I still looked pregnant ... about six months pregnant!
Here are some notes from my postpartum experience in the past two months.
The First Few Weeks Home
I'd read a lot of advice before giving birth about what the first week or so would be like, and my doula was also a huge help here. She gave me some recommendations about what to bring home from the hospital and what to have on hand. My favorite purchase per her advice was the Earth Mama Angel Baby Bottom Balm (online at Walgreens or Drugstore.com). Along with the Dermoplast, Epifoam, and Tucks pads (all brought home from the hospital), this balm really brought relief and repair.
We also asked for a sitz bath before we left the hospital, and Ian used to get it prepared for me at night after the baby went to sleep.
I had a prescription for Lortab but I quit taking it due to the fact that it was hard on my stomach. I did take some regular pain meds that the rounding OB prescribed me (ibuprofin) and kept a time log next to the pill container to ensure that I was taking them regularly.
Ready for the glamorous part? I got a lot of relief by sitting on an ice pack wrapped in a dishtowel.
Yep, I don't miss those days one bit.
Weight Loss and Toning Up
I've mentioned here that I'm back down to my pre-pregnancy weight, but I've also mentioned that my body just isn't the same. My weight is "redistributed" if you will. It brings to mind an image that has always struck a chord with me ... the picture of women who all weigh 154 pounds. I love this photograph because it shows that weight is TRULY just a number on the scale.
It's not important at all for me to have washboard abs (because it's not like I had them before ... ever). But I would like to tone up my stomach a little more so that I can feel confident in my pre-pregnancy clothes. And frankly, I love my clothes and don't want to have to go out and purchase an entirely new wardrobe!
Moral of this story: don't think you'll be packing away your maternity clothes shortly after birth. I was still wearing maternity shorts six weeks post-delivery.
Nursing is what I attribute weight loss to. I have not made major changes in my diet, although I'm a bit less likely to pull a U-turn into Cook Out for a banana split milkshake these days. Man, those were delicious while they lasted. The weight loss I have experienced is likely from the calorie burn from nursing. I've read that it can burn upwards of 500 calories each day.
A great find for me was Lily Padz (online at Drugstore.com). These were awesome not only for pool days but also for nights when I wanted to wear a comfy, loose nightshirt to bed. Otherwise, you will want to wear something tighter that can accomodate your nursing pads, like a tank with a built-in bra. Two months out and I still can't go without the nursing pads at night -- Lansinoh are my favorites and here on Drugstore.com you can get the best price I've found.
Skin and Hair
I swear my wrinkles significantly decreased when I was pregnant. Well, they are coming back. :) I plan to ask the pediatrician on Friday what sort of over the counter anti-aging products I can use while nursing. Around 7-8 weeks postpartum is when I've started really experiencing hair loss! You'd be amazed how much comes out when I am drying my hair. It's scary.
The built-in bra tanks I mentioned above? Go ahead and stock up on lots of those ... they are great for sleeping and for daily wear under tees and cardigans when you are breastfeeding. You can get the nursing versions if you'd like, but I personally don't really like for those plastic snap-off hooks to show.
I've always liked wearing all black, but I learned that my black tops were also a great way to conceal the lumps and bumps. Anything too thin or clingy hasn't seen the light of day yet.
Here's what I truly swear by: SHAPEWEAR. I wore shapewear daily not just to smooth everything out, but also in the hopes that it would help my body return to my previous size. Sort of to remind those muscles how they used to be, perhaps. Here is the exact pair I swear by and they are $16. I have the latte color and they worked under everything. I wore these for about the first four weeks until I was comfortable enough to go without them.
So there you have it; my two cents. I'd love to hear from others about their experience. Hopefully this post will be helpful to any of you who plan to have a child at some point. Getting back to a size or shape you are happy with is not an overnight feat; it took a lot of time to put on the weight, and all of those body changes happened for a very important reason. And even if I don't look exactly how I used to, that is OKAY. As long as I feel fit, strong, and healthy, and as long as Camille is happy and healthy herself, we are all good.