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Is it normal to be more swollen after giving birth?

Usually, yes. The idea that all your pregnancy-related swelling goes away immediately after delivery is somewhat of a myth.

Many women experience some kind of swelling toward the end of their pregnancy, whether it be in their feet, legs, hands, or face. While most of the time this is completely normal, it can still be an annoying side effect to have to deal with.

Many women are told their swelling will go down right after giving birth, and while this is true for some, it is not always a guarantee. Women who have long labors, receive a lot of IV fluids (such as if you’ve had a C-section or needed a long induction), or had medical complications such as preeclampsia may find themselves even more swollen on the first or second postpartum day! Don’t worry, this will get better over a few days as your body gets rid of the extra fluid by filtering it through your kidneys (which means lots of extra trips to the bathroom!). Not all swelling is created equal, though, so be sure to check our guide here of what’s normal and what’s not.

Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, December 2018

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