What happens with belly after birth - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is probably a silly question, but I really have no idea what to expect with regards to my belly after giving birth. I read something that said you will be at about the size of 6 months right after. Is this generally the case? How long will you "look pregnant" and is this length of time a function of losing weight?

It seems so weird to imagine having a belly as big as 6 months pregnant but empty.
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#2 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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Yes, you will still look mighty pregnant after the baby is born, but the skin and whatnot will be loose and floppy instead of tight. It sounds awful, but it IS temporary! Losing weight helps shift it back, but it's really just a function of time for those muscles to shorten back up again, etc. I lost all the weight pretty quickly, but it still took a while before I looked anything near like what I had before since everything needs time to shift back and tighten up again.

Fortunately, you'll be too busy with an adorable newborn to notice!

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#3 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 11:44 AM
 
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Mine was completely flat the day after giving birth. Everyone is different though and I have seen women who look 6 months pregnant for a while. But even though my belly was flat there was no way I could fit in my pre-pregnancy clothes. I still had overall weight gain. I've heard you generally look the same as you did at 4 months. At 4 months my belly is still pretty flat so maybe that's why it went down so quickly.
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#4 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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The uterus as you prob know starts out about fist sized after the baby is born it doesn't just automatically shrink back down, it takes a little time.

It's different for everyone. I personally have been on both sides. Too big to fit regular clothing & just small enough to fit back into my pre pregnant clothes. So you never can tell.

BUT i will tell you that the tummy feels sooooo weird after giving birth....like jello!
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#5 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 11:55 AM
 
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After giving birth, my belly pooches out when I stand, about to the 4-5-6 month area. When I lay down, it goes flat. It feels a little weird, you don't have the muscle strength to go #2, coughing and sneezing feel weird, and everything is moving back to it's "pre-pregnancy" area, so there is twitching (I always forget and think the baby is kicking! hee hee).

Right after giving birth your uterus is around the level of your belly button. It does take nearly the whole 6 weeks to become fist sized again.

By the end of the first 2 weeks I stop noticing the weird belly thing, clothes still don't necessarily fit, but its mroe comfortable.

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#6 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 12:20 PM
 
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Deflated ballon. It doesn't last that long though. It gradually gets smaller, but it will be a challenge finding clothes to fit. For me, I've never been big enough to still wear maternity clothes (I know many that have), but my regular clothes will not fit for 6 months. I live in yoga pants for the first 6 weeks until the belly has decreased then buy a couple pairs of clothes in a larger size to get me through for a while.

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#7 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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I packed the wrong clothes to take to the birth center last time, for post-partum. I brought my wideband maternity jeans (which kept falling down) and a snug-fitting long shirt (which hugged and emphasized my totally deflated muffin top of a belly).

I recommend doing the opposite: prepare for your pants to fit better right after birth, but loose-fitting tops will be more flattering and comfortable, at least from my experience.

I packed away clothes as I went. So early in the pregnancy, I packed pants that no longer fit. Then would trade out as I outgrew things. So by the end I had a Rubbermaid bin of clothes I'd worn along the way, that no longer fit. It worked out really well, because I was able to grab pants that fit early on, to wear early post-partum, and so on if that makes sense. Early in pg, I'd wear normal pants, sized up, or drawstring/under the belly/yoga type pants. Those were great for post-partum.

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#8 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Mine never went all the way back. I was 113lbs when I got pg with DS. I was down to 96lbs when he was 18 months old and 10% body fat due to competitive marathon training. However, my waist was still bigger than before I got pg with DS! I had baggy elephant skin and always will. Nothing other than a tummy tuck would get my belly back to it's pre-pg state. However, I ended up with c-section for both of my kids and they were 10lb 8oz 23" and 11lb 4oz 23.5" at birth - and I'm only 5'1" and very short waisted.

As far as how long you'll look pregnant, I can't wear those flowing shirts that are in style now when I'm not pg - since they make me look pg even when I'm 105 lbs!

*Right after giving birth, I wore the exact same clothes that I did when I went in. However, my maternity pants were technically too tight in the waist at that point but it's all I had.
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#9 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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I took a pic of my belly 1 week PP. Surprisingly it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but you could definitely tell under clothes - everything is much looser and this time I plan to do PP belly binding. I wore home the same clothes I wore to the hospital - demi panel jeans and a sweater.

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#10 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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Like risen but unbaked bread dough!

Mine went back to "normal" at about 4 or 5 months post partum, but it was "nearly" normal from about 8 or 10 weeks after the birth. I was at home to give birth so no hospital bag, but i spent a few days in tracksuit bottoms and then was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes BUT i was 195lbs before getting pregnant and only 210 at term, i lost all that gain by day 4 and then another 30lbs by 4 months PP. So it wasn't like i was really going back to normal, i got a new thinner normal.
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#11 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post
Like risen but unbaked bread dough!
Haha! I love these descriptions -- unbaked bread, deflated balloons. It certainly helps to visualize. Thanks everyone for the feedback. It definitely sounds like I should plan to live in the sweatpants I've been in for the past couple of weeks when I finally outgrew all my maternity clothes. Sounds like I may get a second time around for some of them -- it will even be the right season!

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Originally Posted by coyotemist View Post
... and everything is moving back to it's "pre-pregnancy" area, so there is twitching (I always forget and think the baby is kicking! hee hee).
That's kind of freaky! I'm definitely going to miss feeling those baby kicks!
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#12 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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Another thing I forgot to add: I bought a post-partum belt to wear that helped a lot with things getting back into a more manageable shape early on. It's just a wide elastic type belt with Velcro. I got it at BabiesRUs. It didn't helop so much as losing the weight or anything (that was all breastfeeding!), but it definitely helped with appearance.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#13 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by coyotemist View Post
After giving birth, my belly pooches out when I stand, about to the 4-5-6 month area. When I lay down, it goes flat. It feels a little weird, you don't have the muscle strength to go #2, coughing and sneezing feel weird, and everything is moving back to it's "pre-pregnancy" area, so there is twitching (I always forget and think the baby is kicking! hee hee).

I felt like things were sloshing around for a couple of weeks. I walked every day, but sloshed as I walked. I figured all those organs were a little unmoored.

And I definitely looked 6 months pregnant when I went home from the hosp. That went away pretty quick, the weight itself took longer to lose.

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#14 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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I second the post-partum belt. You can also wear a Bella Band or similar band if you have one from during your pregnancy, or just check out the "shapewear"/foundation garments at a nearby department store.

I bought a couple of corset/girdle type things to wear a couple months post-partum last time, and wished I'd gotten them sooner. They didn't make me magically skinnier, but it was so much easier to put clothes on when my belly wasn't squishing out all over the place.

Mom of 2 boys: D-Mac (Feb 06) and Ducky (Dec 08)
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#15 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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My belly went down surprisingly fast! Especially for having a c-section. After a week in the hospital my tummy was pretty flat but I still needed to lose more weight overall. I think I suffered from lovehandles more than I did a belly muffin top.

I did get sent home with a binder because it was very hard for me to move around with my c/s incision. Hopefully you won't have to worry about that though!!

mama to L (4) and G (1.5)
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#16 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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honestly, my belly looked flatter after birth than before. i had a csection.. i think she gave me a tuck while she was there! haha
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#17 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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I hated my Bella Band when I was pregnant...but it sure was nice to have in that first month or two post partum. It cut down on the number of people that asked when I was expecting #2 -- seriously, my DS was big at birth, but did people really think I was pregnant again so soon?!?!
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#18 of 27 Old 09-16-2008, 06:05 PM
 
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You might find the website The Shape of a Mother interesting.
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#19 of 27 Old 09-18-2008, 06:07 PM
 
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As you may know, breastfeeding your little one will help your uterus return to normal size more quickly. I've also read that when bf, you lose the most weight 3-6 months PP. When DS was 3-6 mos I exercised a lot!

Learning & growing & changing everyday!
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#20 of 27 Old 09-18-2008, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You might find the website The Shape of a Mother interesting.
That site is great, thanks for the tip!
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#21 of 27 Old 09-18-2008, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jennifer_lc1 View Post
honestly, my belly looked flatter after birth than before. i had a csection.. i think she gave me a tuck while she was there! haha
Ha, that's funny!
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#22 of 27 Old 09-18-2008, 09:58 PM
 
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That site is great, thanks for the tip!
I love this one too. Changed my body image instantly!
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#23 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 03:10 AM
 
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I love this one too. Changed my body image instantly!
Thank you sooo much for that site!

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#24 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 04:10 AM
 
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Thank you sooo much for that site!
You're very, very welcome. It meant a lot to me so I love to share it any chance I get.
val979 likes this.
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#25 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 06:09 AM
 
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holly i have never disliked my breasts, but my goodness, thankyou SO SO much for that link!! I am emailing that link to ALL my friends, and putting it up on any other mothering website i see - i will also be sticking it in a folder for when my daughters are old enough to worry about such things! Thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!
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#26 of 27 Old 09-19-2008, 06:50 PM
 
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holly i have never disliked my breasts, but my goodness, thankyou SO SO much for that link!! I am emailing that link to ALL my friends, and putting it up on any other mothering website i see - i will also be sticking it in a folder for when my daughters are old enough to worry about such things! Thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!
I'm glad someone else is as enthusiastic about it as I am! I actually shared it with my DH too. He struggles with a pornography addiction (clean for a long time now! . It was nice for us to be able to see what REAL breasts are like and talk about it together. I think a lot of men/young men really have no idea what boobs are supposed to look like because the ones they see the most are in movies, magazines, video games, etc.
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#27 of 27 Old 09-20-2008, 05:26 AM
 
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You know what i really liked holly? When i first looked at the pages i was thinking "those are nice" "oh i don't like those" to myself (: not hugely proud of it but it's the truth and it was unthinking!). But then i began to ask myself "what is WRONG with those i don't like" and the more i looked, the more i realised...NOTHING! Even *i* a (relatively, let's not get excited!) well-eductated, fairly smart woman have gotten my visual ideals from blimmin MAGAZINES! It made me mad, but after looking for several hours (: again...lol) i really stopped being able to chooose between them. At one point about 2.5hours into my surfing i thought "that photo isn't very good, bit grainy" and the light came on again. I'm sure i'm not "cured" but i'm going to keep looking periodically. It is a fantastic reality check!
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