Having a baby is a beautiful experience but truth is, your body doesn't instantly recover
Being pregnant and then giving birth, to put it bluntly, does a number on your body. After nine months of growing a human being, it's not like the baby pops out and everything goes right back the way it was before you were pregnant. There are raging hormones, bloating, bleeding—it's all a part of it. And because the focus is usually on the beautiful life that you just brought into the world (as it should be!), what your body goes through immediately afterwards isn't always talked about. Which is why Hilaria Baldwin—who just gave birth to her third baby in three years—is basically our hero. Last night, Baldwin took to Instagram to share a powerful photo of herself in the hospital bathroom, showing off her body just 24 hours after giving birth.
We love that one of her intentions in posting is to "normalize a real body and promote healthy self-esteem." She's also opening up a forum for which society can truly understand what a "post-baby body" really looks like—in other words, it's nothing like what you see in the pages of tabloids when celebrities step out looking fitter than ever in what seems like minutes after giving birth. So, what really happens to the postpartum body just 24 hours after giving birth? Dr. Jaime Knopman, MD, of CCRM in New York and founder of Truly-MD.com gives us a step-by-step guide:
1. You won't look that different than you did 24 hours BEFORE the baby was born. "The uterus takes six weeks to go back down to its original size," says Dr. Knopman.
2. You won't have your period back, but you will experience a lot of bleeding. "The heaviest bleeding will be in the first 48 hours and most women continue to bleed for four to six weeks after," she says.
3. You'll feel swollen. "You can expect to have a lot of swelling in your hands, feet and even face," explains Dr. Knopman. "Don't be afraid if you look puffy all over. For the most part, this is due to normal fluid shifts that occur in the first 48 hours postpartum!"
4. You'll feel VERY tired. "No matter how long or short your labor was—labor is tiring. Give yourself a break!"
5. You'll experience some discomfort. "Depending on how your baby came out—from above or below—the pain level and location will be different," she explains. "But, almost everyone will need at least some Advil and Tylenol."
6. Your breasts will get larger as they fill with milk.
7. You'll be emotional. "Expect to feel A LOT of emotions. Your mind will go to many places in those first 24 hours."
8. You won't be walking out of the hospital in your skinny jeans. "You will retain a lot of water from the labor process," explains Dr. Knopman. "It will take time to get back into your favorite jeans—and same goes for your rings, they might not fit either!"
Just found out you're pregnant? Congrats! These 26 Yoga Moves Get the Green Light for Pregnancy Workouts. We're sure Hilaria would approve.