It has been a week since I delivered Sofia and it’s interesting to see how fast my body got back to where it started 9 months ago. I truly loved my body when I was pregnant, specially during the last trimester when my belly got bigger.
The first week I spent 90% of the time in bed rest, not because there was real need, most of time I feel pretty good after the 4th day. But according to chinese traditional, women needs to be in bed rest for at least two weeks to let the internal organs to get back to normality.
Symptoms: my lower back got tired and sore easily during the first few days. If I take care of Sofia’s diaper changes in addition to breastfeed her, I get really sore when I finally lie down. I think the position of breastfeeding is really important to avoid the discomfort because they were like +40 min each session. I was in a sitting position on the bed with 2 pillows in my back and my breastfriend in my waist to hold Sofia. It was comfortable at first, but after 20 min, my back screamed with pain. So I switched to a lie down position in which I almost lie down flat and put Sofia in my chest. That way, I don’t put pressure on my lower back and it’s specially convenient at night.
Then there were cramps, quite a lot and painful during the first few days, specially when nursing. It’s true that nursing contracts uterus, I could feel it. Sometimes it was really bad and I had to take ibuprofen for relieve, but overall it wasn’t too bed and after a week they were gone.
Swelling was abnormal. I never got hot flash during pregnancy so this is new to me. I get hot very easily, like drinking a cup of tea, I feel I’m soaked. This happens more at night. Sometimes I go to sleep, and when I wake up to feed Sofia, I realize that I’m soaked. After reading that this is pretty common postpartum, I am not concerned and it’s getting better too.
Scar: I had 1 degree tear and have some stitches. The first few days I felt soreness but no pain. I was doing blitz bath twice a day and it felt good. At the end of the first week, I feel almost nothing there.
Bleeding: The first days the flow was intense but turned into normal menstrual flow by the 2nd day. After a week, I don’t need the hospital grade pads anymore. I do notice that when I do more physical activities (diaper change, hold Sofia often), I do bleed more. So I’m keeping activity level at minimum for now.
Body: I never reached to recommended weight gain of 25-30 lbs (gained 13 instead), but I delivered a healthy baby and felt great the whole pregnancy. So I think the recommendation is really just a guideline and an upper limit. My OB/GY never got worried about my little weight gain, every time I asked him concerned he’d say:” you and your husband are not big, so I don’t expect you have a big baby.”
The day I was discharged from the hospital, I had a bit of swelling, so little that I think only I can notice. But I did have a pouch in my belly, not full belly round as when I was 6 months pregnant , but a small mount in the center.
At 4 days postpartum (for pediatrician visit)
1 week postpartum vs. 39 weeks pregnant
I thought I didn’t have niagara line, but after the belly shrunk, I can see one clearly. Surprisingly, I don’t have any loose skin that so many people talk about. I guess being active before and during pregnancy and daily moisturizing helped.
My boobs got 2 cups bigger when milk came in!!!
When I left the hospital, I’ve lost 8 lbs. 5 days later, I lost another 2 lbs. So I’m now 3 lbs away from my starting weight. From measuring, the only part of my body that has changed is my waist, +2 inches. Obviously I’ve lost some muscles as well, but overall I have the same shape as before.
I don’t plan to do any kind of exercise for the first 6 weeks, maybe walking after a month. I don’t need to lose those 3 lbs, but I want to gain some muscle back, specially in my middle section to better carry Sofia when she gets bigger.
It has been an interesting journal to observe how my body changed during the pregnancy. It was not as I imagined (gaining extra weight and change body shape), although I wouldn’t mind at all to bring Sofia to this world. I think keeping active, continuing with healthy eating habits and not have the mind set of eating-for-two contributed to this. I enjoyed the whole process, and can’t wait to experiment again!!! (okay, not so soon, maybe in 1-2 years).
Q: If you are/were pregnant? Did/do you love your body while pregnant? What was the biggest change you noticed?