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3 Unexpected Postpartum Bodily Changes Every New Mom Should Know

3 Unexpected Postpartum Changes Every New Mom Should Know About

May 11, 2024

As a new mom, the postpartum journey can be filled with surprises, both joyful and challenging. While you may have spent months preparing for the arrival of your little one, there are certain changes that can catch even the most prepared moms off guard. Today, we'll dive into three unexpected postpartum bodily changes that you should be aware of before embarking on this incredible journey.

1. After-Birth Cramps: The Unexpected Uterine Contractions

If you thought the contractions ended with delivery, think again! After giving birth, your uterus must contract to return to its pre-pregnancy size, and this process can be surprisingly painful. For some breastfeeding moms, these after-birth cramps can be incredibly intense, especially during the first week postpartum.

The contractions are triggered by the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps your uterus shrink back to its normal size. While these cramps serve an important purpose, they can be excruciating, particularly for moms who have had multiple pregnancies. Don't be afraid to ask your healthcare provider for safe pain medication options, especially if you're breastfeeding. Managing this discomfort can make a significant difference in your postpartum recovery.

2. Postpartum Sweats and Body Odor: A Hormonal Rollercoaster

If you suddenly find yourself sweating profusely and dealing with unpleasant body odor, you're not alone. This unexpected change is a result of the dramatic hormonal shifts that occur after giving birth. As your estrogen and progesterone levels drop, your body may react by increasing sweating and releasing stronger body odors.

Additionally, the process of shedding amniotic fluid, blood, and tissue can contribute to these changes. For breastfeeding moms, the hormone prolactin, which stimulates milk production, can also prolong these symptoms by suppressing estrogen levels.

While this postpartum change can be frustrating, it's important to remember that it's a natural part of the healing process. Stay hydrated, shower regularly (even if it's just a quick rinse), and don't hesitate to use stronger deodorants if needed. With time and proper self-care, these symptoms should subside.

3. Intense Hunger and Thirst during Breastfeeding

If you've ever found yourself ravenously hungry or desperately thirsty while breastfeeding, you're not imagining things. This intense hunger and thirst are your body's way of signaling that it needs additional nutrients and hydration to support the demands of breastfeeding.

After giving birth, whether vaginally or via C-section, your body requires increased energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals to aid in the healing process. Additionally, breastfeeding depletes your body of essential nutrients, which is why your vitamin and mineral needs are higher than during pregnancy.

The amount of milk you produce can also impact your hunger and thirst levels. Oversuppliers and exclusive pumpers may experience even more intense hunger and thirst sensations, as their bodies work overtime to produce larger quantities of breast milk. Nourishing your body with nutrient-dense foods and staying well-hydrated can help you meet these increased demands.

If you're ready to feel your best mentally & physically, The Postpartum Shift is for you! Inside, you'll learn how to nourish your body well to reach your healthiest weight and feel like yourself again postpartum. 

If you're a mom in the postpartum period, you may be nodding along in recognition of these unexpected changes. While they can be surprising and even uncomfortable, understanding that they are normal and temporary can help you navigate this transition with greater ease.

Remember, taking care of yourself is crucial during this time. Don't hesitate to seek support from your healthcare provider, lactation counselor, dietitian or trusted mom friends who have been through similar experiences. Embrace the journey, and know that these challenges are temporary and a testament to the incredible power of your body.

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Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.

WORK WITH ME

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