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Updated on Sep 19, 2020. Posted on Dec 30, 2018

27 Surprising Things That Happened To Women's Bodies After Childbirth

"I didn't know I'd leak so much milk that my bedsheets would smell like Kraft Mac & Cheese."

We asked moms in the BuzzFeed Community to tell us the thing that surprised them about their post-baby body, and the responses were all the way real:

1. "I knew pregnant women had a hard time holding their bladders, but I didn't think that after childbirth I would literally pee on the dance floor at my best friend's wedding!"

E! Entertainment Television

—Madison Mattoon, Facebook

2. "My belly button came back in a totally different shape."

NBC

3. "I was shocked to have such a flabby flap of belly after I had my son. For some reason, I thought my stomach would be flat."

Bravo

4. "I started pooping from my vagina! It's called 'rectovaginal fistula', and I had no idea it could even happen!"

5. "I didn't realize how uncomfortable sex would be even after I was completely healed. It got better, but it was definitely something we had to work through."

BBC

6. "I grew an inch-large patch of super curly, kinky hair at the crown of my head, when my hair has been straight my entire life!"

Columbia Pictures

"It seriously freaked me out, until my stylist told me it's not uncommon for women to have hair changes like this after pregnancy. Who knew?!"

kristinabentle

7. "I didn't know you still bleed from your vagina, even if you didn't deliver from it."

Fox

8. "I didn't know you could get hemorrhoids from all the pushing during labor. There were days I spent crying on the couch after pooping, in fear of having to go again."

NBC

avera23

9. "That I would be waking up in cold sweats — absolutely drenched — for weeks."

TvLand

ddm03e

10. "I didn't know I'd leak so much milk my bed would smell like Kraft Mac and Cheese. I had to change my sheets daily."

TvLand

11. "Breastfeeding does not necessarily help you lose the baby weight. Yes, it can burn some serious calories, but you're still as hungry as you were while pregnant because you're literally making milk. I didn't start losing weight until after we started weaning."

E! Entertainment Television

12. "That I don't see a 'ruined body' when I looked in the mirror, like I thought I would. The world tells women our bodies will be less desirable after pregnancy, but I'm not beautiful in spite of my postpartum body. And I'm in no way 'ruined.'"

Vh1

13. "I developed seasonal allergies I'd never had before. I literally had an allergic reaction to my work building."

14. "That stretch marks come in different colors."

Universal Pictures

15. "I completely lost my appetite after my son was born. I ended up losing forty pounds the first two weeks."

MTV

jessical4fde3b024

"I experienced this, too. I got so many compliments on how thin I'd gotten, but I wasn't able to admit that it was actually because I couldn't make myself eat more than a few bites a day."

pamelam21

16. "The complete lack of ab muscles. I couldn't just 'sit up' anymore. Oh, and that postpartum BO is real."

ABC

mandyt4

17. "My taste buds changed. Before pregnancy I loved spicy food, but during pregnancy even pepper and ketchup were too spicy. I thought my tolerance would return after the baby was born, but nope — still a wuss!"

TvOne

—Madison Mattoon, Facebook

18. "I got all my stretch marks ten days AFTER I gave birth! And I thought I was safe!"

Bravo

19. "I always had issues with self-esteem and body image, but after having my kids, I became so thankful for how awesome my body is. Appreciating it gave me the motivation to develop better nutrition and exercise habits. And now I'm in better shape than I ever was before kids!"

20. "That tampons would become excruciating."

NBC

21. "I had no idea my hair would fall out in clumps, and I was devastated watching it go down the drain when I showered. But my mom reassured me that the hormones were to blame."

CBC

22. "I couldn't hold my pee or my farts in."

TvLand

banoono

23. "My feet got bigger during my third trimester — they got swollen and longer! After giving birth, the swelling went down, but the length stayed the same. So nine months postpartum, my feet are still one and a half sizes larger than they were pre-pregnancy!"

Universal Pictures

24. "That my boobs would get smaller, albeit not as perky."

25. "If you had a C-section, the gas pains. Oh my God, the gas pains."

NBC

"When those air bubbles from the surgery start moving, it is ROUGH."

ddm03e

26. "My skin starting peeling like I had sunburn."

Paramount Pictures

27. "My hair fell out in clumps, my boobs leaked through everything, and my belly felt like Jello. And you know what? I'd never felt stronger."

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Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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