Many women expect that their bodies will immediately bounce back after giving birth, particularly if they didn’t pack on too many pounds while eating for two.
Yet, even if she makes postpartum diet and exercise a priority, it can take a while for a new mum’s belly to return to normal size, which can lead to feelings of failure and inadequacy.
However, it takes most women six to eight weeks for their stomach to shrink back down to normal size after giving birth, reports Hello Giggles.
That’s because not only does her tummy grow during pregnancy, but her uterus expands as well.
A woman’s uterus has to make room for the growing baby, and so it enlarges over the pubic bone, and pushes out the abdomen during pregnancy, according to the Daily Mail. As a result, women can look up to six months pregnant after giving birth.
Of course, each woman’s body is unique, but in general, the uterus is slow to deflate after pregnancy.
Certain factors — including the woman’s age, the size of the baby, the method of delivery and her weight before getting pregnant — can affect how long it takes her bump to shrink, as well. Breastfeeding can also help the uterus contract.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.