30 Going on 13: A Tale of Postpartum Puberty

 {Post written by Ashley — See bio below}

A hilarious article comparing the postpartum phase to puberty! A must read for all mamas!

Disclaimer: you do not have to be 30 to have a baby (I was 20 when I had my first) nor do you have to be 30 to relate to this article. It was just a play on a movie title. 13 going on 30? Ya heard of it? K great. Also I’m only one person and each pregnancy/ postpartum for each woman is different. These are my personal experiences. Not all women go through these stages. I have no medical background. All that qualifies me to write this is the fact that I’ve had three babies. Now that we have cleared that up let’s get to the good stuff.

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 {Photography by Emily Gerald Photography}

You have just gone through the miracle of birth. The months of nausea, the heartburn, acid reflux. Your body stretched until you didn’t think it could stretch any more but somehow did. Hours (day, weeks?!) of labor. Serious ‘I may actually be dying, yes I’m 1000% without a doubt dead right now ‘ pain. And now you have your beautiful bundle of love in your arms and your body back to itself. Things are normal again. Oh right. Sure. You mean after alllllll that now I have to deal with a whole new set of problems postpartum? Yes ma’am. Do you remember what it was like to be 13? Puberty? Do ya? Yeah, well here you go again. But this time you get to do it with a newborn.

Postpartum Puberty - an article that will make you laugh out loud

Acne

As a teenager I actually didn’t suffer too badly from bad skin. I got lucky. As a postpartum adult, my skin could easily be mistaken for a pubescent teens (with a lot more wrinkles). I’m talking acne, backne, butne (that’s the medical term for acne of the butt… I’m pretty sure. Again not a medical expert) what gives universe??? Is it not enough that I have sleep deprived bags under my eyes, and vomit on my shoulder, and my hair is in a mom bun for a sixth consecutive day?? No? Let’s throw in terrible skin. Ok. Cool.

The fix? Stop giving into the intense nursing cravings of chocolate and cookies and milkshakes. (I CAN’T!) Clean your face a few times a day. Wipe off your makeup before bed (if you had any time to actually ever put it on) ride it out. Eventually those crazy post baby having hormones will subside. I think. Also, wine.

Postpartum Puberty - an article that will make you laugh out loud
Periods

Do you remember those? Did you miss them??? Yeah I didn’t think so. After a blissful 9 months (or if you’re like me, coming off a previous pregnancy and breastfeeding, a blissful almost two years) of not having to worry if you’re going to have a visit from Aunt Flo while you’re rocking your white skinny jeans (before Labor Day of course) after you give birth there is a lot of blood. I’m talking, wearing a maxi pad for your maxi pad. And it brings back those teen days of having your first period when you’re not really sure how to deal. And there are no tampons allowed. So yeah. You get to change your diaper between changing your newborns. And sometimes you get to change your sheets when your maxi pad just wasn’t maxi enough. (BUT IT HAD WINGS!!!) It’s fun. And then after you finally stop your postpartum bleeding your actual period comes back.

The fix? Keep on nursing. It’s not foolproof but it can hold off your regular cycle for a good while longer. Or get pregnant again. The choice is yours. Also, wine.


Postpartum Puberty - an article that will make you laugh out loud

Hormones

Remember how you acted as a teen because of all the ragey, angry, emotion inducing hormones? You probably encountered them again during pregnancy but there is something about the postpartum hormones that really get you. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep added? Whatever the case, be prepared to feel the emotions. All of them. Joy from finally being able to hold those sweet baby hands. Tears because those sweet baby hands are SO SMALL. How can something be sooo small?!? Anger because those sweet baby hands have grown 3cm since last week. ITS ALL GOING TOO FAST. Irrational, hormone filled, sleep deprived, crazy lady hormones.

The fix? Don’t fight the emotions. Cry it out. Be a little crazy. My dr gave me a deadline of crazy though… 14 days. I’m not going to tell her that wasn’t long enough. I’m just going to pretend to have my sh*t together next week at my 6 week exam. Also locking yourself In a closet and or bathroom for a brief period of time. Also, wine.

Postpartum Puberty - an article that will make you laugh out loud

{Photo of Ashley via 4th trimester bodies project }

Body changes

When you go through puberty you have a lot of physical changes in your body. You’re getting boobs. And your hips are starting to not lie. (Once, in high school, a girl said ‘boys only like her because she grew boobs over night.’ High school is fun. Kids are nice.)You may need a whole new wardrobe. And discovering how to dress this new body and these new curves isn’t always easy. Fast forward to life after labor. Your boobs have been familiar friends for years now. You’ve been though a lot. You’ve learned how to properly bra them. And now they have filled with milk and expanded about 50 sizes and they may be a lot closer to your belly button then they once were. And you’ve got to figure out how to deal with these new boobs all over again. You may or may not lose your baby weight right away, but whatever the case your body will be totally shifted. You’ll be softer in some places. Things will be lower. You’ll have marks to constantly remind you of the little life you just grew. It’s hard. And now you have to re learn how to dress your body. What looks good on your new curves. How to best wear a shirt without looking like a porn star. (You can literally see the cleavage through my turtlenecks) answering the age old question ‘ARE yoga pants, pants?’ (Yes. The answer is yes.)

The fix? Just remind yourself constantly that this body grew and sustained a tiny life for 9 months (it’s 10 months people TEN! Why are people always trying to short us credit?) and you are so thankful for what it has done for you. Be kind and patient with it. Things will get easier. And when that doesn’t work lock yourself back in the bathroom and cry it out over a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. Just kidding. (A little bit) Also, wine.

Being a woman is hard. At any age. But what we are capable of, what our bodies are capable of, it’s pretty amazing. Not always glamorous, but amazing none the less. So while you’re cursing the universe for the pimples on your butt, or the unexplained need to eat a gallon of chocolate ice cream while crying over your baby’s crib as she sleeps because you just can’t deal with the perfect, remember that this too shall pass. And you may not ever have the pre baby body again, but you’ll grow to love the one you have. And you’ll forever thank it for giving you the best gift you could ever ask for.  

And also, wine.

IMG_2747Hi guys! I’m Ashley. I’m a 27 year old mom of three. I have a degree in fashion design and merchandising but right now my biggest job is raising my tiny humans and making sure they turn out to be decent, not so tiny, humans. It’s not as easy as it sounds. When I’m not changing dirty diapers you can find me perusing Instagram or painting for my little shop, Chartreuse Daydreams (shameless plug) I love Buffy, Dancing with the Stars, and the smell of Barnes and Nobles when they are attached to a Starbucks. Can we please get Yankee to turn that into a candle already?? I used to blog and then life started getting in the way so I’m very happy to have a little space here to fill the void. Thanks for having me!

Other great resources for moms:

GENERAL // Things I Wish I Knew Before Our Baby Arrived (Written by over 50 other mothers!) //  What to Bring a Mom after she has a Baby // New Mama Must-Haves // How to Transition from a Bottle to a Sippy Cup // Why you Should Hire a Birth Photographer // What I’ve Learned as a Mom Thus Far

BREASTFEEDING // Best Foods to Eat while Breastfeeding // Nursing Essentials // 10 Tips for those that Plan to Breastfeed // Nursing Essentials II // How to Increase your Milk Supply including a recipe for Lactation Cookies!

BABY REGISTRY GUIDES // Baby Registry List AND Free Printable Checklist  // The Ultimate Baby Registry Checklist //

FOR AFTER BABY // A Letter to My Postpartum Body // 10 of the Best Online Kids Shops // 30 Going on 13: A Tale of Postpartum Puberty //

& don’t forget to join in on the #latenightnursingfeed!

9 Comments

  1. January 13, 2016 / 1:21 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing! After having my first child this all rings true. It took me almost a year to get back to my pre baby weight and my body has changed as well.

  2. January 13, 2016 / 6:06 pm

    oh my gosh, thank you for this. I’m crying. Laughing/crying. So much truth!

  3. January 14, 2016 / 1:53 pm

    Things change so drastically with a new little one!

  4. January 14, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    If there is ever a time when you feel like you have no control over your body it is definitely after having a baby! Great article. Thanks for sharing

  5. January 15, 2016 / 10:06 pm

    I had 5 babies in 7 years, and I could count on one hand how many times I had a period during that time! I was so happy to be done being pregnant, I didn’t even think about it… until I had to. Not a feminine product to be found in my whole house! ha! Thanks for sharing, can totally relate!

  6. Cassie
    January 16, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    Thank you for this! My second is 4 weeks old and this time things are harder. It seems there is less magic and more reality/exhaustion. I LOVE my kids like no other, but this whole thing is not for the weak of heart.

  7. January 17, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    My wife said this is the truest thing she has ever read. She had a period of the worst post partum shedding, she constantly said that she felt like she was going to be bald.

  8. Shari
    October 17, 2017 / 7:17 am

    Totally just trying to pick a fight 😜 40 weeks of pregnancy is only 9 months and 1 week…and you’re not even pregnant for nearly the first two weeks. So no, definitely not 10 months.
    Sincerely,
    The mom who was pregnant for 42 weeks

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