My 1 Week Postpartum Belly Update (With Pictures)

My 1 Week Postpartum Belly Picture

Britany holding up sign at 1 week postpartum

Pre-pregnancy Weight: 123 lbs

Weight at Delivery: 143 lbs (20 lb total weight gain)

Current Weight: 126 lbs

Now let’s go over how my week went and what to expect…

Disclaimer

***READ FIRST***

Although I am a doctor, I am not your doctor. This information is for informational purposes only and should not substitute the advice from your healthcare professional. All kinds of exercise and dietary changes are potentially dangerous, and those who do not seek counsel from the appropriate health care authority assume the liability of any injury which may occur. Please read my full Disclaimer for more information. Also, this post may contain affiliate links: meaning I may receive a commission if you use them.

Ok, moving on.



Energy Level: My energy level started high as my delivery day approached.

I was so happy to hold my son in my arms finally!

However, after a few nights of getting only 3-4 hours of sleep with no naps during the day, my energy level began to decline.

You need to nap when your baby naps!

A newborn’s schedule is so unpredictable, you will never know what the night will bring. I know these first weeks will be the toughest with sleep deprivation.

My Emotions: This week, I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions.

I have experienced anxiety, extreme joy, a high level of protectiveness, frustration, pride, worry, concern over my postpartum body, and gratitude. But most importantly, I now have a new kind of love that I never knew existed.

Postpartum Symptoms: I felt a lot of uterine contractions/cramping, especially when breastfeeding, which is common. Cramping is your body’s natural mechanism for preventing postpartum hemorrhage.

In addition to the cramping, I also experienced a lot of pelvic and rectal pressure and some urinary incontinence.

Thankfully, the urine leakage subsided a few days later, and I could regain control of my pelvic floor. Kegel exercises have also helped!

The lochia, or vaginal bleeding, was moderate immediately postpartum and the following 1-2 days, requiring a large pad to be changed throughout the day; however, it has now decreased to needing just a panty liner.

Lastly, I have experienced an increase in my hunger levels, and I am constantly hungry. Breastfeeding and pumping burn many calories, so it is essential to have healthy snacks around you.

Physical Changes: I noticed my bump went down quickly whereas my breasts have increased in size rapidly.

I was also shocked to see a small linea nigra appear, which I didn’t seem to have pre-delivery.

I don’t have any stretch marks or loose skin, which I attribute to keeping my pregnancy weight gain in a healthy range.

Also, my belly button is back to normal :).

Diet: My diet has not changed much other than me increasing the number of times I eat.

I continue to eat a balanced diet that includes oatmeal for breakfast (which is great for breastfeeding) with a bunch of seeds and berries.

My lunch is usually some type of legume, whole grain, and plant-based protein, and my dinner is similar.

Lastly, I have several snacks throughout the day.

Check out my healthy diet for postpartum women here.

Diet Modifications: Being an exclusively breastfeeding mom, I make sure to include items that may increase breast milk production. These include:

  • Oats
  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Chia/hemp/flax seeds
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Water

Workouts: I started week 1 of the Postpartum Fitness Prescription, which focuses on rebuilding the core and pelvic floor in the first few weeks.

I like these workouts because they are quick and efficient, which is perfect for a breastfeeding mom during the newborn period.

Before working out I make sure to:

  1. massage my breasts to start the flow of milk using this awesome device that applies both vibration and heat
  2. empty my breasts using this hands free manual pump while breastfeeding my baby on the opposite breast, or this portable hands free wireless pump when I want to multitask before my workout 🙂
  3. wear a supportive nursing bra like this one
  4. put on these breast shells to collect any milk that happens to leak during my workout.

If you want to see examples of the types of workouts I am doing during my postpartum journey, check out my Postpartum Fitness Prescription video course.

The Postpartum Fitness Prescription

*Be sure to speak with your health care provider before doing any physical activity or lifting at this stage of your postpartum journey.*

Other related questions

How much weight do you lose immediately after giving birth?

On average, most women lose around 13 lbs immediately after giving birth, which includes the baby, the placenta, and the amniotic fluid.

I lost 10 lbs the day after giving birth.

Contrary to popular belief, you shed baby weight fast.

The remainder of the weight comes from the extra fluid circulating in your body.

How long does it take for your postpartum belly to go away?

On average, it can take 6 weeks for your postpartum belly to go away as this is the time frame the uterus takes to contract down to its pre-pregnancy size.

With that said, other factors will also play a role in how your post-pregnancy belly will look, such as:

Why do I still look pregnant a week after giving birth?

You still look pregnant a week after birth because your uterus is still quite large.

Remember, it took your uterus 40 weeks to grow and support your baby, and your uterus was the size of a watermelon one week ago!

Give your body some grace and appreciate just how much it has done for you.

Where is your uterus 1 week postpartum?

The top of your uterus will be at or around the level of your belly button at 1 week postpartum.

The uterus shrinks to about half its size one week postpartum.

Here is a picture of my post-baby bump at 1 week.

Britany holding up sign at 1 week postpartum

How long does it take for the uterus to shrink after birth?

It takes approximately 6 weeks for your uterus to shrink down to normal size after giving birth.

The uterus weighs about 1000 grams immediately postpartum. One week later, it weighs ~500 grams, and six weeks postpartum it weighs ~50 grams.

Breastfeeding may help decrease the size faster.

Can I wrap my stomach after birth?

Yes, you can wrap your stomach after giving birth.

I recommend you use an abdominal binder which may be given to you in the postpartum unit.

These binders help provide support and can make walking more comfortable after delivery.

Make sure the binder is comfortable for you. It should provide gentle compression and not be too tight.

Click here if you’d like to learn more about waist training after birth or binding your belly after C- section.

Here is a photo of me with my hospital-grade abdominal binder / postpartum belly wrap.

brittany one week postpartum wearing belly binder

Does the mom pooch ever go away?

Unfortunately, the mom pooch will not go away on its own.

To get rid of the mommy pooch you will need to:

  1. Decrease your body fat percentage, and
  2. Perform exercises to strengthen your core

I go over several ways you can do this in The Mommy Pooch: What Is It and How New Moms Can Get Rid of It

Does breastfeeding help with weight loss?

Breastfeeding can help with weight loss if you plan accordingly. That’s because breastfeeding burns approximately 300-500 calories per day.

With that said, it is important to make sure that you are eating some extra calories to help keep your energy levels and milk supply healthy!

I cover breastfeeding and weight loss in more detail here.

Safe postpartum belly exercises you can do 1 week after delivery

Believe it or not, you can begin exercising just a few days after delivery if you had an uncomplicated and healthy delivery.

However, make sure that you receive clearance from your provider before doing any exercise program.

Here is a list of safe belly exercises you could do immediately postpartum:

  • Posterior pelvic tilts
  • Deep diaphragmatic breathing, and
  • Cat to Cow

I cover how to train your abdominal muscles in a lot more detail in my post on exercising before 6 weeks postpartum.

Training the core muscles is important for postpartum women, as the stomach muscles are weak and stretched out from the pregnancy.

A weak core also predisposes you to lower back pain postpartum.

If you also have diastasis recti, (a separation of the ab muscles due to a weakening of the connective tissue holding them together), you can check out my 100 Exercises to Rebuild Your Core Strength & Heal Your Abdominal Separation.

It also teaches you how to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles as well!

Anything else I should know?

Postpartum or baby blues is a common condition that many women experience. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone if you are not feeling yourself.

Also, postpartum depression is a real and serious condition that requires urgent evaluation.

Final words on Postpartum Week 1

That wraps up my first postpartum week!

It has flown by, and I am so happy to have finally met my beautiful son.

How did your first-week postpartum go?

How is your new baby?

Comment below and let me know!

And check back in to follow my postpartum belly week-by-week updates!

Did You Have A C-Section? Check Out These Posts:


Get Four Free Workouts To Help Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor & Heal Your Mommy Tummy!


brittany-robles

Brittany N Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN, a NASM certified personal trainer, and health & fitness, expert. She holds a Masters of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.



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References:

  1. Chauhan G, Tadi P. Physiology, Postpartum Changes. [Updated 2021 Nov 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555904/
  2. Negishi H, Kishida T, Yamada H, Hirayama E, Mikuni M, Fujimoto S. Changes in uterine size after vaginal delivery and cesarean section determined by vaginal sonography in the puerperium. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 1999 Nov;263(1-2):13-6. doi: 10.1007/s004040050253. PMID: 10728621.