Feeling Like a Visitor in Your Own Home: Your Post-Delivery Body

Coming home from the hospital after giving birth to your first child, you meet a new human being for the first time. No, I’m not talking about your baby. I’m talking about YOU.

You go to the hospital with the pregnant version of the body you always had. Sure there are changes in your body during pregnancy, but they’re mostly not long-term, you can work them off. (You hope, for the most part!)

You return from the hospital with a body that has gone through the wringer of labor. Whether it was a c-section or vaginal birth, you feel sore as hell as you recuperate from an intensive medical procedure (I’m not equating the two experiences, just saying that they both involve recuperation.).

In the case of vaginal birth, you come back with a sore vagina, with a pretty heavy flow of blood coming out of it. Your breasts are leaking. They are engorged. The one perk is that your upper arms look impressively slender, until you realize that they haven’t changed, rather it’s because your boobs are so freakin’ huge it makes them look thinner.

The one thing that isn’t new is that baby bump. Oh, so that’s how big it is now? The baby is gone, but the bump prevails. And you wonder how long it will take for your uterus to further contract down to size. Exercise is not really on your mind quite yet—being that you are healing from the recent stitches placed in your body.

The elation of meeting your newborn child is combined with this introduction to a new you. And even if it’s not permanent, this shift can be quite jolting—and it sure is uncomfortable!


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