27 Strange Postpartum Symptoms

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27 Strange Postpartum Symptoms


So, you have had a baby or babies. You have faithfully attended all prenatal and postnatal clinics. And you have slowly but surely created this solid wall of mommy friends. But lately, you have been experiencing some strange postpartum symptoms that you haven’t heard mentioned before. And it bothers you.

You are not crazy. You will be surprised to know how typical of mothers your weird postpartum symptoms are.

The array of things that can change for you after a baby are numerous and widely spaced. Unfortunately, you might not hear every symptom being spoken about until you experience it yourself.

After assessing feedback from a large group of mothers at 1 year plus postpartum, a list of uncommon and long-term postpartum symptoms came up.

Feel free to read through and find your spot.

You will read about;

  • Mom’s brain.
  • Organs prolapse and a feeling of shifted intestines.
  • Overactive gag reflex.
  • Heavier periods and intensive cramping.
  • Stubborn post-baby weight and postpartum weight gain.
  • Diastasis recti.
  • Muscle loss and loose skin.
  • Urinary Incontinence.
  • Hair loss.
  • Low back pain.
  • Larger feet.
  • Wider rib cage and hips.
  • Better sex. Best orgasms.
  • Epidural pain.
  • Sweats and body odor.
  • Boosted body image.
  • Skin flaps at the bum hole.
  • CS scar aches.
  • Bumpy episiotomy scar.
  • Sitting down pain – Coccyx issue.
  • Leaking boobs post breastfeeding.
  • Extreme thirst even without breastfeeding.
  • Phantom flutters.
  • Tampons feeling weird.
  • Facial acne getting better or disappearing.

This is obviously a very long list. And it could have been longer if these equally important and related postpartum issues were included. For everyone’s sake, let’s merge some of the above symptoms together and aim to have everything covered.

Here we go…

  1. Mommy Brain.

Imagine a mother somewhere forgetting their child’s name. Unbelievable, right? Well, if it hasn’t happened yet, that mom could soon be you. A mommy brain will have you forgetting anything. Like what day of the week it is, or which dress you wore yesterday.

What you thought was a mild case of amnesia and mental fogginess is your brain’s reaction to a rearrangement of neurons, to prioritize your maternal abilities. The parts of your brain not involved in caring for your child shrink, and those involved grow.

Although there is nothing you can do about the mommy brain(link), it’s best to go easy on yourself while it lasts. Yes, you will have your witty brain back eventually. In the meantime, do what nature wants you to do. Take care of your child and yourself, and sleep whenever you can.

  1. Organs Prolapse and A Feeling of Shifted Intestines.
Ann, a mother of a year-old girl once bent down to pick a towel. As she was getting back up, her husband, with a concerned look on his face asked her why she was holding on to her stomach. And Ann replied, “It’s nothing. I am just rearranging my intestines.”

Ann’s husband, out of hearing that answer repeatedly, might believe her. However, not all mothers get understood or believed as such. A postnatal clinic will examine for pelvic prolapse, but will most likely write off your falling intestines as a temporary sensation.

Pelvic prolapse is the most common of organs prolapse. It happens when one or more organs in your pelvic region slide off from their normal position and press onto your vagina. The condition can cause pain or be painless. If severe, there are medical interventions that can treat it.

Other most likely permanent rearrangements that might happen to you are a widened rib cage and hips. Changes to which, supposedly, you should be able to adjust mentally, depending on what your future body image goals are.

  1. Overactive Gag Reflex- A strange Postpartum Symptom.

Nausea and gagging don’t always end after delivery. Some women will suffer from an out-of-control gag reflex for months or years after the birth of their last child.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), a medical name for severe vomiting and nausea can considerably affect the life of a mother. If you suffer from it, you might feel compelled to socially isolate or be dysfunctional as trivial smells or the sight of a toilet bowl can make you sick.

Throwing up frequently will deprive your body of vitamins and nutrients. It is advisable to see a doctor if your condition is extreme.  A medical assessment can point out the nutrients that your body needs to be replenished.

  1. Heavier Period and Intense Cramping.

Your period might get worse or improve after delivery. These changes are however not permanent and you will get your usual period back after a while.

During, and after pregnancy, your body goes through an upheaval of changes. Your uterus, for example, will grow from an orange size to a watermelon, and back to orange again, all in a span of 10 months.

Your period will get affected by these resizing and the consequent hormonal changes. In some women, the menstrual cramp pain also changes location. Where they once felt it at the front of their pelvis, it might shift to the back, or from lower belly to low in the vagina.

It can get worse in the sense of taking a longer time, being heavier, or more painful. This might happen because your uterine cavity got larger during pregnancy. As a result, there will be more mucus lining shedding during menstruation.

In women whose period improves, it might be because of a stretched uterus and a widened cervix.

Aside from the period change, you might have noticed that postpartum, you can easily tell when you are ovulating from the terrible cramps that ensue. It’s not in your head. Other mothers feel it too.

  1. (Stubborn) Post Baby Weight Loss Plateau.

Losing baby weight postpartum is a common topic of discussion among mothers. And yet, should not be the only weight topic discussed.

If weight is your pain, you might have been puzzled as to why your weight loss regimen worked for a while and suddenly stopped. What happened is that your body hit a weight loss plateau. To mean that your metabolism had dropped and your body was then burning fewer calories than it did before. Where you ate fewer calories to lose weight, reduced metabolism means that your body got to a point where the number of calories burnt equaled to those that you ate.

To keep losing, you will have to give your body a different challenge. Try eating even fewer calories or increase your physical activities.

  1. Postpartum Weight Gain.

What if you are gaining weight instead? It could be because of one or several of the following reasons: Stress hormone; cortisol, and eating more due to stress, lowered thyroid function, or sleep deprivation.

  1. Muscle Loss Postpartum.

The most common complaints regarding muscle loss postpartum are a mummy butt and flabby arms. You can lose muscles either because you breastfeed, you are sedentary, adopt poor sitting postures, or are calories deprived.

  1. Diastasis Recti.

This abdominal muscle separation happens when your right and left abdominal muscles part, creating a space in between, where your belly sticks out. It is the reason why you still might be looking 5 months pregnant, 6 months postpartum.

With targeted exercises, the gap can improve. Nevertheless, you can opt to have it surgically closed.

  1. Loose Skin.

Loose belly skin post-baby, however natural it is, can be unsightly. Yet, it happens because, thankfully, your skin stretched far enough to accommodate your growing baby. Time taken for the skin to shrink back to its former size is what leaves women with a beaten-up body image.

Measures that you can take to minimize the extensity of loose skin include doing safe exercises during and after pregnancy and maintaining your weight within the recommended range. Better still, the exercises and proper nutrition will help it bounce back in no time.

  1. Postpartum Urinary Incontinence.

Conveniently also called pee-sneezes, is when urine leaks involuntarily especially when you are doing something strenuous like physical exercises. It can also happen when you sneeze or laugh. To some women, it becomes impossible to control their bladder when they get the urge to pee.

Weakening of pelvic muscles during pregnancy and delivery, or pelvic organ prolapse can be blamed for this. Luckily, the condition is not permanent and can be improved by doing kegel exercises or through the care of a pelvic floor therapist.

  1. Lower Back Pain.

After delivery, back problems can be caused by, and are not limited to weakened muscles, birth trauma, excessive weight gain, poor body posture, and of course, hormones.

In the case where you suspect your pain to be due to muscle weakening, or weight-related, you should be able to solve this by starting on guided physical exercises. Adopting the right sitting posture and resting might ease some pain, while if hormones related, the best solution you can settle for is waiting it out.

Another cause of the lower back in women is a fractured or dislocated coccyx. When this is the case, you might experience soreness in the area between your tailbone and anus. It can also cause you a lot of pain sitting down. Usually, a chiropractor will help best to reposition the coccyx.

  1. Larger Feet and/ or Rough Soles.

Can’t fit your feet in your cute boots anymore? Blame it on pregnancy.

A survey conducted in a shoe shop revealed that approximately 65% of women who had given birth had their shoe sizes increased.

Research done on the topic further showed that the height of the foot arch shortened during pregnancy. The survey, therefore, concluded that the lengthening of the feet was due to the flattening of the foot arch, as a result of bearing extra weight. A pregnancy hormone, relaxin, might also be playing a part. Relaxin is responsible for the loosening of joints and ligaments in pregnancy.

If your feet soles become rough and dry after pregnancy, it could also be a result of hormonal changes. On the other hand, it could be due to postpartum thyroiditis, a situation in which your thyroid goes on an overdrive. If necessary, request your doctor to conduct a thyroid test.

  1. Postpartum Hot Flushes, Sweating, and Body Odor.

Hot flushes not only occur during menopause. They are also experienced by a large number of pregnant women and those that have already delivered.

About 30% of women postpartum complain of feeling hot after having a baby; in spite of previously feeling the opposite. They will sweat profusely after doing the least of physical exercises, or at night as they sleep.

Again, the offender to blame is the hormones. As progesterone and estrogen levels decrease in your body, they may affect a part of the brain that is responsible for thermal regulation. This leads to low-temperature tolerance, hot flashes, sweating, and a strong body odor.

One might also argue that the gained baby fat creates heat insulation around the body, making a mother more sensitive to heat.

  1. Hemorrhoids and Skin Flaps/ Anal Skin Tags.

Hemorrhoids occur due to extra pressure that a baby adds to its mother’s anus. They are engorged blood veins that can poke out or reside on the inner side of the sphincter. Many women experience them due to physical pressure, hormonal rush, or constipation associated with pregnancy. They can be uncomfortable, painful, or just itchy. In many cases, resolve on their own.

On the other hand, skin flaps, or anal skin tags can feel like loose skin hanging around the anus. They can result from hemorrhoids that have shrunk, constipation, or pregnancy. They are usually painless, but might still be a nuisance, causing distress. You can choose to have them removed by a doctor, in a short procedure where he will cut them off.

Other Strange Postpartum Symptoms.

  1. Epidural pain – can last for months, long after delivery.
  1. Leaking boobs – Can continue happening years after ending breastfeeding. The most probable cause is hyperprolactinemia. A condition where the prolactin levels in the body remain high.
  1. Gassiness – Many mothers complain of being bloated and claim to be incapable of controlling where and when they pass gas.
  1. A weird thirst – It can feel insatiable and commonly occurs in the evenings.
  1. Hair Shedding – Can last as long as 6 months postpartum and is mainly because of estrogen and prolactin levels changes.
  1. Sensitive CS scar – The scar can look healed from the outside but have occasional aches or pain. When pubic hair grows through a healed scar, it hurt for some women. And in some instances, women can experience throbbing pain on their scars after exposure to a situation that involves child neglect.
  1. Episiotomy Scar – can remain raised and cause discomfort years after healing.
  1. Facial Acne – Might disappear or improve.
  1. Sweet tooth – It can develop in women who had no prior liking to sugar.
  1. Phantom Flutters – Occasionally, one can feel as though a baby is kicking inside their belly, even when they are not pregnant.
  1. Rejecting Tampons – Where they were convenient prior to a pregnancy, they can start to feel too dry, worsen cramps, or be painful to insert.

Amongst all the strange postpartum changes that a woman experiences, two are positive, and overshadow by far the long list of awful ones.

These are;

  1. Much Better Sex.

For more than 60% of women who have given birth, sex becomes easier after the birth recovery. And additionally, it might no longer cause pain in situations where it did.

Also, most find it easier to attain orgasm, or even squirt.

Some theories have tried to demystify this by explaining that the clitoris’ size increases after delivery; or that its nerve endings multiply; or that the vaginal orgasm sensitivity increases.

  1. Better Body-image.

In the delivery ward, a woman encounters all manners of extreme emotions.

They can include fear, intensive pain, vulnerability, hope, joy, and anger. Some women even come close to death! It is expected, therefore, for the experience to harden them, making them unbothered by minor inhibitors like low self-esteem or low self-confidence. One is able to appreciate their body better, for the trauma it endures while nurturing a child.

Conclusion.

Delivering a child can be scary and in many cases, fatal. Moreover, mothers who endure it are oftentimes met with body changes that are new to them.

At times, a mother can experience strange postpartum signs that she might deem unique to her from not having heard them being spoken about before. Being aware of all the weird problems that other mothers have, postpartum, can be empowering. Learn and appreciate that what you thought strange has or is being experienced by someone else.

A significant challenge that women face in life is feeling unheard of or believed. Frequently, their health concerns are even dismissed as non-issues.

This article does not boost to be complete, but all the symptoms listed here are complaints experienced by real mothers.

As someone feeling that something is obviously different after giving birth, you should push to have it looked at and addressed. After all, you did a very good job of birthing a child, and for that, you have the right to have the best medical care.

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