect (even if you were a super models before kids). Yep, my body at least, is still going to look like Freddy Krueger ripped his way out of my belly. This after children me is ME. and I'm still pretty damn sexy. — Mia Your physical body does bounce back pretty quickly with a healthy diet and some regular exercise. I still have stretch marks and some skin sagginess, and my poor boobs will never be as perky, but I am actually in better shape after my daughter than I was before. My daughter has made me way more conscious of my diet because I want to be a good role model for her. I don't want her to struggle with the same PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) issues that I did for years. — Jessica My experience of post baby body – not too bad! My girls, even after b/f twice for a year+ each time are in pretty good shape (and height off the waist). My belly will never ever be the same, but really pretty happy generally. I think having a partner who tells you regularly how hot and sexy you are (and believes it) probably counts for a lot!!! As for baby weight – I gained 20kg first time, and took it all off walking up and down hills with my baby on my back. Second time not so much, but I was too exhausted to do the hill walking (see above!). — Annie We love the comments on this post but please try to avoid disparaging your mama bodies! We think you're beautiful. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo PREVIOUS Need a photo booth idea for your kid's party? Build a hot air balloon! NEXT My U.S. military hospital birth didn't follow protocol Toggle comments [ 199 ] Ok not pleasant, but after two kiddies I have a heck of a time holding my pee! If I gotta go…..I gotta go! Also, laughing sneezing, coughing ect. causes leaks. Such a pain! I had my 2nd 8 weeks ago and it hasn't stopped yet. All I can recommend is Kegel, Kegel, Kegel. 43 agree Make sure you are also doing squats. The pc muscle that you strengthen when doing kegels also needs balance with the glutes to keep it strong, not just tight. Just like only exercising your biceps won't make your arms strong unless you work your triceps and delts. 31 agree I also strongly recommend the "hold for [n] seconds, then relax" Kegel version, not just the "clench, clench,clench" version. 16 agree I never needed to be reminded to do kegels; I did them each time I coughed or sneezed (lol). I still instinctively do them. 7 agree lol! I instinctively started doing them whilst reading this 118 agree Stretch marks..everywhere.., deflated breasts(these did eventually bounce back to life!), butt shaped belly…still working on this one, and my belly button turned to a frown. I suppose a positive is that my lady parts sprang back into place pretty quickly. Fact is,my body was completely changed by child birth. The reality is you must come to accept this new you or consistently struggle to get back to the old. Because no matter how much you work out,you will never be perfect (even if you were a super models before kids). Yep, my body at least, is still going to look like Freddy Krueger ripped his way out of my belly. This after children me is ME. and I'm still pretty damn sexy. <3 57 agree I once heard stretch marks referred to as baby tattoos (pretty sure it was in a post on here), I loved it, so I rolled with it. Love my stretch marks now 29 agree Tiger stripes! 19 agree I kid you not, one of the stretch marks my mom got from me combined with one of the stretch marks she got from my sister and made a playboy bunny symbol (the little rabbit head) on her right hipbone! How lucky is that? 11 agree Body lightning!!!! 3 agree I don't really agree with "you will never be perfect". My mother went through two natural births and her body stayed exactly the same until she got older. Natalia Vodianova has the most incredible body and her post-birth pictures are as amazing as her pre-birth. There's nothing wrong with change, and I think women are perfect anyway, but some women do not go through many changes after becoming mothers. I have a lot of friends who gave birth (usually the younger ones) and now you would never imagine they had kids (and yes, I saw them naked). Others have changed, and that's fine as well. 17 agree I have friends who have had multiple births and you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at them naked. However, as a society, we tend to make these people the norm and stick everyone else in a dark closet. I love looking at websites of bellies and boobs of women who have experienced body changes after birth. I love seeing myself visually represented in a community of others with similar shapes and stretches. It just makes me, personally, feel less like a freak. When I feel more accepting of my body I also feel more accepting of myself. My sex life get's better, my self talk is nicer. Shallow. Yep. Real. Yes. 43 agree For me, it took a long time to get the strength back into my joints. My joints were super loose during my pregnancy, I pulled my inguinal ligament twice when I was pregnant, plus I had serious sciatica issues. A year and a half later my sciatica still acts up out of no where, and it took almost 6 months for my joints to go back to normal. It took even longer than that for walking or jogging to feel normal. Also, even though my daughter weaned almost 7 months ago I still lactate and get the feeling of let down. I even know someone who's daughter is 10 years old and she is still lactating… The weirdest thing for me was that I was stronger post-pregnancy than I was pre-pregnancy. I have always been a bit of a gym rat, but my weightlifting took off after baby and I was lifting more weight more quickly. Go figure. Also, I now love olives. I hated them when I was pregnant, loved them during pregnancy and continued to love them post kiddo. You're physical body does bounce back pretty quickly with a healthy diet and some regular exercise. I still have stretch marks and some skin sagginess, and my poor boobs will never be as perky, but I am actually in better shape after my daughter than I was before. My daughter has made me way more conscious of my diet because I want to be a good role model for her. I don't want her to struggle with the same PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) issues that I did for years. 15 agree Another thing was that I had a c-section.. and I still have little to no feeling for about .5" around my scar. Except for itchiness..and you can never scratch an itch on skin you can't feel. 36 agree It's been two years and the scar STILL ITCHES! 21 agree Jessica, I'm almost 37 weeks pregnant and my joints have been super loose, too. Sciatica, knee problems, hip pain, mid-back pain…. The only thing that has truly helped has been going to a Webster technique certified chiropractor. I was a gym rat, too, and I was clumsy! Have broken my tailbone countless times. We suspect that's had an influence on all my sacrum problems. I can literally hear my sacrum and pubic bone popping and cracking while I walk sometimes. Basically, I think your story will be me unless I'm proactive. So I encourage you to find a Webster technique certified chiropractor to help you. I was highly skeptical of going— until I couldn't sleep or walk bc of knee pain. No more ice packs to help me sleep anymore! (now I'm just hungry & have to tinkle all the time! Hehe) Blessings, Elaine 1 agrees My hips got wider, my butt flatter, and my breasts deflated, stretch marks, belly that's really difficult to get to go away. Totally worth it, but definitely a bummer when those jeans that were dependably hot, don't look so great anymore. It does get better over time, however. 14 agree My teeth, which never had any cavities, after having two babies consecutively, I needed 4 root canals. The dentist told me that it was because the second pregnancy sapped all the calcium out of my teeth and bones. Definitely don't negelect your teeth in new parent sleepless haze 24 agree Yes, I totally forgot about this. Never had a filling in my life. Post baby = 6 freakin cavities! 14 agree I'm really sorry, I never comment, but this is my most hated Dental/Baby myth! The baby does not, and cannot, take calcium from your teeth or bones. Their calcium comes from your diet. Changes in teeth/gums are due to hormones, saliva changes, diet changes and nausea preventing brushing. Hygienist Hat off now – I honestly don't mean to be arsey but that one drives me mad!! 34 agree I can't speak for teeth, but babies can and DO take calcium out of bones. Bones are alive and constantly "turning over". A lack of bioavailable calcium (plus minerals needed for the bone cells to absorb the calcium) means that the body will deplete the calcium stores in the bones. Heart contractility > bone density. Your heart requires a certain amount of calcium to contract and release, so ABSOLUTELY will a growing baby deplete calcium out of your bones if you're not getting enough in your dietary supplement. *nursing hat off now. 38 agree I'll give you bones, you've kicked my ass on bones (wait that sounds wrong outside of my head!!) 2 agree Sorry if I upset you, that is just what my dentist told me. Before that I would have just assumed that 18 months of throwing up every other thing I ate damaged my teeth. 7 agree Actually babies can strip you of your calcium if you are breastfeeding. Obviously if you arent eating or drinking a sufficient amount of what you need. 5 agree I had a C-section, and I swear that I've got an adhesion (when scar tissue forms & joins parts that weren't meant to be joined). What I mean is, it feels like the scar I see is attached to other stuff inside. I can feel it when I stretch – kinda like a tugging. Also, the sleep deprivation takes more of a toll than you might think. My child is still not much of a sleeper (after fourteen months), and since my partner refuses to get up at night, I'm operating at (generously) 60% capacity. I can barely maintain a conversation b/c … wallaby, shoe polish… I mean, because my mind wanders. Luckily, I teach literature, so bizarre digressions are somewhat expected. 43 agree I'm with you on the c-section abdominal adhesions! They're really common (Wikipedia says 90% of people who have abdominal surgery get 'em), but it feels WEIRD when parts of your insides pull against each other. 6 agree I had one after my appendectomy after I was 15. Took years to feel normal. It must be so much worse with c-sections. 3 agree Ooooooh. I had appendix surgery when I was 8; I never knew that this is what I have. But I do! Thanks. Thanks for the link! I never thought to look it up… I don't know about worse with C-sections – it's all pretty weird. I wonder whether anyone else with an adhesion, (even self-diagnosed), or maybe with C-sections, feels like her uterus is in a slightly different place? When I touch my cervix, it seems to be lower than it was pre-delivery (not pre-pregnancy)! 1 agrees I had a c-section and it totally feels like my uterus/ovaries are in a different place. Even weirder things happened when I started getting my period again. The old familiar feelings of PMS and cramps were gone and felt foreign, like I had somebody else's reproductive system! 4 agree My cervix went sideays after my pregnancy. It's pointing anterior and wayyy off to the left. My doctor had a hard time getting an IUD in because of it. I'm not sure if it's because of adhesions or some other reasons and my doctor didn't seem to have a reason to give me either. 2 agree OMG i have the exact same thing !! to the left and had troule getting the IUD in … one question tho sorry if its a little personal but im having pain and discomfort during sex just wondering if u have the same… my doc said its probably because my cervix has moved 1 agrees Had a partial jejunectomy due to a birth defect (first surgery at 48 hours old). When I was 20, I started having pain, worse pain of my life (including labor). It was sporadic and took five YEARS to diagnose as adhesions. Which were causing intestinal blockage. Which was creating more scar tissue. In the end, I needed another six inches of jejunum removed and was told I can expect surgery again in another two decades. Abdominal surgery and adhesions are no joke! 2 agree all i can think of is 90s band jejune now…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jejune 3 agree Oh my, thank you! I had a hip replacement about 4 months ago and I have this crazy "indent" where my scar is! I really noticed it the other day when I was wearing some legging capris. I could full-on see the difference between my two hips from several feet away. My physiotherapist has been encouraging me to massage my scar to help break down those attachments. Not very fun, but helpful in the long run. I can't imagine having that on my abdomen 2 agree I've got those too. A good massage therapist can help with them,hurts like a massive son of a bitch but it helps. I got a bit of nerve damage from my csection, but it was an emergency c and I really didn't follow Drs orders to rest after so its really my bad. I've just noticed I've got to think a bit harder to get my left leg to do things in my exercise class than I do for my right side. 4 agree One of the techniques for abdominal adhesions is called visceral manipulation. In massage school, I learned a bit of the technique and had it done for my stuck ovary which was weird but not painful. 1 agrees Oh, the sleep deprivation… everyone will warn you about it, but it doesn't mean anything till you experience it. And beware the toll that it can take on your relationship with your partner! May be a good idea to discuss strategies to deal with the pressure and remind each other how much you care about EACH OTHER (not just the baby) when things get tense. Or maybe you will be lucky and get one of those kids who sleeps through the night at 2 month old :). 9 agree My breasts changed a lot, while nursing they were bigger than ever before, but after we weaned they kinda (how should I put this)… deflated. I wonder if I had given them more support while I was preggers, if they would have stayed a bit more perky. Also, I have a mama pooch, which DD loves and I've grown to appreciated more and more each day. 2 agree I found (via research) that perkiness is not relevant to how often a bra is worn. The breasts can sag even if a bra is worn 24/7 or breasts can be perky when there is no support throughout the days. Personally speaking, I can't stand the feel of my bras, new or otherwise. I would wear F cups but didn't, yet I managed to stay perky. I did start leaking at 5 months pregnant though. I had to wear panty liners inside my sports bras for a while. 5 agree Ok, you need to know that I'm not a native speaker so I'm not just a total idiot, but when you said "I wonder if I had given them more support if they would have stayed more perky" I actually thought you meant like verbally encouraging them "come on boobs, stay up ! I love you no matter what !". And kinda thought it was a pretty cool idea. Until I saw the follow-up comment about wearing a bra and I just brust out laughing. Sorry about that I'm just tired 57 agree My asshole has never been the same. No joke. I think when they stitched me up they did it slightly unevenly and my asshole looks a little asymmetrical. Weird thing to notice? My boobs look like tube socks with tennis balls at the end. My stomach looks like a shrivelled balloon or the soft, wrinkly skin of a very old lady's face. And there's this flappy pooch that if I don't rein in my gradual weight gain, will eventually droop down and cover my vagina. Also: some of my food aversions stuck with me. Funtimes. 37 agree I had 2 babies, and as a result have been stitched up twice. And now I have a lovely little crevice between my lady parts and my asshole. 14 agree Thank you! Or not, I laughed so hard I just peed a little. Nothing is ever the same. Nothing. 16 agree Yep, my asshole. It is just not the same. I had a 4th degree cut (meaning hole to hole) and I just think it never healed up quite right. Just like Mad TV used to say; 10% more anal leakage…. So worth it though!!! Love my little guy and it did get better with time. 3 agree "My boobs look like tube socks with tennis balls at the end." LOL! 11 agree Maybe I'm not looking at things too critically (and maybe I'm lucky), but I don't feel like it's changed much (mama of one 10 month old). Nipples are darker, breasts not as perky (but not awful). Some pale stretch marks, but they bother me less than the scars from having my gall bladder removed post-baby. Downstairs girl-bits are good as new! And I lucked out with no incontinence. I always had a bit of a belly, so I suppose I'm not to critical of it, but not too different, maybe a little saggier skin. I guess I love it all regardless! 4 agree Same here–my baby's 6 months and I feel like my body is pretty much the same. I'm not as strong, but that's because I haven't exercised consistently for the past year. I have a few stretch marks. My belly's a little poochier but I'm pretty sure if I exercised more it'd get flatter. I think my cervix is lower? Overall I would say that my major body changes have been due to lifestyle changes rather than specifically birth/breastfeeding. 4 agree I'm the same weight now I was before, but I'm definitely carrying a little more weight in my belly. It's just a little pouchier, and my belly button looks a little weird. My feet are a bit bigger. They grew a size towards the end of pregnancy, and went down about half a size after. So I can still wear my pre-preggo shoes, but they're a bit tight. I don't see a noticeable difference in the width of my hips or anything. I'm still nursing, so right now my breasts look MARVELOUS! But I heard 'empty socks' is what I have to look forward to once my daughter is weaned! I'm actually pretty happy with my post-partum body. I feel strong. 12 agree This was my experience too! My body seems relatively unscathed, but my belly button is different… it practically flips to an "outie" when I get into some positions. But I escaped stretch marks and feel toned and strong, so I'm not complaining. I LOVE my breastfeeding boobs, though it's funny how the nipples seem to change color all the time! One weird change: I'm now super-sensitive to movement in my lower abdomen. I know it's just gas but I could swear there's a baby kicking in there sometimes. (There isn't, I've checked!) 17 agree I got the tummy pooch and deflated boobs but also my hips widened a bit which I was thrilled with as it balanced my figure a little better. And after my second baby I got that dreaded bra fat (ewwww) but I think the biggest change is my energy level. I have never been a high energy person, but my energy has been zapped massivly :\ 5 agree Is it possible you're wearing an incorrect bra size? I had to be fitted multiple times, but it was totally worth it. 5 agree I had a similar experience with energy in my second pregnancy, it absolutely wiped me out and never returned, like chronic fatigue really – but years later found that I seem to be dairy intolerant to some degree, and staying off it I feel heaps better – got my energy back (after 5+ years). It's really life-changing, and I can still have some dairy, and 'A2' milk is ok too. Oh, yeah, and it flattened my belly too! My experience of post baby body – not too bad! My girls, even after b/f twice for a year+ each time are in pretty good shape (and height off the waist). My belly will never ever be the same, but really pretty happy generally. I think having a partner who tells you regularly how hot and sexy you are (and believes it) probably counts for a lot!!! As for baby weight – I gained 20kg first time, and took it all off walking up and down hills with my baby on my back. Second time not so much, but I was too exhausted to do the hill walking (see above!). Also, weirdly, and I've never heard an explanation for this, my eyesight, which had been pretty poor pre-baby, improved to 20/20 post baby – no idea when that happened, whether it was gradual or what, but I no longer need glasses, and that makes me pretty happy 3 agree My baby, my first, is 7.5 months old. I can totally relate to bladder leakage, loose hip joints and a belly that still kind of sticks out sometimes even though it *looks* flat most of the time. I'd like to add that my sense of smell is much more sensitive than before I had a baby though thankfully not as acute as during pregnancy. Even though I get comparatively good sleep for a mom (my daughter only gets up once through the night and will sometimes even sleep through), my memory is completely shot. If I don't write something down then it really didn't happen for me. I hope that the memory improves before I go back to work in the fall! Other post natal notes: after getting back down to my pre-baby weight within about 4 months, I'm now putting on weight because I'm eating too much being so close to my kitchen all of the time. This is despite a daily regimen of baby/dog walks. Also, my feet are a half-size bigger so most of my foot wear needs to be replaced. Interestingly, I don't resent any of these changes because they remind my incredible journey to parenthood. Sounds sappy, I know, but I swear it's true! 12 agree I have the nose thing too! It sucks b/c every time my partner drinks alcohol – even just one glass of wine – he is stinky to me. And mama memory – we talk about that one at work – I now use many more post-its. 5 agree I'm only 6 weeks post partum, so who knows what my boobs will be like after breastfeeding. But body wise, I have a few stretch marks like look like handprints on my stomach and a slight pooch and my hips ate wider and that's really it. My vagina has pretty much returned to normal. Then again, I had a preterm birth at 36 weeks so there was probably less stretching. 1 agrees My eyesight and allergies got worse during pregnancy, and stayed worse. My boobs went pretty much back to normal, but my southern lady parts took a toll… I had one stitch from a minor tear, and it made sex pretty painful for awhile (like 6 months). I still have to be careful with sex; no rough stuff (at least not yet – my little one is 10 months now). I also noticed my strength came back REALLY quick, and that I put on muscle really well after baby – in fact, aside from a bit of loose skin on my tummy, my abs are actually better now than before! Sleep deprivation at first also gave me some crow's feet and a few gray hairs… but I'm not complaining 3 agree Glad to hear someone else is still struggling with intercourse. My vagina and Labia tore. For a while my midwives thought I might want reconstructive surgery- but at my 6 week check-up my labia had reconnected leaving just a v shaped indent. I thought I was fine. Now, 12 weeks after birth, intercourse is still not possible. The pressure hurt my pelvis and my labia produces a dull ache. I feel sad about my sex life- I have a supportive partner, but I still wonder when my body will feel fully healed. ALso- after long walks, my pelvis still aches like it did in the third trimester. Other than those sad things- my visible body jumped right back to pre-baby (except for some belly squish that is hanging around!) 2 agree My boobs grew, and never went back down. I dont have the "empty sock" look but that could be because they are so effing large! I used to be able to sleep through the night no problems, but now I cant. Even if I'm bone tired I wake up at least once. 1 agrees Oh, isn't it dreadful how you wake for the baby EVEN WHEN THE BABY IS ELSEWHERE! I've only had a handful of nights without kids in almost six years of being a mother, but I still wake up in the night, and I still wake up on the early side, even when they aren't there to wake me. 3 agree Ahh, the cry of the phantom baby! I think all parents have that. 12 agree That would be a rad title for a novel. 16 agree J is going on 3 yrs old and has been sleeping though the night since 1.5 and I still wake up at 2 am for a bit. I hope this is something that eventually ends. 5 agree Yea, my boobs never went back down either. I went up 2 sizes, d to ddd. I am 8 months pregnant now and am g. I praying they go back down….I am not feeling them starting this big. Just to much to handle. Though my hubs loves them lol… I had the same issue. Mine jumped up three cup sizes and never went back down. Mostly they just get in the way. 1 agrees i was only 115 pounds (and five eight!) when i got pregnant. my midwife told me to gain twenty before counting pregnancy weight, but the concept of that was horrific to me – so all in all, i gained sixty pounds during pregnancy, although the midwife claims 40. changes? oh lord. my ribcage is now wider, though having always been a "pear", i'm actually now a bit more in proportion thanks to that. i went from a size 4-6 to a size 8-10. i feel healthier with a little more meat on my bones, but i also got, for the first time in my life, muffintop, and there was cellulite on my thighs and butt. that's going away now, along with the rest of the baby weight. my daughter is weaning herself and the weight is now flying off – i think because i was such a skinny thing my body hung onto fat for milk production… finally… i used to have washboard abs. i still do have an extremely strong set of abs, but there's a slight layer of fat over it now. the worst, tho? my boobs are still small and perky, miracle of miracles. but my NIPPLES sag. for fuck's sake. anyway, i am happy i at least escaped most of the other outward signs – no stretch marks, and only two tiny little spider veins on my legs. i definitely had some bladder control issues for a bit, but those have calmed immensely due to lots of kegels and jade egg practice (highly recommended if you don't want to have that problem the rest of your life). 5 agree I'm fifteen months out from having my first, and here's the nitty-gritty: – Larger, droopier breasts with larger nipples. (No one's had a problem with these so far.) – My weight went back to normal, and then I started gaining again, because I've had a hard time regulating my appetite after pregnancy and early nursing days when I could eat as much food as I wanted. – My belly is soft and squashy, but less than it was in the early postpartum days. I thought my belly was round before, and I miss its tautness now. – My feet are larger and my hips are wider — those joints don't snap right back into place! I had to buy new shoes. I actually love all this stuff. – My lady parts are slightly different from the way they changed to get a baby out, but not in an unpleasant way. Things were weird down there for a while, but after I got my cycles back, everything went back to normal. – Occasionally there's the pee issue. I went to a trampoline gym with a friend whose child is about the same age as mine, and we both left saying, "Next time, pantyliners." Sneezing and jumping are problematic. 4 agree Actually nothing too drastic. My hips are wider, by about 2 inches. I didn't get any stretch marks. I had issues with incontinence but that seems to have solved itself after about a year. The only really big difference is that my hip/pelvic joints ACHE badly if I stay in one position too long in bed now. My boobs are 2 cup sizes bigger but I'm still breastfeeding, and honestly I don't mind that part at all. My hair is much darker, but once again, don't mind and that's very minor to me. 2 agree I think it differs for everyone. I seemed to do ok. I gained 30 lbs and lost it within a month post-partum. I have a cluster of stretch marks around my bellybutton. Luckily, that actually retained it shape, even after turning inside out for a month! My hips are wider, but my butt lost definition. I am actually in a smaller pair of pants now. I gained a few cup sizes while breastfeeding, but that seems to be deflating now. I have stretch marks there, too, but not too bad. My feet grew a half size, and my hair fell out, but its growing back. My bits down below were really sore for a good 8 weeks, and I got a bit inflamed from a stitch popping, but I was able to get back to sex at 6 weeks. I never did kegels, and I dont have peeing problems, but I seem to need much more fiber in my life now! Hope this helps! Good luck! 1 agrees My bean is 15 months now and my body is pretty similar to its pre-baby form except for (1) a much looser belly button, (2) a bigger pooch (but let's be honest: I–like nearly all women–had a little pooch before, too), and (3) slightly bigger feet. My boobs are a little smaller but not too deflated, mostly because I weigh about 10 pounds less than before I got pregnant (not intentional, by the way; nursing did it to me). I was scared that nursing would change the appearance of my breasts for the worse but that totally didn't happen. Sometimes I still feel like I need to pee all the time… but I've probably always been like this. Best physical consequence: you need tickets to the gun show! Lifting an 18-pound sack of drool and cuteness all day gets you JACKED. 8 agree lol, firepowah! Baby Pushups are a great exercise for mom and super fun for baby! My lower stomach was always a bit soft, so not much changed there. Plus, my oldest kid is 11, so it's been that way for a while. You really do get used to it. I can't remember my pre-kids body at all. This last pregnancy, my labia tore at a weird place on the side of the lip. I was at home, so we opted to go without stitches since the tear wasn't that bad. Now, it's healed in two parts rather than coming back together. I suppose it's not perfect, but I kinda like it. 2 agree did your torn labia create any aches or pains during intercourse? if it did, when did that change? It sounds like we have the same shape there now, and at 12 weeks out, it hurts to have sex. major bummer. After my first was born, sex hurt. Not just for a little bit either. Sex was uncomfortable until I retore with my second child 2.5 years later and was stitched up differently that time. My boobs got bigger and stayed that way (from DD to FF) and are unsurprisingly not all that perky : ) My feet didn't grow with my first, but they did with my second – by a whole size. I had to get all new shoes. And I wouldn't say that my stomach has totally changed (aside from the stretch marks that still refuse to fade 4.5 years later), but there's a layer of pudge that covers up the stomach muscles that I know are under there somewhere. I didn't have that pee thing at all, although I've always had a bladder of steel. 1 agrees The biggest difference for me is the shape of my hips. It's hard to explain — they didn't get that much wider (maybe an inch?) but the shape really changed. They round-out from my waist higher than they used to. I will also say that I think body changes are in part reflective of the age when you have children. I've seen my younger mama friends' bodies "snap back" much quicker after childbirth. I suspect that some of what I identify as "mama body" is just "late 30s body." 24 agree I'm almost at the 1 year mark after having my first child and overall, everything seems back to normal. I can identify with some of these posts from various points – no pee control for a long time and the weight fluctuation. My legs are more muscular than before from carrying my baby in a Bjorn while commuting. But my boobs are about the same, fit into my old bras, all my pre-preg clothes now fit. Overall the hardest adjustment for me was the weight change. It took about 6-9 mo. to fit into my old clothes and it was hard to buy clothes during the transition. With breastfeeding, it's hard to find the right balance of how much you have to eat/drink. Now I'm at the end of breastfeeding and still not sure how to regulate my calorie intake. I had tearing, but it healed naturally, no stitches, so everything seems the same "down there". Actually, I just got my period and noticed, if anything, it's a little tighter than before. Hopefully you'll notice from all the variations in comments that it's different for everyone. But all of us represent a broad range of what to expect. basically every other post on this thread scares the crap out of me. if i ever find myself havng a kid i hope for this outcome! gaaaaaaaaa!!!!! 18 agree Well, I don't talk about it much, because it seems like bragging, but I have to tell you, at the end of my pregnancy I weighed three (3!) kilograms more than I did at the start, and the baby was more than that. Since having him 18 months ago, I've got thinner than I've ever been: I was a size 14 (UK size), now am a small 10 on the bottom and a 12 on top (due to the breastfeeding rack). I don't fit into my pre-preg clothes at all – because they are all HUGE on me! I've got a flat belly for the first time in my whole life ever (I am 42). 6 agree I'm really happy with my post baby body, despite the changes. People warned me my body would be destroyed, but it's not so different and I'm actually much happier in my own skin now. My hips are wider, and according to my husband my walk is different. My shoes feel off balance- the heels are worn based on my old walk so they feel odd! My boobs are 3 cup sizes bigger, but a bit saggier. My bits are much the same, with a scar from a 3rd degree tear that I am actually rather proud of. My skin is better, and my hair is thicker and less greasy. The only thing I'm not keen on is my belly button- it's a bit weird looking now. I have a bit of a wobbly post baby belly, but I was down to my pre pregnancy weight within a week of giving birth. (I actually struggled not to become underweight when breastfeeding) 1 agrees I had a cesarean and my scar is kind of adheared to the abdomen, and is occasionally sore and itchy. My son is 18 months old, and I have been very surprised how much discomfort I have had and how long it has lasted just from the scar. I am a little skinnier than before I was pregnant due to breastfeeding, and not really having time to work out. The exception to this is my arm muscles being bigger, and stronger. My hips are a little wider, and my abdominal muscles are a little looser, and I feel like I have to make a consious effort to "hold it in" more, and maintain posture. I think if I had a little more personal time, I would be working out more to build and tone my muscles, and this would not be an issue. Everything else is pretty much back to normal. Hair growth is back to normal, the dark line has finally faded from my belly. It's amazing to realize how much the body can stretch, and just go back to practically the same shape as before. 2 agree Since my son was born, I have had a number of weird taste-related changes (I can't go anywhere near eggs anymore, but love vinegar and pasta in ways I never knew I could), but other than getting CRAZY strong (I can dead-lift upwards of seventy-five pounds when I previously whined and cried over twenty), there really weren't any major changes. After I lost my milk supply, my boobs basically went back to how they were, and other than a little extra tummy that I can mostly blame on eating basically everything in sight for the first four months of my son's life, my shape didn't really change at all. Emotionally, I think I made it out pretty easy in that department in that I stayed pretty level throughout pregnancy and post-partum, but I do find myself far more likely to cry or get emotional when it comes to ANYTHING having to do with babies. I used to be a full 34 C cup and now I am barely a 32B. My upper body shrunk all around, and I actually weigh less than I did pre-pregnancy because of muscle loss and shifting weight around my body, but my pre-pregnancy clothes still wouldn't fit because my hips are wider and my rib cage is a little rounder. now that I'm pregnant with baby number two an allergic sneezing fit will make me pee my pants. I don't let my bladder get overly full while I do yard work. My breasts arn't quite as lofty as they were, but I'm terribly fond of them. At the risk of sounding kitche, I look at their new shape and density and think "woah, these have fed my baby for 17 months…. and counting..super human." My stomach had some super intense stretch marks, but they've faded a lot. I'm unsure if I'll get more from this pregnancy. I'm hoping my body will use the ones it has, as they're terribly itchy. p.s. I thought I was going to sound weird saying this, but I see a lot of others adding it so I'll chime in. Chasing my toddler, and constant breastfeeding has put me far below my original pre-pregnancy weight. I started my last pregnancy at 170 lbs, and started this pregnancy at 150 lbs. 1 agrees I weigh 5 pounds less now than I did when I CONCEIVED my son. However, all my clothes now fit me completely differently. My pants are too tight and I fill out a shirt much differently. My hair is all dried out and broken, but my nails still look awesome. Yup, I can totally relate with much of what has already been said. I am due my second bubba next week and this whole pregnancy has been different, so I will be interested to see how my body changes again. As of the first time round, my nipples went from pale pink to dark brown, I gained some stretch marks (my hubby calls them tiger stripes!), I have to cross my legs when I sneeze and I never really recovered from backache – but the only thing that bothered me is my belly apron. I was always curvey and I gained 50lbs in the first pregnancy, so having a 'buddha belly' wasn't really an issue for me, however I now have this loose skin just above my bikini line that won't disappear and has a tendency of hanging over my knicker line (even during this current pregnancy). I really don't like it. This pregnancy followed pretty hot on the heels of my first, thankfully after I lost most of the baby weight from last time, but I have only gained 7lbs for the whole term. I will weigh less after she is born next week than when I started! I haven't added to my tiger stripe collection, it seems my belly has reused the old marks (some of the ones that had faded have become pink again), and I haven't noticed any further changes to boobs or body shape. Hopefully I will recover as well as I did last time. Stretchmarks – check Massive boobs (from F to JJ!) check Wider set hips – check Ability to function on 3 hours sleep – check! 5 agree I never have had a problem losing baby weight and I gained about 50 lbs each with my first two, but I started putting on weight all on my own when my second was about 2, and I have no idea how to lose it because I've never had to try to lose weight–I know that sounds awful but come on, I'm only 24. I did get wider hips (have had to go up a pant size after each kid, but that was starting at a size 2 in high school so not terrible), bigger feet (roughly a half size to a size bigger and oddly, it only happened with my boys), stretch marks of course with my first, I've heard they're hereditary, but I swear by Shea butter and Burt's bees mama bee oil, I don't think I've gotten additional stretch marks since the first and those have faded to white, bigger but less perky boobs, even after nursing 2 fat baby boys I've gone from a 36 nearly C to a 40E, my skin around my c-section scar feels weirdly numb but the scar itself hurts when a baby steps on my tummy, my hair texture and fullness has changed more times than I can count, it fell out in buckets after both boys, I felt tighter down there after an episiotomy with my first but I tore along that scar tissue with my 3rd and the doctor said I probably always would, I have to clench every muscle in my body when I sneeze if my bladder is the least bit full, I never had UTIs or yeast infections until I got both at the same time with my first and now I'm really susceptible to infections, I got my first pilonidal cyst (gross and embarrassing but out of my control) after the stress of my second delivery and have been more susceptible to them since, I got two within six months with my third pregnancy… Lots of very weird, unexpected changes for sure, but definitely worth it! I was a big girl, and got pregnant again right away, so it has been hard to document changes, but the one I notice the most besides weight gain and fresh stretch marks is that things inside feel different during naughty time with my husband. I can't find the spots inside I used to be able to. My g spot is still there, but it is less sensitive than before and I have different types of orgasms than I used to. Negatives: Peeing (all. the. time), weakened immune system (for the first couple of months), crazy PMS complete with extreme fatigue and insane mood swings, wider hips and bigger feet. Positives: Increased endurance level, ripped arms (from carrying baby around), stronger hair and nails, happy heart! 3.5 years out, this is what it looks like to me: The weirdest thing for me was growing a shoe size. Nobody told me feet could change size! My weight definitely redistributed and I got "softer," but also stronger. My breasts were already sagging so no big change there but I did go up a cup size permanently. It took a long time for my hemorrhoids to resolve, but they did. And yeah, I have major biceps now thanks to the twins, not to mention pushing a double stroller uphill. (The latter is also good for post C-section rehab!) My twins just turned 3. They were born 3 months premature, probably as a result of the horrible hyperemesis that came close to killing all 3 of us. After throwing up 30-70x/day, I still vomit at the drop of a hat. Many of the food aversions I had at that time remain. However–I still love cake batter milkshakes; they were the only thing I could tolerate. One thing that I've experienced that I have seen on here yet is slowing down. Like I literally don't move as fast as I used to. Sure, if I think about it I can walk quickly but if I don't put conscious thought into it, I don't walk nearly as fast as I used to. I bike commute and I'm riding pretty slowly and I'm sure it's not all due to the weight of the breast pump I'm lugging. I don't even shower as fast as I used to. I don't get ready for work as fast as I used to (with the baby still asleep). I had to start moving slowly once I got pregnant because with the joint changes, I just couldn't move quickly. There's also the increased cardiac output and related shortness of breath that doesn't help in the speed department. Now that I'm 15 months post-partum, and my joints are long-since all back to normal, I still am slow. I'm not quite sure why this but it is. 5 agree Aside from my skin going to hell,(I never had acne, and now in my late 30's I have facial acne frequently),I often get yeast infections. I never had one until I was pregnant with my daughter (lucky I know), but now I will get one ever other to ever third month. I asked my Dr about it, and her respond was hormonal changes from the pregnancy combined with my "advanced maternal age" equals more likely to get yeast infections……lovely eh? I'm really prone to YIs also, the ONE thing I've found that works for curing/preventing them is getting a compounding pharmacist to make you up some boric acid capsules. They're usually anywhere from 25 cents to a dollar each, I generally get, say, 20 or 30 at a time. Insert one vaginally before bed every night for 4-7 days to get rid of an infection; to keep them from coming back, just insert one once a week before bed as a preventative measure. It works really well and, I find, is less irritating than traditional antifungals. 2 agree I did not change significantly after my first baby girl. I am a petite person and I only gained 22 pounds. Lady parts went back almost to normal, no muscle weakness problems, no stretch marks and I got my flat "two pack" abs back within a few months. Had a little harder time losing weight after my second girl when I gained a whopping 35 pounds but it did come off within a year and again, no muscle changes or stretch marks. I am 36 weeks pregnant with my third and probably final baby. I have so far avoided stretch marks once again, am still jogging 2-3 miles a day and have gained 20 pounds. As for the stretch marks, I cake myself in extra virgin coconut oil daily. Not just on the belly, but on my hips, thighs and boobs. I have noticed that I feel looser in the vagina than I ever have before, but I wonder if this is not so much from birthing two babes, but rather from nearing age 30 combined with being very pregnant. 2 agree I was reading some comments and so many had their feet grow or have wider hips. That is pretty facinating that bones can change like that long after puberty. I wonder if some people grow an inch or so? That would be wonderful! While I was pregnant I swore up and down I grew an inch taller because I felt like I towered over everyone, but right before I gave birth I asked to be measured and was still the same height as always, it was almost disappointing. 2 agree Man, I wish I knew how old the people replying are. In my head I'm reading "Oh, no huge problems!" and thinking "25". And then reading the laundry list and thinking "ah…35". We're trying to get pregnant, and I'm 39. I figure putting it off this long means my chances of getting something similar to my current body back are slim. This was really great to read – thanks for the post and the replies! While I will say that something in your body is going to change and stay changed when you have a baby, I wouldn't say that you can't get back to what you were. I know plenty oh mom's in their late 30's early 40's who got their "pre-baby" body back. I'm sure for some people genetics help like crazy, but diet and exercise really do help a lot. 2 agree I am smaller than before I was pregnant with bigger breasts. I had noticeable stretchmarks in my hips, breasts and lower stomach…all faded within the first 6 months PP. My hips hurt if I carry my baby too long now. Sex can be uncomfortable at times but I am more sensitive now. Don't let anyone scare you! I LOVE my postpartum body and I have always had body image issues. At 3 months post-partum I lost a lot of hair over a 2 – 4 week period. A LOT. So now, 11 months later, I have all this weird "baby hair" re-growth poking out all over my head. Also, I was huge into Ashtanga yoga pre-pregnancy, and now find that I can't do back-bends as easily as I once could but am excelling at arm balances. And the cavity thing. I was shocked that I could go 32 years without a cavity and then boom. 6 fillings. 2 agree Ah yes, the baby hair — me too! Especially around my face. After two babies, one born vaginally and one via cesarean, I can truthfully say that my body is COMPLETELY different from before. If it hadn't changed with the first, it did with the second. I had second degree lacerations with my first, and I've been told my multiple Dr.s that the Dr. that sewed me up didn't do a very good job. I have random little pieces of vaginal lining hanging out and instead of closing up nice and neatly in my labia, now it's just a gaping hole. I know, pleasant. I was told it could be fixed upon delivery of another baby…but my second didn't come out that way, so now it's just something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life. That's probably the most upsetting of all that's changed for me. Everything else is normal postpartum fun. Saggy belly, stretch marks from nipples to ankles, flat butt (seriously haha). None of that stuff really bothers me. Not even the pain I still have in my cesarean scar, 9m later. My husband has been great about letting me know that he still finds me attractive despite not looking anything like the girl he married. Not that I know much about medical matters, but if it really bothers you and is financially within reach, you could probably get the issues with your vulva/vagina fixed surgically even without a vaginal birth? Biggest change is what I call "the goosh"– where I used to have a curvy but fairly firm belly is now all gooshy! Which means that jeans don't ever fit the way I want them too. But I haven't done a lick of exercise in the nine months since the birth, so there's that. The incontinence thing flared up when I got a really bad cough…definitely made me kick the kegels into high gear. Also, I think my balance is a bit off from what it used to be. I've lost all the weight so can't blame that…I've just noticed that there's a difference. My feet grew a size! I was a 7.5 before, but during the pregnancy i could barely fit into an 8.5, about 5 months pp i went down to an even 8. My areolas doubled in size and deepened in color. I thought it would be a temporary thing, but my daughter is 5 now- and i'm pretty sure it's permanent. Same thing with the nipples. They used to be a very light color, now they are bright pink! My hair lost it's curl. I used to have super curly natural ringlets. During the pregnancy, my hair grew coarse and limp barely a wave. After the baby, it got much much thinner- i was losing at least 200 hairs a day, and it became fine and frizzy- can't hold a curl at all. My eyesight also got instantly worse. I went from being slightly near-sighted where i didn't need to wear glasses day to day, to having to wear them or else i couldn't see anything 4 feet away – all within the space of 3 months post partum. I also have the standard squishy, hangy, aprony belly, crazy stretch marks all over that are faded and white but offer interesting texture to my skin, wider hips, bigger but saggy breasts, etc. Isn't motherhood fun? Kiddo is 11 months old today, and I honestly don't feel much different than I did before I got pregnant. I've always been fat (not just chubby, but fat) and weigh about 5 pounds more this morning than I did the morning I found out I was pregnant. My boobs have never been particularly perky. I was one of the odd pregnant women who didn't get stretch marks from pregnancy. My episiotomy was sore for a few months, but is fine now. Hubby reports, as do I, that everything "feels the same" during sex. I do still cross my legs when I sneeze, but I no longer pee myself when I laugh or run as I did for the first few months. It amazes me that my body could go through such change in a short amount of time and seem the same. The most surprising for me was when my hair started falling out in clumps about 3 months after giving birth. I have fairly thin hair, and I had gotten so used to my thicker pregnancy hair that I was sad to lose it. That's only a short-term change, my hair went back to normal after a few more months. I'm still getting to know my post-pregnancy body. Before I share some of the changes I've observed, a bit about me. My son is currently 10 months old and he's still breastfeeding. My delivery was a vaginal delivery at 38 weeks; I had a very minor first degree tear that required just a couple stitches. I gained 24 pounds during my pregnancy and was back to my pre-pregnancy weight in about 6 to 8 weeks. First, my hips are wider. In the grand scheme of things, it's probably minor. But I've noticed the pants that fit me before I got pregnant no longer fit the same. Some (the ones that fit me on the small side) are harder to get up over my hips. As others have mentioned, it's a bit harder to hold it when I have to pee. This is probably the most annoying thing. I keep wondering if doing kegels more regularly will help, but I never manage to do it. My core still feels a bit like jello. Part of this is the fact that I haven't added a concentrated core work out routine yet, but getting back muscle tone in my core is taking the longest. The areolas around my nipples are bigger and the nipples themselves are more pronounced (I think this is partially from breastfeeding and partially from pregnancy). The consistency of my breasts feels different too. It's not really saggy vs. perky, but they feel less firm. The biggest changes I've noticed has to do with the changes to my lady parts. Some of the changes were brief (the first six months of breastfeeding meant stuff didn't stretch the way it used to. Uncomfortable). But the more lasting changes are hard to explain. Trying to explain this on a web forum would be like trying to explain the ways that your best friend in high school had changed when you saw her at your 10 or 20 year reunion (uncomfortably intimate and hard for others to understand). The changes are not OMG horrible… stuff's just changed. But at first, it was a bit like I was a stranger, so having sex with my husband was like trying to have sex with a stranger (I was the stranger, not him). My body responded different, felt different. Now, the first time was disconcerting, but I (and my husband) quickly figured out this is like the exciting period of discovery during a new relationship. There are a couple small things to: I'm much thirstier (probably from breastfeeding). The first 6 weeks I could not keep enough water in me. (Which was annoying – see change 1). My energy levels seem lower. I suspect that the energy levels are a combination of changed sleep schedules, getting up with my son at night, breastfeeding, recovery, and the fact that I haven't been as active during my postpartum period as I would like. My body is being used in different ways now, so my energy levels are different too. 2 agree My only kid is turning two next month and I still experience hemmorhoids. Also, nobody told me I would get stretch marks on my vulva. Be prepared, they are unnerving. 2 agree I experienced a seemingly-permanent weakened bladder, spider veins (though they have since been removed via LASER!), chronic hemorrhoids from pushing that kid out, postpartum depression which I guess is now just regular depression since it's been 2 years and I still need the medication, longer menstrual periods (sometimes over a week), and cavities! I never had a single cavity for the first 32 years of my life. After having my baby, I had 5 right away and 2 more since then. She totally stripped me of my calcium, I guess. Oh, and of course, the saggy, deflated boobs which now necessitate a push-up bra to look normal. 2 agree I just want to peek my head in for one second and remind squeamish childless readers who might be thinking "vulva stretch marks? Ruined assholes? Sock boobs?! I'M NEVER HAVING KIDS!" of one thing: Whether you have kids or not, your body is going to age and change. Then you're going to die. Yes, pregnancy and childbirth can change your body (significantly, for some people). But your body changes through-out your life. That's just the simple reality of being human. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can release some of the fear about the natural process of time passing. I recommend this post: Fierce At 50 Is Way Better Than Pretty At 25 This is all to say, freaking out about bodies changing is a quick way to make yourself really unhappy. Bodies: THEY CHANGE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU BIRTH KIDS. Just ask adoptive mothers or dads. (Or fuck, any of the millions of child-free people who get old and die every year.) 74 agree I spent a significant amount of my teenage years and early 20s struggling with anorexia. But I was as recovered as I was ever going to be by 27 when I started trying to get pregnant–ate healthy, felt okaaaay about my body, wasn't obsessive about exercise, etc. Still, I was worried that the body changes brought on my pregnancy and childbirth could send me spiraling back into the dark place. But I realized for myself what you're saying here–my body is going to change whether I have kids or not, so I either fulfill a dream by having them and deal with the changes sooner or let go of my dream just to stave off the changes that will inevitably come. Once I saw it that way, there wasn't much of a choice. The good news is while I have some stretch marks, a varicose vein or two, plus hemorrhoids and such, (all things that would have come with age anyway) I feel so much more comfortable in my body now–even more so after my second kid. Partly it's that whole wow-look-what-my-body-did thing, partly it's that I'm crazy strong from lugging around two huge babies/kids, and partly it's that I just don't care anymore. I really can't even remember why it was so important to have a flat stomach or smooth thighs. Seriously, who the f cares? My kids don't. My partner doesn't. And finally, neither do I. I'm got way more important and interesting things to obsess over now. 37 agree *stands up and applauds* 12 agree Oh god, I am one of those people who is now terribly nervous about having kids. I think it's the horrible suddenness of it – ok, you get 9 months to prepare, but if you don't have kids things change much more gradually. All I know is that if my hips get any wider there is no freaking way I'll be able to find pants! 2 agree Don't worry about the hips. That can't happen in every case. I had 35 inch hips before I got pregnant, and went back to 35 inch hips after both babies so far. They get bigger while I am pregnant obviously, but then go back to original size. I can see your point but I think it's important to recognize that for some people these concerns are serious and should not be dismissed. For some childless people the anxiety of having your body change at 20 or 30 is too much to handle, and while they may be ok with changes due to the age (because there is not a lot to do about them) they are not ok with directly provoking these changes to themselves. There are also women who spend a lot of energy to preserve their younger self, through dieting, exercise, plastic surgery and so on, and this is a valid choice (if they do it for themselves and not for others) as much as giving birth and embracing change. Bodies change, but you have a saying in how. p.s. a big part of why I am childfree is because I don't want my body to change when I can still have years of having it how I like it. This doesn't mean that I will be devasted when age kicks in and it starts changing. I have a choice and I choose not to add another change factor to my body (there are also many other reasons of course). 2 agree Hell yeah, I'm proud of my mangled vagina and asshole!! Those are trophies of my un-medicated birth to my perfect son!! Even knowing the outcome, I'd do again in a heart beat!! 2 agree I saw some people posting positives so I think I will too. Besides the obvious (KID!!), I have stronger, thicker hair which doesn't need to be washed as much. My skin isn't as oily. My arms have never been so toned. I actually think my metabolism sped up a little because I still eat the 3 meals and 2 snacks that I needed when I was pregnant and I am below my pre-preg weight. Also, I think it's easier for me to have an orgasm during intercourse for whatever reason. Some of these things may be a coincidence, but I'm giving the credit to having a baby. Also, I am a LOT more patient and less judgmental overall. My mantra when things get hairy is "It is what it is". That has helped me a lot. 10 agree Yes to the easier to orgasm! I have a much easier time with it post-baby and it was never even that difficult before I had babies. So I mean SUPER easy. I have been slowly accumulating spider veins since I was 13 and have quite a few, but I don't include that in my pregnancy changes. They accumulate wether I am pregnant or not. I figure I will get them removed as a 40th birthday present (I am 30 this year). 2 agree Well, it's only been a month since I gave birth- but my butt definitely looks saggier. My boobs are HUGE- and I'm a bit worried what will happen once I wean the baby… Most interestingly, my body fat placement has changed most specifically on my stomach. I used to have definite rolls but now there's no rolls, just protruding stomach that's flat instead of rolly.. does that make sense? Even though I'm the same weight I was post pregnancy with my previous two children, none of my pants fit me anymore because of my changed stomach. Weird. I am extremely flexible now. I always was before I had (3) children, but having three in 4 years and then breast-feeding for 6 years combined, it's really turned me into quite the contortionist. It makes me feel like a total rock star in yoga class, but having your hip slip out of socket during sex is not quite as sexy 2 agree Well, there's the stretch marks (not so bad, really) the slight weight gain (I'm 5lbs above my prepregnancy weight) etc etc. My period is lighter. Nice perk. I actually feel more positive about my body overall. I still have those, "Ugh!" moments, but I also have a lot more, "Wow!" moments. I'm amazed at what my body did. It was actually close to a month before I could sit down like a normal person. I had tearing and stitches and that was very unpleasant. I'm stronger all around. My arms, my legs, and my spirit. My breasts are more tender, even though I stopped nursing a month ago (and before that was nursing only twice a day.) I no longer experience arousal when my husband touches them, which kinda sucks. Sexually, things are awesome. That's all I can think of. My son is only three months old but I haven't really noticed any major changes with my body. I had a csection and only gained about 22 pounds so that probably makes a difference. I'd say that the changes I have noticed are related to breast feeding. Like my boobs are soft and sort of deflated after a feeding (but then they fill back up before the next feeding.) Sex is a bit more uncomfortable because breast feeding sort of dries things up, but that's easily remedied. Obviously, I'm a bit more tired than before from those nighttime wakings but I'd say my body has adjusted nicely to the lack of sleep. 1 agrees Besides having a road map on my belly… I piddle like a puppy every time I jump, stand up, sit down, cross my legs, un-cross my legs, cough, sneeze, laugh, or blink. BUT my little Pickle is worth every stretch mark and change of skivvies! My boobs are kinda deflated after my 2nd child. My hair is definitely thicker, I have more energy because I'm eating better than prepregnancy. Easier orgasms as well. Definitely a plus. 1 agrees My face changed. My nose looks different. I gained a lot of weight and perspective that led me into years of enjoyable exercise and a much healthier diet and lifestyle. I'm proud of all the things my body has been capable of. I'm happier with myself physically and mentally than I ever was in my early 20's. So yeah, I have stretch marks but I don't care. I'm pregnant again right now, and ordered a really cute bikini for this summer! Stretch marks and all. The only physical change that stands out is that my nose is a little different. 1 agrees I have two very different experiences. My first was born when I was 21. I weighed 118lbs to start and gained 35lbs. It was an uncomplicated pregnancy, I was working a very active job and craving heaps of healthy foods and my son was born weighing 9lbs 10oz at 24 inches long. I had a slight vaginal tear (thank goodness for perineal massages). I went the adoption route and didn't eat much for the first three months as I was dealing with an emotional rollercoaster. I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight seventeen days after giving birth, my body settled on a pants size larger, a half a shoe size bigger, and I was no longer able to tolerate coffee. I developed large stretch marks on my hips which I very much enjoy. My second was born when I was 27. I started at 125lbs, but an extremely toned 125lbs (amateur weight lifting). I gained 40lbs and had some complications – due to previous miscarriages and a low lying placenta, I was on light duty at work and forbidden to work out. My daughter was born weighing 5lbs 5oz at 18.5 inches. This was only six weeks ago, so I'll let you know where things settle. Currently, I've lost 20lbs and have gotten the okay to start working out and have modified my old work out to incorporate the baby. My previous stretch marks only darkened this time. My pants are four sizes larger than they used to be, my feet have grown a whole size, and I can now tolerate coffee again (but not spicy foods). My husband expressed surprise with how quickly the lady bits bounced back (yes, he got a stink eye for vocalizing that). If I may be so bold as to give some advice to women out there… every body is different, amazing, and beautiful. Buy clothes that fit your new shape after giving birth, and you will feel sexy and awesome. 2 agree I am 4 years out from having my last kid. I've had 3 over the years, and here's what I've noticed. My stomach will never be the same. No matter how much I exercise (and many mama's are the same) you will always have a "pooch" to it. That's just cause of the way pregnancy messes up those muscles and it can't be changed. Feet – it's very common for your feet to get bigger. The bones spread and they never go back. So you may need to look at wider shoes or just bigger shoes in general. Boobs – mine are HUGE now (DD) and pre kids they were like a B cup. However that may be cause I put on a ton of weight over the years in general. I've always had spider veins, now they're worse. I still have the stretch marks, but those do fade over time. Luckily the men folk who knocked us up in the first place don't seem to care. Really! However, if they did care, no one would ever have more than 1 kid! I went up a shoe size! That was unexpected. After 2 babies, nearly 9 years apart, I've got saggy boobies (i'm still nursing), saggy stomach with lots of stretch marks, extra fat on my legs and arms. It's all worth it! I have two kiddos, one is five and the other is 8 months old. With the first, I definitely bounced back easier. Yes, my breasts are saggy, and they will be even worse once I'm done breastfeeding, but they're serving their purpose so I really don't mind. I'd say my body is just softer than it used to be. I feel stronger, but things just aren't as tight or toned. Also, the peeing thing, definitely! Panty liners have sort of become a must for me to catch all the, um, dribbles. I had a hard time with the changes at first, maybe because I'm so young and I felt like was losing my figure too early. But then I stopped thinking about it as "losing" my figure and thought of it as "changing" instead. So what if my pre-pregnancy clothes don't fit as well, that's just a good excuse to get to go shopping. Not sure if someone said this yet, but my ribcage has expanded! I noticed this when I was lying belly down in yoga. It's super weird feeling and it's gonna take some getting used to. Haha, so random! I guess from having all your guts pushed up into it? Yep, totally have this. My daughter mostly went up instead of out so my ribcage expanded like crazy. It went back down a bit, but not to where it was before. Can I just say that it's comforting to read about all of your experiences? I've been thinking that I'm the only one with weird post-partum body stuff (all my mama friends look SO GOOD) so it's nice to hear that I'm not the only freak with "butt belly" and stretch marks. 3 agree "Here-Here"" To the butt-belly! I weigh less than I did before my three boys were born and come from a long line of thin people. Still, I have the saggy just under the belly button butt-belly. Oy! 1 agrees You know, all of these answers have made me realize that pregnancy impacts everyone differently. I know this should be obvious, but my mother's family seems to constantly say that because x happened to them, it'll happen to me the same way. But the thing is that I only have half of her genetic material and then my dad's half, plus my environmental conditions and that adds up to a whole lot of beautiful unknowns – it's nice to have a sense of what might happen, but feeling like you have a genetic destiny that you can't change isn't a good feeling either. Thanks everyone! 7 agree My son is 7 and my daughter is 3. I have some stretch marks on my hips and boobs. They were dark but are now silvery and hardly noticable. I sm sbout 15 pounds over my prepregnancy weight. My nipples got bigger. My feet got 1/2 a size bigger. My boobs got a cup size bigger (and lower). When I got pregnant the first time, I was really worried about what my body would look like after having a baby. I was scared. Now, two babies later, I can say that I don't give a crap. Becoming a mom changed my life. Being around my kids makes life so much more complete. And now I care more about what kind of person/parent/role model I am than how perky my boobs are. My husband still thinks I'm hot and I still enjoy hearing him say it. In fact, I enjoy it so much more now that I have stopped being so critical of my body. I got stretch marks. The world did not end. In fact, it got better than I ever imagined. Bottom line – totally worth it. 5 agree My son was born via c-section 8 months ago. I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy, and as such, my body is a lot different looking post-partum. Obviously my boobs and butt are bigger; but the shape of my body just -looks- different. I have lost about 50 pounds since having my son, and have about 30 left to lose. Losing the weight has been difficult. Ya know, not all women burn 500 calories a day while nursing! Being a mommy has changed the way I think about my body. When I was younger, I would never ever leave the house without makeup on. It's not that I don't care how I look anymore, it's just that I have more important things to worry about. I have struggled with body image issues all my life, and while I at times find myself hating the way I look now, I just look at my son and think about what my body went through to bring him into this world. If my body never "goes back to normal" that's OK with me. I have so much more energy and endurance now. That's not to say that I don't have pain. My back hurts, but I just keep-on-going. My feet are bigger, my hair is longer and seems to grow faster, and since I'm still nursing I still haven't gotten my period (knock on wood). 1 agrees Ok, I'm 6 weeks out from my fourth birth and here's the low down: I started off a short skinny girl… first baby: c section. bring on the scar *very weird, no feeling around scar*. and welcome my soon to be permanent belly pooch second baby: vaginal. lovely tear and stitching. my lady parts hurt for a LONG while. sex post baby was not fun. third baby: c section. infected scar by incompetent hospital. gained a lot of weight with this pregnancy. boobs shot up 2 sizes. post baby tummy pooch hangs down. ugh. fourth baby: all natural vag birth. no tears, lady parts back to normal within a week. weight gain was minimal (but the pooch is still there). feet grew one size. boobs are up to DD. while my body will never go back to it's original state, i'm happier now with who i am. still working on losing weight, but i'm not obsessed. Don't even think about jumping rope! Ive had a lot of the above but I want to do a positive change–sex is SO much better! And our sex life was already amazing but wow. It's like my anatomy shifted and orgasms instantly come my way 2 agree It's been 7 months since I had my daughter. My body seems to have escaped relatively unscathed. I only gained 2 or 3kg over the entire pregnancy [I lost about 10kg in the first half] I have stretch marks across my belly, but they don't really bother me much and it's a little saggier than before. My boobs never got bigger and are only slightly saggy…although I have lost almost all feeling in my nipples [still breastfeeding so that might have some impact on that]. I had a second degree tear and had a mild pain for the first few months and I haven't got back all sensation down there yet but I'm sure over time it will come back. Some things seem to have happened in a weird order though! I got hemorrhoids when she was 3 months old and now at 7 months old, I've started to get sciatic nerve pain! Weird. Overall though I'm happier with my body than I was pre pregnancy. I have an amazing daughter who is the reason that my body is slightly pudgier, saggier and bouncier than before…pretty good trade off in my opinion. First up: I have chronic medical conditions, specifically Hypermobility Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, as well as a severe lumbar lordosis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I've had the symptoms since I was 12, diagnosed at 14 (IBS only diagnosed recently but the symptoms had been there for a long time), had my first successful pregnancy at 18 and second at 20 due to a misdiagnosis of early infertility. I'm 24 now, and we're thinking about trying for a third. I am very lucky to be able to control my health problems through diet and moderate exercise. What's Changed: – I'm now a healthy weight! (Used to be underweight) – I'm more resilient. I'm tired and sore all of the time, but my really sick days have almost disappeared. – My period is much lighter and is a lot less painful, it's also fairly regular for the first time ever. – I used to catch every virus going around, and then be sick for weeks. I'd have a UTI every time that I had my period. Now, I'm hardly ever sick and it's very rare for me to develop a secondary bacterial infection. – I have a bum and hips, and they look amazing! – I did have a labial tear with my first birth, but the slight notch that was left behind adds character. It might sound silly, but I actually like my interesting little scar. – I didn't end up with a 'pooch' like I thought I would. My body REALLY hated me after my son was born! Lol, although over the last 4 years I've simply learned to deal with the uncomfortable changes! After childbirth, I developed IBF (for those that don't know, that's irritable bowel syndrome). It also took 4 yrs to finally be able to sneeze without having to think "oh crap, gotta cross the legs and squeeze" so I didn't pee myself. But none of that matters, my body is of no concern, because I have a healthy sweet little boy (I say healthy cause of complications)! Soooo screw pooch, sagging, and stretch marks! It'll b a reminder for me in the yrs to come of what I got in return <3!! Now that my son is 2, my body seems pretty much unscathed (this is one reason I may not have another, haha). I took care of myself when I was pregnant and I never got stretch marks, lost all the weight in a reasonable amount of time, etc. I wore a bikini when he was 2 months old – not that my body is fabulous, but I was comfortable enough not to hide anything. The things I remember the most are: 1) My tailbone is STILL not where I left it pre-birth. It's definitely feeling more normal now, but for like the first year, I couldn't sit on a floor cross-legged comfortably. 2) I did lots of kegels while I was pregnant but I still didn't feel secure while running, etc that I wouldn't pee on myself for quite a few months 3) Boobs – if you're planning on breastfeeding, plan on wearing a nursing bra until your baby weans. I'm still wearing a nursing bra. Oh and plan on your man wanting to touch them. All the time. 4) Cellulite seems to accumulate on me faster now that I've procreated. That's probably more to do with not having any time to exercise, but still, I'm throwing it in. 5) Sleep loss and the stress of parenting may take it's toll. For me, that equals gray hair and a few small wrinkles. No one in my family got gray hair until well into their 40s, and I spotted my first patch at 28. So it really doesn't have to be so bad, and it's different for everyone I'm sure. The benefits definitely outweight the negatives I'm actually thinner than pre-preg – I totally attribute this to bfing. My boobs are not as perky, but the rest is the same (just smaller). One thing no one tells you about is constipation. I had it in the worst way since my first trimester until about 3 months pp. With the accompanying hemorrhoids. I swear, trying to pass a bm during those months was worse than the actual labour. I came through pretty much unscathed (I'm 28) except for slightly looser skin on my belly– but it still looks toned– weirdness around my belly button (it wants to flip out sometimes), toned arms from lugging around my baby, and awesome breastfeeding boobs (for now!). I was actually unprepared for my body to look and feel this good 7 months post-partum, because I think people share the horror stories more than the good ones… it sounds douchey to talk about looking fine giving birth. That, plus I know I'm just lucky– a lot of this comes down to genes. (I did run, swim or bike throughout all of my pregnancy and since giving birth, which also helped I think.) Pregnancy actually has made me appreciate things about my body that I never really liked before. For example, I never really liked my small A-B cup boobs, but they mean that breastfeeding has only made me go up to a nice C. I wasn't crazy about my wide ribcage or long torso, but I think they both helped me be a lot more comfortable while I was hugely pregnant and the long torso now means I can easily nurse in all kinds of baby carriers. 2 agree my belly is really soft, and still covered in stretch marks. i had a c-sec and i have a numb patch that's about 4cm high and runs the length of the scar. oh, and i used to have a really round bum, and it's gone kind of flat. i'm cool with these changes – they are just evidence of the amazing things my body did I noticed some positive body changes post baby. First of all, when my menstruation finally came back, the dibilitating cramps I've battled since puberty were gone. Before, I was useless for the first two days of my period – in bed, vomiting, doubled over in pain. Now, it's just not an issue. Secondly, I think I experienced reverse Post Partum Depression. The whole time I was pregnant, I was a mess. Then, for about 18 months, my depression and anxiety waned. Now, it seems to have come back with a vengence, but thankfully I'm getting help for that. Having been diagnoses with several mental issues before getting pregnant, I was terrified that having a baby would exacerbate the problems. It was a pleasant and whollly unexpected suprise when I didn't emotionally fall to pieces after the baby. With regard to C-sections, I fought against that tooth and nail for many reasons (scarring, fear of needles, healing issues). It turned out that was the safest option in the end though and it really wasn't so bad either. I told the doctor that I had some concerns about the incision healing, so instead of stapling me, which is the normal thing, they gave me some kind of fancy one thread stitch (which apparently is what Britney Spears got, so they told me). As a result, my scar is barely visable – another plus. I can't say I have any negative body changes since all my body issues are weight related and I gained a grand total of six pounds while pregnant. All this to say, sometimes, it's not so bad. Don't worry too much. 2 agree To be perfectly honest, and I know my experience isn't typical, but I really didn't have much in the way of physical changes– I weighed, a week after I gave birth, the same as the day I conceived (although, to be fair, I lost 15 pounds in my first trimester, and had a hard time putting weight on through most of my third trimester, so there you go– and I'd much rather have gained that weight than have had my baby go into distress and nearly die in the birth). My boobs are about the same, maybe a little saggier, but I expect they'll tighten up, if only a bit, as weaning progresses. Really, the only change I've noticed is that I have a hard time using tampons now because they tend to get pushed out more easily. Sex doesn't feel any better or worse for me, although my husband said at the six-week mark after the birth that it was actually better than it had been, and I've recently been told that, if I'm any evidence, society is wrong about your sexual capacity being completely ruined after vaginal birth. So, I just wanted to share my story, because it really doesn't have to have any major, long-term physical effects, and I don't think I'm a *total* freak for it. Well, okay, I will say that I had some meralgia paresthetica in my left leg starting in my second trimester, and that's still there, albeit only very, very midly. And for about three months postpartum, my pubic bone was still really wobbly, so it got sore if I ran or jumped or anything vigorous like that. I never expected it, but I feel like I've actually shrunk since giving birth (compared to my pre-pregnancy body). Most of my pre-preg pants are too big on me, and I'm needing to buy pants and shirts one size smaller than I used to. I even went from wearing a 36 bra to a 34. It's weird. I don't know if it'll change again once I stop breastfeeding. 1 agrees While my body has changed some, what I am super bummed about is that my beautiful curls have loosened dramatically. I spent so much of my life coming to terms with my hair, and now that I LOVE being a curly girl, it just doesn't curl so well. I'm hoping that baby # 2 will change that. Funny: pregnancy made my stick-straight hair wavy for the first time in my life. It's stayed that way, too. Wasn't this a question on what changed that wasn't surface value? Im more interested in mind, spirit, etc from other readers as well… we all know what saggy boobs and stretch marks are like. No, the question is very clearly about BODIES. She clarifies about wanting not just "surface (stretch marks, acne, etc.)" — but she's still asking about bodies. I think it was geared more towards internal physical changes other than weight gain and stretch marks and what not. Perhaps questioning what c-section complications and vaginal changes might come about? People have covered pretty much everything in the replys. I'm 4 months post c-section, so my body is still changing. My stretch marks are slowly fading. I'm gradually losing weight but still have a noticeable 'pudge' around my lower abdomen. Most of my pre-baby clothes don't fit, which is really frustrating. I have an incision scar but it's not as prominent as I thought it would be; just looks like a thin blue line. I still have numb spots around that area. My boobs are bigger. I've been experiencing some constipation since giving birth, but stool softeners seem to help. Everybody's body is unique and responds to pregnancy differently. I felt incredibly beautiful and sexy during my pregnancy and then post partum was incredibly challenging. My body and my life was in a huge transition and that was really emotional. I think one of the things I had to realize was that I wasn't going to return to the same person physically or emotionally that I was prior to the birth of my daughter, and that was ok. My body was still changing every day and so was my identity and that was ok. I'm a sex educator and feminist porn director and performer and in order to keep income coming in for our family I had to get back to work about 6 weeks postpartum. It was work that I loved for a company that I adore but getting naked in front of the camera 40 lbs heavier with leaky boobs and stretchmarks was terrifying. But at the same time it helped me to realize that this body is mine and its beautiful, shifting and changing and rediscovering my transitioning body into mommy body. I didn't hide from my body but confronted it and honored it in all of its post birth glory. It was very powerful for me. I highly encourage women to pick up a camera and take some nude self portraits of themselves post partum just for your own personal viewing. Afterward I heard from several moms that saw my post partum portraits online and let me know that it empowered them to embrace their new mommy bodies and how beautiful and sexy the photos were and what confidence they exuded. Now I'm back down to a size 2. It took me about 9 months to loose all my baby weight. At about 4 months post partum my hair started shedding so I decided it was time to cut my long locks to a short pixie cut. It helped with my physical transformation and life transition. My stretch marks completely faded but I do have a little loose skin in my tummy region. But I'm loving my new mommy body. I want to continue to develop a healthier body but I realize that I should not aim for my pre mommy body. But I am looking forward to all of the transformations and changes that await me in the future and appreciating my present life, body, joys, and challenges. I have to second the photograph idea. My husband wanted to work on his skills, so he took a photograph a week while I was pregnant, and so far all seven of my post-partum weeks. I would even recommend doing a boudoir shoot with a pro, get some shots that you can look back on and say "wow, look how hot I am." I am a *hyoooooj* fan of your work! I'm thrilled to see your input here. My metabolism SLOOOOOOWED DOOOOOOOOOOWN. I used to be fit, now I am, well, not. And try as I may, it takes forever for me to lose a pound. That sucks. Hair. Ugh, my hair is weird, it stopped growing in some places and started sprouting in others, maybe that's just age though… My boobs are pretty flat. I gained a lot of weight when I was preggers, even after taking it off, my boobs are completely different than they used to be. And the peeing thing, if I gota go, I better go, otherwise I`ll leak! I only had my daughter four months ago so I can's speak to long term effects, but I can't stand to wear shoes now! My feet got a size bigger, but even when I got new shoes in the correct size they just don't feel right. Since I'm nursing right now my breasts are much bigger, but are all deflated after she has a big meal. Stretch marks everywhere (the worst ones are on my hips). I sweat waaay more and I smell differently than I used to pre-pregnancy. My abs are so weak I have trouble sitting up (hopefully that one will get better). And of course I have a lovely little flop of belly. Honestly, my breasts are the only thing that changed about my body. They are huge and saggy and WAAAY closer to my belly button than my collarbone. I'm still nursing my 17 month old a few times a day…I have no idea what they will look like when we're done. I was a 36C pre preg and a 36G seven months post partum. Now I'm down (ha) to a 36DDD. Ugh. The only other sign I was ever pregnant is my c-section scar. After reading the all the other comments, I have a new appreciation for how lucky I am. The biggest change is your perception of your body! It has served a whole new purpose and if you're breastfeeding, your body is still not really all yours yet. And I can't pinpoint what it is but my pre-pregnancy clothes just fit differently now. c'est la vie My lady bits never look the same…. Not worse, just different. Especially if you carry a battle scar. Had a catheter? Your wee tube will look bigger for a while too. I was always a cold blooded creature but I've definitely been a lot warmer since birth. I'd sit wrapped in a blanket during summer! :0) now I'm all about the tee shirts. My skin became really dry and I sweated a lot more; especially my feet. Weird. Going to the toilet post partum presents its own set of challenges but FYI, an orgasm a day does wonders for your pelvic floor. ;0) I developed the appetite of a champion. More so then when I was preggo. Oh, got the belly pooch. Interesting thing is, I quite like all that stuff… I thought it'd hit me hard, I'm quite high maintenance about how I look, but you lose all your charms while giving birth and you come out the other side with a really shiny new sense of perspective. Hmm I've had lots of changes, but none of them are drastic. I got stretch marks on my breasts at four months pregnant, the boobs went from a B to D, and droop a bit. I'm still nursing at six months out, and find I am impressed with what the boobs are capable of, so I don't mind the changes. The nethers are the same. I had a planned c section. The scar is already fading. My belly button is a different shape than before. My joints are just now tightening up again. That's about it for pregnancy/birth changes. As for afterwards, my appetite has skyrocketed. I often eat a snack at bedtime or when the tiny one wakes during the night. And yesterday my friends commented on how muscular my arms look from all the baby lifting! I also feel phantom baby kicks on a regular basis. Guess I'm just more aware of my physical self than I was before pregnancy. Inside I feel about the same. I definitely don't have the bladder of steel I used to. I had a c-section and definitely noticed that my ab muscles suck. They just don't exist anymore. Outside, my hips have widen and my back has a big curve in it now (I'm 5' and went from 110 to 190 with one giant baby and a whole bunch of water… I was huge!!!). At 21, my boobs more like those of a 40 year old I'm hoping they will return to normal. However I have really toned legs and bum from walking and carrying so much weight. Now that my toddler is 30lbs, I have super nice arms. One thing I found weird, although it makes sense is that I have no feeling on the bottom of my stomach. I can poke and pinch it and I don't feel a thing! After my babies i have had some bladder issues;i dont have the sensation to go pee until its almost too late and im running. Just gotta make sure i go more often. I make sure to squeeze my kegals when i cough or sneeze so i dont leak. its just habit now. i have that mama tummy pooch im working on shrinking that! and of course the stretch marks. boobs are a little saggier now that im done breastfeeding. I was a C cup and went to DD when nursing. Back down to C but its not the same lol. Even tho baby #2 was done nursinging at 5months old i continued to lactate until i started working when she was 2 years old. My hips are wider and my feet are a little wider too. about half a size up. My lady bits are back to normal;im actually "tighter" than before or so my husband tells me. i dont think im much different tho was always 'small' down there anyway. I had 2nd degree tearing and i notice the scar tissue lacerates slightly after sex. no big deal just a sting when i first pee. Hair and skin are pretty much the same as before i was pregnant. i remember feeling really weak with my muscle tone but now that im working out more regularly i feel stronger. i feel phantom bubbles like when you first start feeling a baby kick. so weird lol. i broke out in acne after i had my kids due to hormones but i think its calming down now. my youngest is 2.5 years old. its taken a while to bounce back. i still have weight to take off but thats my own fault lol On the outside: Some stretch marks, boobs aren't as perky, abs separated and are still in the process of coming together, and my butt has deflated. All in all, I'm pretty stoked how things have turned out. On the inside: I appreciate my body SO much more. Much less self hate than pre-pregnancy. I remember being bothered by my 'pooch' pre-pregnancy and now I'm just happy to fit into my old clothes again! My sex life has also totally improved!! Something changed, got moved around, something… but oh man it feels so much better, and I 'get there' much more easily. The self confidence and new found pleasure is TOTALLY worth a few stretch marks and deflated breasts. It's funny that by the medias' standards my body looked 'better' before, but I love my body more now! Today, 16 weeks after a drug-free delivery, the biggest difference for me is that my knees and feet ache. The worst is when waking in the middle of the night to breastfeed – I limp in pain! Before and during pregnancy I was quite active, and I never had any joint pain. Now, I'm almost back in shape, almost back to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I dread doing activities I used to love (like fast walking and yoga) because my knees and feet hurt so much. My feet are a little wider, so I'm looking for running/walking shoes that fit and that don't hurt my newly sore joints. I expected so many other bodily changes, but the biggest change, which is annoying because it's preventing me from being as active as I'd like, was totally unexpected. Read more comments 1 2 › Comments are closed.