One of the things I was most surprised at after I had my first baby was how big and quite honestly, smooshy, my tummy felt after I gave birth. That post pregnancy belly was quite a shocker! I don’t know quite what I was expecting, but it was not to still look completely pregnant and have a smooshy tummy. But that’s what you get. We all now know that I am crazy and since I know I have a lot of first time pregnant readers I will go ahead and give you the proof and then I will help you to feel better – well – sort of better! And hey for those of you who have already experienced this, like me, feel free to add to the comments on your experience.
Here is the question – How long did it take you to get back into those pre-pregnancy jeans? I am not there yet but I have a pile of jeans ranging from my absolute biggest (bought near the end of my first trimester of my first pregnancy) to the ones that I don’t actually remember fitting in. Don’t laugh – they are still the goal jeans. When I can exercise again I will be reluctantly proudly joining the ranks of you who have a weight loss or fitness goal.
Here is where we started – at the end of my pregnancy with Violet. Ignore my strange look - it is 5:30 in the morning in the delivery room and I am smiling but I was so scared that they would not be able to flip her that I think I look a little crazy! You get the point though – I looked and felt HUGE! Giant Uterus. According to BabyCenter
By the time you go into labor, your uterus is about 15 times heavier (not including its contents!) and its capacity is at least 500 times greater than before you conceived.
Well no wonder we are not exactly comfy at this point!
After delivery the uterus continues to contract it pushes out the placenta and then closes off all open blood vessels where the placenta was attached. The uterus continues to contract to being itself back to its pre-pregancy state. For the first couple of days you can feel your uterus below your belly button. Nurses will check you in the hospital to make sure everything feels right and to make sure that the uterine contractions are doing what they are supposed to be doing. If you are breastfeeding you will feel these contractions when the baby nurses and they can be VERY painful. I needed the pain killers for this.
So, there is no baby in there but you still feel huge. Here is my belly a little more than 24 hours after I gave birth. Man do you wish it was smaller. And like I said, less smooshy. You know – there is no baby in there so what the heck makes it so big I just don’t know! Forgive the hospital bikini look – it was hteo nly way to show the belly since I couldn’t lift my legs very well to put pants on – remember that gimp leg I had pre-delivery? It got worse before it got better!
The uterus continues to shrink each and every day and at a week after delivery it weighs about 1 pound – half of what it wighed when you had the baby. It does not get back to its pre-pregnancy size until the end of your official post=partum period of 4-6 weeks. Too bad everything else still takes longer huh? So, here is where I stand 1 week after returning home and 9 days after giving birth to Violet. I look tired because I am getting a little tired between the mastitis and all the being awake and stuff. I think I could probably squeeze my ass into my biggest jeans but I am going to avoid any potential devastation and cling to my maternity pants for a bit longer. It feels good to have something covering my belly (those pants in the picture are rolled down), I don;t really want to squeeze into anything right now and its really flippin’ cold out so they give another layer over my belly. I love it!
p.s. this is my standard breastfeeding in the winter getup. Tank top that is big enough to pull down with cardigan over top – preferably from Banana Republic or Anthropologie so you feel like you are wearing normal clothes again. This is SO much easier than nursing tops although I do have 1 or 2 nursing tops for the winter that make it SUPER easy to whip out the boob wherever you may be!
Well wish me luck getting back into my jeans. Thank God breastfeeding burns so many calories or my continued cravings for Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream might really hinder my progress ya know? I’m going to have to cut it out though as we are planning a BEACH TRIP for late April. And beach means that dreaded exercise.
Man – looks like once the Incredible Shrinking Uterus is done I will have some work of my own to do!
I would love to hear how you set goals for yourself post pregnancy and how soon you actually started working towards them. How long did it take you to reach your goals? Did you set realistic goals for yourself (I never do)? Also – did you think that post delivery tummy was as odd as I did?