13 Weird Postpartum Symptoms that Might Surprise You
You’ve dealt with some odd pregnancy symptoms for months.
From aversions to food that you’re usually okay with, wacky dreams, the need to pee a hundred times a day (okay, not THAT much, but A LOT), smelling a hotdog from a mile away, and so forth.
After you have your baby, you can say goodbye to a lot of the bizarre side effects of pregnancy, but it’s certainly not the end of strange symptoms.
You’re probably expecting pain and necessary healing after giving birth, but there are also some surprising symptoms that may leave you wondering what the heck is going on with your body.
There are a ton of things that can happen after delivering a baby, but here are some of the weird postpartum symptoms that you could experience after birth (but are also totally normal).
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Weird Postpartum Symptoms
Women already have a reputation for shedding lots of hair, but it can get a bit excessive after giving birth.
Sometimes the clump of hair you gather after running your hands through your mane can be shocking, but your hair growth will return to normal soon, and you’ll stop shedding absurd amounts of hair.
During pregnancy, women lose less hair than usual because of high estrogen levels (thus the reason for temporarily luscious locks). Those levels drop after giving birth, causing hair to fall out quicker.
Your hair is just making up for lost time (thanks a lot, hair). The excessive shedding usually stops about 6 to 12 months after giving birth.
Baby kicks are one of the most exciting things about pregnancy (or annoying if it’s 3 a.m. and you’re trying desperately to sleep), but you wouldn’t expect to continue to feel them once your baby is born.
Many moms report feeling phantom kicks after giving birth–some even experience them for years after postpartum, but experts don’t really know why.
So don’t be surprised if you feel these kick-like movements in your uterus in the weeks or even months after giving birth.
Though it may freak you out at first, there’s no medical reason to be alarmed. But this feeling might surprise you when you’re looking at your sweet baby sleeping in a bassinet nearby.
Uncontrollable Shivers or Shakes
Giving birth is a lot of work for your body. The hormonal shifts along with adrenaline can cause your entire body to shiver or shake when you’re about to deliver or shortly after you do.
I remember after I gave birth to my first and I was shaking like CRAZY.
I had NO idea why this was happening to me up until the nurse told me.
Luckily though these strange chills don’t last too long.
But if you notice abnormal shaking after bringing your new baby home, reach out to your doctor to be sure you don’t have an infection.
A Shift on Your Shape
You gained weight while carrying your little one, but your body did more than just stretch to make room for an entire human.
Your rib cage expands during pregnancy to make room for your baby, along with everything else inside.
The hips also widen to make your baby’s delivery smoother.
And guess what?
Not everything goes right back to where it used to be.
So don’t worry if you can’t fit into your old pants even after returning to your pre-pregnancy weight.
Some women never return to their normal shape after giving birth (and yes you are still beautiful still!).
Temporary Incontinence or Leaking
You may have lost some bladder control during pregnancy, and you might not gain it back (sorry to be the bearer of bad news), or at least not right away.
While you probably won’t be like a two-year-old learning to use the potty for the first time, certain activities with an excessively full bladder may lead to some leakage.
Jumping on the trampoline may never be the same after giving birth.
Incontinence though is a common postpartum symptom, but if you’re uncomfortable with the leaking or feel it’s more than it should be, talk to your doctor to see what can be done.
As if everything else you experience postpartum wasn’t glamorous enough, here we enter in the wonderful world of night sweats.
All the extra fluids and hormones from pregnancy can lead to excess sweat, which is often most noticeable during those precious few hours of sleep you get at night.
It’s not uncommon to wake up damp or even drenched in sweat in the middle of the night.
But like most postpartum symptoms, the perspiration will taper off as your hormones normalize.
In the meantime though, you may need to change your clothes more often than before!
When you’re a sleep-deprived parent, and the sound of your infant’s cries is all too familiar, it’s not unusual to hear your baby crying when they’re not.
This is called phantom crying, and don’t worry–you’re not going crazy (even if you feel like you might be).
Professionals say that when you hear phantom crying, it might be your brain’s way of trying to sharpen your motherly intuition, but it simply had a small lapse due to stress or sleep deprivation.
I would experience this every time (and do now with my 2nd baby) when I was in the bathroom taking a shower.
With my first, I would even get out of the shower and open the door to see what was wrong just to find out that she was never even crying.
You just gave birth to a little angel.
You should be full of joy, right?
Even if you’re elated about the newest member of your family, it’s very common for women to experience increased sadness and heightened emotions in the weeks following birth.
This is commonly known as the “baby blues,” and it’s one of the most surprising postpartum symptoms.
Remember to rest as much as you possibly can, ask for help, and reach out to friends and family!
Keep in mind that the baby blues are different from postpartum depression.
The baby blues will typically fade within a few weeks, so if these feelings last longer or you feel like you’re unable to function because of extreme emotions or unhappiness, call your doctor.
Another one of those weird (and sucky) postpartum symptoms is constipation.
Anesthesia and pain killers can lead to constipation after delivery.
Some moms have constipation simply because they worry that a bowel movement could cause pain or damage stitches.
Drinking lots of water and eating high-fiber foods will help make eliminating waste easier.
You may want to consider taking a stool softener too if you’re concerned about it.
If you make it through pregnancy without developing hemorrhoids, there’s a good chance you’ll get them from the added pressure on your rectum during delivery.
They can cause pain, itch, and may also bleed.
You can try using witch hazel and take sitz baths for relief.
The hemorrhoids should shink, but if they don’t, talk to your doctor.
If you don’t know how to take a proper postpartum sitz bath, you can learn how to make one here.
Getting edema during pregnancy is relatively normal. But did you know that it’s also common to have swelling after birth?
Yes, this is called postpartum edema.
You may notice this postpartum swelling in your hands, feet, and legs.
But don’t worry!
This should only last up to about a week after delivery.
But if it’s not going away or getting worse, contact your doctor.
At the beginning of breastfeeding, you’ll only have colostrum (which isn’t a while lot). Then your milk will start transitioning to mature milk.
Once this milk comes in it, get ready to have an overabundance of breastmilk!
Your body is still trying to regulate how much to make for the baby so your body will make lots and lots of breastmilk.
This makes it super easy for your breasts to get engored and will happen more often than not.
The best thing you can do to help with this is to feed frequently and pump if you’re starting to feel overfull and uncomfortable.
If you don’t have a pump or baby just isn’t hungry you can also hand express if needed.
You may be surprised to find out that experiencing some numbness after a c-section is normal after childbirth.
Though it may be odd and freak you out a bit this numb feeling is nothing to worry about and does not necessarily mean something is wrong.
The numbness you’re feeling around your scar can go away weeks after your surgery or even last for years.
Sometimes this lack of feeling is even permanent but it’s rare.
What are normal postpartum symptoms?
With all of these strange postpartum symptoms you may be wondering, are there any “normal” ones that I should expect too?
That answer is YES!
Here are some of the more typical quote-on-quote “normal” symptoms that you will experience after birth.
This abdominal pain feels very similar to a menstrual cramp.
The pain you’re feeling happens because of your uterus trying to contract down to normal size again.
You’ll notice it soon after giving birth.
Now, these cramps are pretty uncomfortable so be sure to have a heating pad nearby to help relieve some of that pain.
Sore Breasts and Nipples
If you’re breastfeeding it’s normal for your breasts and nipples to be sore.
This is new to them and they’re not used to it so be prepared for sore nipples.
Your breasts will get sore if they start getting too full.
With all of that added pressure being put on your perineum during childbirth, it’s no wonder it gets so sore afterward!
Taking sitz baths will help relieve some of the soreness though.
If it wasn’t obvious enough stitches hurt and they’re gonna be pretty sore after you get them. But they shouldn’t be extremely painful.
If there is redness, discharge, and it’s getting very painful call your doctor.
These are signs of an infection.
Postpartum bleeding or lochia is your body’s way of getting rid of all the extra blood and tissue that was used to help the baby grow.
This bleeding will be on and off for about 6 weeks so be sure to stock up on your postpartum pads!
You can find a list of the best pads for after birth here.
What are postpartum symptoms to not ignore?
Even though the above symptoms are weird, they are normal and typically pose no threat. But there are some symptoms to watch out for.
Some are dangerous and even life-threatening. It could indicate signs of infections, postpartum hemorrhage, or a blood clot.
Here are some of the symptoms you should not ignore below:
- Heavy bleeding (extreme heavy bleeding is a sign of postpartum hemorrhage)
- Chest pain
- Any type of extreme pain anywhere on the body
- Fast heart rate
- Warmth, redness, and pain in your legs (a sign of deep vein thrombosis aka a blood clot)
- Changes in vision, dizziness, severe headache, and trouble breathing (symptoms of postpartum preeclampsia)
- Fever that’s higher than 100.4F (a sign that you could have an infection)
- Redness, pain, and/or discharge around your stitches
- Vaginal discharge that smells bad
- Feeling sad and hopeless for more than 10 days (a sign of postpartum depression)
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms be sure to call your doctor or go to the emergency room right away.
Postpartum can come with some pretty weird symptoms.
But thankfully they are totally normal!
And you’re not alone because other moms experience them as well (so no need to be embarrassed)!
Remember that all of these symptoms are only temporary.
Someday, all of the things you experience after giving birth will be a distant memory and part of your own postpartum story.
But be sure to know which ones to look out for as they could be deadly.
If you feel like something is wrong call your doctor as soon as possible.
And make sure you’re taking care of yourself during this time too along with your precious baby!
(Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor, nurse, or any other kind of medical professional. I am only a Mom who is going off of her own experience and research. You can read my full disclaimer policy here.)
Other Postpartum Posts You May Like:
The Absolute Best Postpartum Clothes to Wear After Birth
How to Take Care of Yourself During Postpartum
The Best Postpartum Care Checklist with All of the After Birth Essentials
Mental Health Tips for New Moms
Did you ever experience any of these weird postpartum symptoms? Tell me all about your postpartum symptoms below in the comments! And if you liked this post, give it a share. Thanks!