The Incredible Shrinking Uterus

By January 28, 2010My Life

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!

Belly 38 Weeks 3 Days

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!

Belly Before We Went Home

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!

Belly 1 Week After Coming Home

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?

Join the discussion 27 Comments

  • Natasha says:

    I think because of the extra fluids they pumped in me, I was squishier when I left the hospital than when I went in for my delivery. My c-section was pretty brutal, so I could barely see my tummy, but what I did see scared me! Yuck-o!

    I wore maternity jeans to my first 2 follow-up appointments for Nate (1 and 2 week check-ups). I kept drinking my water in an attempt to flush the excess fluids out of my system, and eventually the extra juice started coming off. (Un)Fortunately most of that first month is a blur, so I don’t remember when I got into regular jeans. I do know for certain I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans at my 6wk OB check-up. In fact, I’d lost all my pregnancy weight by that appointment!

    Now at 4 months I’m down another size, and hope to be down yet another size by early March.

    How’d I do it? It’s what I like to call the “New Single Mother’s Diet.” Breakfast is my biggest meal because Nate sleeps until about 9am. I’ve been on a muffin kick lately. Lunch is usually some sort of sandwich (hot only if I’m lucky). Dinner is soup (pop open can, empty into mug, nuke, enjoy). My treat – cookies 🙂

    Good luck!
    .-= Natasha´s last blog ..Thoughtful Thursday =-.

  • Vodka Logic says:

    You look great. I had no post preg plan which would probably explain why I look the way I do 15n years after my last baby..Gonna get working on it. 🙂
    .-= Vodka Logic´s last blog ..My New Obsession =-.

  • Jenny says:

    Very interesting post! I enjoyed reading and learned a lot actually 🙂

    I’m following you from MBC FFF, that would be awesome if you could stop by my blog when you get a chance 🙂

    Jenny 🙂

  • Lynn says:

    Great to see you back! You look happy and kind of not sleepy. That’s awesome.
    .-= Lynn´s last blog ..Joy in the Green Glow of the TV Light =-.

  • Mel R says:

    My husband was actually told (before I delivered) by a friend of ours to “push in on her belly after she’s had the baby – it’s soo squishy and your hand will disapear really far in! And if she won’t let you, do it when she’s asleep!” Yup, we’ve got great friends. The worst part of the post baby belly was 1. It jiggled when you laughed and 2. It was hard to get over the urge to rub it like when baby was still inside. And I hear you on the beach trip – we went to the Dominican Republic when my daughter was 4.5 months old – not just to relax though – my sisters wedding, and I was the matron of honour (so that means beach dress and photos!!!). Good luck! My work out now includes: Strollercising 3 times a week, aquafit and sometimes not getting breakfast or lunch…

  • Kristi says:

    You look great! It did surprise me when I went to get ready and leave the hospital and put my maternity clothes back on and not have a baby in there. I really didn’t know what to expect, I mean I read all the books but was one of the first of my friends to have babies. So I really didn’t have many people to talk to about it. I didn’t have a plan to lose the weight at all. Well I take that back, I said I was going to lose it but never did. I gained 34 lbs total lost 24 within the first 6 weeks and still have the last 10 lbs on. I lose a pound or so here and there but it always comes back. Good luck! I hate excercising so I guess thats why I haven’t lost!
    .-= Kristi´s last blog ..Foot in Mouth! =-.

  • Candice says:

    You look great! One of my sister’s more unaware friends asked her on her first day home after her first child, “So, your stomach is all back to normal now, right?” My sister was like, “Nooo, are you kidding???” That girl came over and visited and was absolutely shocked that my sister still looked pregnant. My sister and her friends are pretty sure that one friend doesn’t have any kids yet because she doesn’t want to deal with the belly.

    I think you look amazing and not as sleep deprived and all that as you say. You are a mommy champ 🙂 (and an inspiration!)
    .-= Candice´s last blog ..The Glucose Test Debacle (Part 1?) =-.

  • TooManyHats says:

    You will do it! Breastfeeding really is helpful too.
    .-= TooManyHats´s last blog ..Time Out For Theta Mom Thursday =-.

  • Becki says:

    Oh, the belly.
    I read once that binding it really helps to take away its squishyness (that is what they do in south america, I think). Soemthing about getting rid of excess fluids, kind of like you do if you aren’t breastfeeding. So I always wear spandexy type nursing tanks to kind of squeeze it all in. With my first, I made it below prepreg weight (it took a full year, tho). With my second…still 10 pounds heavy. And then I got pregnant. BLAH.
    I can’t beleive you already got mastistis! my goodness!!! how are the boobies feeling?

  • Zen Mom says:

    Goals? What goals?

    I was too busy trying to sleep in between feedings. You look great BTW. I’m impressed. Unfortunately my tummy never made it back down (and its been 4 years).

    Sorry to hear about the mastitis. I had after having all three kids and man it can hurt.
    .-= Zen Mom´s last blog ..If Its Wednesday…. =-.

  • Carol says:

    I remember being devastated after Mo was born. My youngest sister, who obviously made a pact with the devil, was ENORMOUS with her son, she came home from the hospital in her pre pregnancy jeans and was in a bikini two weeks later. I expected the same and was sadly disappointed. Not only that, I found that once I was at my pre pregnancy weight, things were distributed differently so those lovely jeans still didn’t fit!
    .-= Carol´s last blog ..Stop stepping on my halo! =-.

  • You look awesome! I expected to walk out of the hospital in my pre-pregnancy jeans after I had my first born. Um, that so did not happen. It took me 7-8 months with both kids to fit into pre-pregnancy jeans, and that was with breastfeeding and working out. That’s just the way my body does things I guess.
    .-= existentialwaitress´s last blog ..My version of Wordless Wednesday: Mommy Don’t Play That. =-.

  • Brandi says:

    Looking good girl!
    .-= Brandi´s last blog ..Friday Night Leftovers – Play with Us! =-.

  • So I just read this and it inspired me to check my own progress … as I sit here and type this I can tell you that I’m comfortably sitting in some pre-prego jeans (for the first time) – woooo hoooo!!!! I am 5 weeks out from the birth of my daughter (1st baby) and my sister had warned me that my belly would still be pretty big upon leaving the hospital and I did still look like I did at about 5 months. My uterus did the indredible shrinking thing though and went down really fast – but the squishy tummy thing is definitely still going on.
    Don’t get me wrong – I’m not in my favorite or smallest pre-prego jeans ( I can get them on and zipped – but they are tight!!!) and I’ve got some serious work to do, but I am surprised how quickly my tummy went down. My butt and thighs on the other hand are hanging on to the extra pounds for dear life – I hate when they do that.
    My goals are simple – get back to working out regularly and be proud of what my body has already accomplished! Thanks for a great post – you look fantastic and really happy!

  • Michelle says:

    You’re so cute! I love the incredible shrinking belly. I get the biggest kicks out of weighing like every 4 hours after I get home. Every time you weigh you lose weight!

    Post part plan? LOL…ROFLMAO! I had a “plan” to get up at 6 and get my day started. Since J thinks he has to wake up at 5:30 or 6…9 months later I’m a big fat arse still. My uterus shrunk and all my muscles turned into a big bowl of jelly. You go girl on your April goal!
    .-= Michelle´s last blog ..Frugal Part 2… =-.

  • Hi, I am following you from MBC! Such sweet bump pics, I loved to have pics taken of me with my 3 pregnancies…but unfortunately I had c-sections with all 3 & since my third son (10 mths ago) I have still not lost all the weight. I did breastfeed him which I believe caused me to keep on all the weight, he has been weaning for about 2 weeks now, and has been completely off for about 4 days…in that time I have already lost 3lbs…so I am going to now start some cardio (which I should have done a long time ago) & decrease my calorie intake tremendously & increase my water intake!

    Good luck with the baby & the baby weight!
    .-= Katrina Smith´s last blog ..Friday Follow =-.

  • I wish I had an excuse for my smooshy tummy hahaha

  • Theta Mom says:

    OMG, you look amazing sister! And you are aksin about the pre-preggers jeans and I am STILL not into mine!!! And my daughter is 16 months. WTF?

    Have a margarita and enjoy the fact that you look fab!

  • MommyB says:

    Um no goals here, you just put everything I knew to shame. You look amazing!!!! Jealous mommy here!
    .-= MommyB´s last blog ..Expressiva Spotlight and Giveaway =-.

  • Stacey says:

    You are looking great! I am 9 months post partum and I can finally say I am down to my pre-preggo weight. This time I actually tried a belly band and that did wonders for the squishy belly. I wore it for six weeks straight and it really tightened things up for me. As far as other goals, I was back to the gym by six weeks PP and I just tried to ease back into my workouts, but tried to be consistent. Good luck to ya! It will happen!
    .-= Stacey´s last blog ..Shhhh! =-.

  • Holly says:

    Woo Hoo! You’re getting there! I think with my first it took me about 5 weeks to get back to pre-preggers jeans… and then I lost an additional 40 pounds by the 8 month mark… we had to go to a friends wedding in Jamaica… Jerks… they KNEW I had just had a baby. But it was fun 🙂

  • Loukia says:

    You look GREAT! My tummy is still no where near what it used to be before I had kids… don’t think I’ll ever get that belly back… I’m not dedicated enough to work out, to be honest. But yes, seeing my big belly after having my first son was shocking – I had no idea! I expected it with number 2, but still….
    .-= Loukia´s last blog ..Dear Rainbow Brite… =-.

  • shraddha says:


    really incredible..uterus is surely awsome evolutionary thing..

    i am back from holiday to india and now counting days to go to disney cruise for my daughter’s birthday…its good to be rich…yay!!!
    .-= shraddha´s last blog ..Welcome once again! =-.

  • sylvia says:

    I cant believe it has been 25 years sine my child was born, and I still have a large tunny, which makes me look like I am pregnant! I guess I have not done enough tummy exercises or something, but I always thought that I will look good in my bikini, but cant wear one anmore., Just a two piece., I also thought I was going to have more kids, but have only had one, he is our only child. I had problems with my hormones, maybe that was my problem, but they were messed up, and I finally got that fixed, and then, also I had to get some small fibroids, but that is good one, I had a D & ?C, and have recovred from that now, so, my doctor said for me to get fit and active again, and forget about it, and jsut keep doing aerobibcs, and taking goo d care of my boy, dieting, eating healthy, and also going swimming, and etc. so, that is what I will do now, at age 53, I am finally back to how I felt at age 25!! wow!
    I am so happy now, it is over, and I am so happy to be alive, and have a wonderful son, and also husband who loves me,ok? Life is like a kyoyo, I saw how Jessica Simpson looked before the baby, and now she is looking so good, and so, if she can do it, I know that I can too! All women, should be honored for going through so much, for a baby, and to keep their bodies, healthy! Being a mother is not easy sometimes, but it is the best thing to happen to a woman! amen

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