In a world where celebrity moms go on and on about the diet and exercise secrets that helped them regain their perfect pre-pregnancy shape, we’re glad we can always count on Drew Barrymore to shoot from the hip. That’s what she did in a recent interview, when she opened up about one unexpected change she experienced after giving birth to two daughters in three years. “After making two babies, holy cow, does your body do some crazy stuff!” she said. “You feel like a kangaroo with a giant pouch; everything’s saggy and weird.”
No matter how toned your stomach was pre-baby, this body change can happen to any new mom. And it has less to do with excess fat than stretched-out belly skin that usually needs months to snap back into shape again, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., an ob-gyn in Westchester, New York and coauthor of V Is for Vagina. Be warned, however: Sometimes it never does, and a little belly pooch stays with you forever.
There’s plenty of other weird stuff that can happen to you after giving birth, too. Here’s what else you need to know about your body post-baby:
1. Your Vagina Can Become Too Big for a Tampon
Imagine getting your period, popping in a tampon…and then feeling it slide out into your underwear. Terrifying, but it’s not uncommon during the first few months your flow returns after delivering a baby. “It’s just a consequence of the vagina still being stretched out from childbirth,” says Dweck. Luckily, this almost always goes back to normal, says Dweck, and isn’t anything you should be alarmed about.
2. You May No Longer Have Control Over Your Farts
Delivering a baby does a number on your pelvic floor muscles, making them slacker than they used to be. The result: You’ll have no warning when you’re about to pass gas, so you have no choice but to let ’em rip. “It’s very common and embarrassing, but eventually these muscles will firm up again,” says Dweck.
3. You Will Probably Pee in Your Pants
Pelvic floor muscles stressed out and gone slack after childbirth strike again, leaving some women peeing a little whenever they sneeze, cough, lift weights, or do some other activity that forces them to bear down, says Dweck. With time, and kegel exercises, these surprise dribbles will usually cease.
4. Your Feet Often Get Bigger
“During pregnancy, a woman’s feet tend to swell and become wider, but sometimes they never return to their pre-pregnancy size, and it’s not exactly known why,” says Dweck. The difference can be as much as one entire size. Note to anyone considering a baby: Start a new shoe fund asap.
5. Your Can Hair Fall Out in Clumps
Thanks to fluctuating hormone levels, many new moms find themselves dealing with hair loss so drastic, they think they’re going bald, says Dweck. “It happens at about the seventh month after delivery, and it can be very distressing,” she says. “Generally it’s just temporary, though; the hair loss should stop, and you’ll have the same texture and amount you always had.”
6. Your Private Parts Can Change Color
“It’s not uncommon to sport darker skin on your nipples, labia, and even your perineum, the skin between your vagina and anus,” says Dweck. Again, it’s a consequence of screwy hormone levels. “It goes away in some women, but others find that the pigment doesn’t fade,” she explains.
7. Your Breasts Might Squirt Milk Telepathically
Now this is freaky: Even if it’s been months since you gave birth and you’re winding way down on breastfeeding, the mere thought of your baby or the sound of another infant crying nearby can cause your boobs to telepathically squirt milk all over your bra and blouse, says Dweck. Consider it a good reason to pack an extra shirt in your purse—unless you want to spend the rest of the day with a wet spot over your nipple!
All gifs courtesy of giphy.com
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