A lot happens to your body immediately after you deliver. From a still-big belly to shaking, don’t be surprised by these post-birth experiences.
When I packed my hospital bag before giving birth, I threw in a tunic and a pair of pre-pregnancy capris for heading home. But despite delivering a 7-pound bundle of joy, I still couldn’t squeeze myself into those capris when it was time to go. I left the hospital wearing the same sundress I had arrived in. Many new moms don’t realize how big they’ll still be after giving birth (surprisingly, it can take up to nine months for your abdomen to return to its pre-pregnancy size)—or know about the other changes that occur in the hours and days afterward. While you can’t prepare for everything, there are some common postpartum experiences you should be aware of before your baby arrives.
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Shannon M. Clark, MD, MMS is a double board certified ObGyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialist, and founder of Babies After 35. In her roles as a clinician, educator and researcher at UTMB-Galveston, she focuses on the care of people with maternal and/or fetal complications of pregnancy. Dr. Clark has taken a special interest in pregnancy after the age of 35, which according to age alone, is considered a high-risk pregnancy. In her role as a physician caring for high-risk pregnancies, she has counseled and treated hundreds of women over the years in her very own situation, and has found a whole new respect for the challenges and complications a woman may experience when trying to have a baby later in life.
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