Last week Devan did a post called 7 Awkward Things About a Postpartum Body (all of which are true, by the way), but there’s also a positive side that should be noted.
First of all, there’s no use stressing and fearing the changes that will happen. Of course you should be prepared for a surprising amount of hair loss and bleeding, but there’s no reason to be terrified. The postpartum period is as natural as pregnancy, and goes by much faster than the past 9 months.
And believe it or not, there are positive aspects — beyond the superficial and beyond your expectations. While every body is uniquely different (and will recover in its own way), here are 7 awesome things about your postpartum body:
1. You’re not pregnant anymore.
Yeah the uterus cramps suck, but the uncomfortable largeness, uncomfortable pressure and uncomfortable swelling — all done. That belly that won’t stop growing is suddenly replaced with a loveable baby who you can hold, snuggle and shower with kisses. Although your baby might go from occupying your belly to occupying your breasts, your internal body is all yours again. You can even sleep on your stomach!
2. You’re feeding a human.
For those who breastfeed, your body will be nourishing and sustaining a human life. That’s pretty awesome.
3. You burn at least 500 calories a day by breastfeeding
Milk production requires energy, which then burns calories. Scientifically speaking, you could lose a pound a week just by breastfeeding. According to PhD in Parenting, producing one ounce of breastmilk burns approximately 26 calories, and babies typically take in approximately 25 ounces of milk day. This means you can burn around 230,000 calories in your first postpartum year, just by breastfeeding.
4. It takes around 6 weeks for your uterus to shrink back down and for your body to recover.
Considering the pregnancy took almost a year, it’s a pretty short recoup period.
5. It’s all about genetics.
Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean that every postpartum gripe will happen to you. I know plenty of moms who walked away from pregnancy without a single stretch mark, and a few without any complaints about their postpartum breasts. And I know for me, personally, I didn’t have any feet growth, urinary incontinence, hemorrhoids, excessive sweating, or varicose veins (all of which I prepared myself to have).
6. Your body is being used the way it was designed to be used
There’s a reason women have mammary glands, nipples, ovaries, a uterus and a vagina. And while I’m NOT saying that all women need to procreate in order to fulfill their body’s purpose, it’s pretty incredible how natural this process is for our bodies. And even if there’s some stomach puckering and scarring, the way your skin snaps back down is nothing short of awesome.
7. You might have more self-awareness/self-pride
I’ve written before about how I never respected and listened to my body until I was pregnant. I pushed myself too far; put myself down too much. But once I saw all that my body could handle (pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding) and all that my body was capable of doing, I finally had an awe-struck appreciation for my body. I was proud of my body for the first time. And that lesson, that realization, is something I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.