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13 Things That Happen to Your Body After Giving Birth That No One Talks About

Pregnancy heralds the inaugural life chapter called “paying way more attention to someone else’s body than your own.” That double pink line is like a starting pistol to the next months of scouring books, articles and apps for lessons on what is happening to the body rapidly growing inside of you: how it is developing, feeling and moving; what best to feed it; and how best to ensure it becomes a MENSA member/president/astronaut/cancer-cure discoverer. 

I was fairly prepared for understanding how my baby was developing and how, in turn, my own body would be changing along with him in the process, but what I was not prepared for was the litany of truly bizarre, silly and downright uncomfortable bodily changes that occur immediately postpartum. 

“During the postpartum time, some of the things that I see make a big difference in physical recovery begin with expectations and prenatal planning, such as giving oneself adequate time for rest/recovery and not trying to bounce back too quickly post-birth, excellent nutrition tailored to postpartum wellness and bodywork/mother-roasting treatments,” doula Becca Gordon, who has attended over 200 births and counseled 100 families with postpartum support, tells SheKnows.

Here is what pop culture ensures we all dread as a result of childbirth: weight gain impervious to diet and exercise, stretch marks evocative of a tiger’s coat and a besieged vagina only Elastigirl would recognize. 

The following is a list of what they don’t tell you might happen — every last one of these has either happened to me or to various women I know. 

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