Your third (or beyond!) pregnancy can impact your body in surprising ways. Real moms share their experiences so you can love your own postpartum body.
It's possible to keep your body, but not your sleep
"I have had six children vaginally, and thanks to my kegels, I can still hold in my pee, even when I jump. Overall, I have emerged like a phoenix from the flames. With the exception of dark under eye bags that won't quit."
—Jordana Horn Gordon
Grab a diaper, because babies put a lot of pressure on your bladder
"Three kids and I pee my pants every single time I get on the treadmill. But now I get less weird looks with wet pants than I did when I was running 8 months pregnant!"
— Erin Howard, a mom of three and founder of Goodbody Goodmommy
Sometimes the baby weight comes back
"The third time I lost a bunch of weight immediately but gained it back. That definitely didn't happen for the other two—it stayed off."
—Megan Zeitz, mom to three boys
The C-Sections actually get easier
"I've had four kids in four years including twins, and 3 C-Sections. I can only say it takes a lot more each time to get back in shape. That being said, after the third section, I was back on my feet faster than ever. I notice that my kangaroo pouch belly is a little harder to tame this time, though."
—Felissa Benjamin Allard
The veins sprout up like wild weeds
"I remember the first pregnancy and the surprise when I saw the first of the little blue veins, which reappeared more pronounced the second time around. The third time was when it all changed, and that initial small vein from my first pregnancy had grown into multiple, achy and unattractive blue-green veins running up and down both legs. The bulging veins had even distorted the look and color of my skin—but the most startling difference was that they didn't subside after giving birth, as had happened the previous two times."
—Tammy Mark, mom of three
Sometimes there's a body reset
"The crazy part about kid four was that it was eight years after kid three, and basically my body reset so all the pregnancy aches and pains were new to me. The post-baby snap back wasn't so bad, but my booty and thighs were larger than life."
—Tamika Frye, mom of four
Your boob growth could be permanent
"I have six kids ranging from four months to 13 years old, and each pregnancy was different. I was an A-cup before I got pregnant with my first and I couldn't breastfeed with any of them, but I still ended up with a D-cup and they haven't gone away!"
Or sometimes boobs just vanish after multiple pregnancies and children
"I was a 36C my entire life, but I now rock a AA-cup. That was not in What to Expect When You're Expecting."
—Kim-Marie Evans, mom of four
Births can get easier with each additional kid
"I've had nine healthy babies birthed naturally and nursed all. My body has grown and changed so many times, and so has my outlook on life. My heart is so full! I found the pregnancies didn't get progressively harder, and some later ones were much easier. It definitely did a number on my teeth, though, and my feet got bigger."
—Grunie Lipskar Uminer
The shoe drama is real
"I have five kids but I went up a full shoe size right after my first kid was born, and haven't gone down in 13 years."
Nobody tells you that your stomach muscles may separate—permanently
"I had diastais recti, [a pregnancy condition known for separating a woman's abdominal muscles and leaving the well-known mom-pouch look]. The space closed up a lot but I still have belly fat, and I am not the size I was when I got married."
Your posture can shift
"After the third time carrying a forty pound load for months at a time, I noticed my posture was different. I was roughly the same weight as before babies, but my newfound slouch make me look more tired and at least five to ten pounds heavier. I had to work at my posture for literally years after my last child was born to go back to normal."
Sometimes your skin can actually improve
"I always had acne in high school and college, and then I got married and pregnant with my first child in my mid twenties. The acne persisted through that first pregnancy, but was somewhat better after my second baby. By the third kid, my skin was almost entirely clear, and now I just get occasional breakouts around my period. I like to think of my youngest, the fourth child, as the world's most potent zit zapper."