Gone are the days where you crave pickles and ice cream (together), but postpartum brings a whole new set of strange symptoms. Commonly referred to as the fourth trimester, it may feel like the postpartum period is never-ending, but the strange bodily changes and emotions do settle down. These symptoms aren’t widely-discussed, but it’s important to know that they are, in fact, normal.
Below are a few weird symptoms you may experience postpartum:
You feel like you’re going bald
You probably didn’t expect your bundle of joy to cause you to lose your hair so early in his or her life, but hair loss postpartum is common among new moms. While nonpregnant women lose about 100 to 125 hairs per day, new moms often lose up to 500 hairs per day after delivery. During pregnancy, your body has increased levels of estrogen and progesterone, which freezes your hair in the growing or “resting” stage. (Maybe you noticed the extra luxurious locks the past few months.) According to the American Academy of Dermatology, those hormones begin to balance out after delivery, which leads to increased hair loss. This symptom should subside after six months.
Your shoes don’t fit
During pregnancy, it may have felt like every part of your body was getting bigger. And in a way, it was. Pregnancy triggers the release of hormones that cause your ligaments to stretch, which helps expand your pelvis and prepare your body for delivery. Sometimes, those same hormones can cause an expectant mom’s feet to grow as well. And for some women, that growth is permanent.
You’re extra sweaty
Waking up with night sweats? No, you’re not menopausal. Your body is just ridding itself of all the excess water you retained during pregnancy, or of fluids you may have received during delivery. Fortunately, this weird symptom is only temporary.
You still look pregnant
During pregnancy, the uterus grows to 14 times its normal size, so it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that you’ll still have a bit of a bump after delivery. It can take six to ten weeks for your uterus to shrink down to its original size. The skin, however, can take much longer to go back to its pre-pregnancy condition. Diet and exercise can help if you’re trying to fit back into your pre-pregnancy jeans.
It hurts to pee (and poop)
If you experienced any sort of tearing during delivery, urinating may be extremely painful. Thankfully, this doesn't last long, and can be alleviated by pouring warm water on the region while you go to the bathroom. Postpartum constipation is totally a real (and weird) thing that happens to almost every woman. The lack of food or the drugs you received during delivery can cause constipation. Fortunately, this too shall pass–pun intended.
After nine months of fluctuating hormones and strange bodily changes, you’ve probably learned to expect the unexpected. There are a variety of symptoms women experience after delivery, and just because one of yours didn’t make this list doesn’t mean it’s abnormal. Everyone’s experience is different, so consult your doctor if you’re concerned about your postpartum symptoms.