Shedding, leaking and better off not knowing – my post-pregnancy body
I started growing out my hair while I was pregnant after 17 years of a cropped ‘do, so when it started falling out, I assumed this was something that happened to all long-haired people – the price you pay for lengthy locks. But then it started coming out in handfuls. It clogged the drain and covered the carpet. It was pretty gross.
Then I discovered that your hair has two stages – growing and resting. During pregnancy, increased levels of estrogen prolong the growing stage. There are fewer hairs in the resting stage, so fewer fall out each day and you have lovely, thick hair.
After you give birth, your estrogen levels dip and a lot more hairs enter the resting stage. Hence the shedding like a long-haired cat in the summer.
After you give birth, your boobs are no longer you’re own. They belong to the baby, who will suck, scratch and pummel them to their heart’s content. Your boobs will get huge and heavy and hard and you will want to tear them off. They will spurt milk and sprout spidery blue veins. You will whip them out in public and not even care, because who wants to look at your giant leaky milk sacks anyway?
I wrote about my baby belly not long after giving birth. It’s still not quite back to its old self, but here’s the surprising thing:
I’ve lost my pregnancy weight. And then some. The last time I was this skinny was PRE-FACEBOOK, guys.
Here’s the Squirmy Popple (unintentional) weight loss programme:
– Breastfeed (burns up to 500 calories a day).
– Have a baby who only naps on the move. Spend 2 hours per day pushing a pram aimlessly around the streets in a sleep-deprived daze (burns up to 500 calories a day).
– Eat all meals in under 5 minutes due to baby screaming (undereat some unknown number of calories per day).
A few days after giving birth, a health visitor came by to see if my episiotomy stitches were healing properly.
Her: Have you looked at your stitches?
Me: [Horrified face]
Her: Some women like to look at them.
Some things should remain a mystery. The appearance of your birth-traumatized fanny is one of them.