Chrissy Teigen Just Spoke Out About Having to Wear Diapers After Giving Birth

Chrissy Teigen Just Spoke Out About Having to Wear Diapers After Giving Birth
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Motherhood certainly hasn't stopped model and professional straight-shooter Chrissy Teigen from telling it like it is on Twitter. Since giving birth to her first child last week, Teigen has started sharing bits and pieces of her life as a new parent, posting photos of her daughter, making jokes about her husband and, as is her way, dropping truth bombs about issues we don't talk about enough. 

In one masterful tweet on Wednesday, the new mother brought up a little-known reality many women face after giving birth: postpartum bleeding and incontinence

Surprised? Apparently, so was Teigen. 

Pregnancy causes all sorts of bodily changes, and they don't end with childbirth. For up to a month-and-a-half postpartum, new mothers typically experience heavy vaginal bleeding and discharge, known as lochia. They might also experience pelvic floor weakness and related bladder issues, which aren't exactly the most alluring conversation topics — but they're real experiences for many women after childbirth. 

In fact, one U.K. survey of 1,900 new mothers found that nearly half experienced postpartum incontinence in some form. That's in part because the abdominal weight women gain during pregnancy can weaken the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, giving them less control over their bladders. The issue isn't discussed as frequently as postpartum bleeding, which (if Teigen's tweet is any indication) isn't talked about much either. According to Tania Boler, founder and CEO of Chiaro, we should be talking more about both experiences, particularly the one that's more preventable. 

"During pregnancy, there is three times the normal pressure on your pelvic floor muscles, and combined with the increase in the relaxin hormone, your pelvic floor will naturally become stretched," Tania Boler, the creator of the Elvie, a device to help women tone their pelvic floor muscles, said in an email interview with Mic. "Many women think that if they have a Caesarian that their pelvic floor muscles will be spared, but this really isn't the case. ... It's shocking how little education pregnant women are given about how to look after their pelvic floor." 

Teigen certainly isn't alone in needing a postpartum diaper or pad. But she's also not the only celebrity mom to be blindsided by the fact that she might have the heaviest period of her life or inadvertently pee herself for a bit after having a baby. In fact, according to a 2015 blog post, Teigen's buddy Kim Kardashian West didn't expect to need diapers after giving birth either. "No one told me that! #SoSexy," she wrote. 

There might not be a great way to avoid lochia besides not having a baby, but fortunately, postpartum incontinence can be rectified with Kegels and bladder training, according to the American College of Physicians. But many new mo ms aren't taught what to expect from childbirth, thus making them unprepared to deal with these issues. 

"Women aren't given simple information about what they need to do [after giving birth]," Boler said. "In the U.S., new moms are often so focused on their babies that they don't think about themselves." 

Too often, new mothers don't have space to talk about the host of physical and emotional struggles they might face after having a baby, from obstetric trauma to postpartum depressionlack of sexual desire to trouble breastfeeding. The fact that even privileged women like Teigen have no idea what to expect post-childbirth speaks volumes about the state of maternal health and education in the United States. Thank heavens she's on Twitter to show us the way. 

Apr. 26, 2016, 1:41 p.m.: This story has been updated.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Jenny Kutner

Jenny Kutner is a senior reporter at Mic, covering feminism, reproductive justice and sexual violence. She is a native Texan based in New York. Send tips or friendly messages to jenny@mic.com.

MORE FROM

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.

Black women warned us about R Kelly's behavior for years. Was nobody listening?

Black women and girls have been telling people for years about the singer's behavior. And yet too few people have deigned to listen.

Tabloids tried to shame newly crowned Dr. Who with professional nudes

A number of UK tabloids ran nude stills of Jodie Whittaker after she was announced as the first-ever woman to play Dr. Who.

New study suggests high workloads and aging doctor population means looming OB-GYN shortage

Obstetricians and gynecologists are overworked at nearing retirement age — without a younger contingent to replace them.

Why pro-life doctors want the First Amendment to protect their right to lie to patients

Crisis pregnancy centers believe they should be exempt from a law saying they should inform patients about all their medical options, including abortions.

‘Brown Girls’ wants to tell women of color’s stories in all their messy, complicated glory

Creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Bailey want to let their characters break free of the neat identity categories people are wont to place them in.

One woman living in R Kelly’s alleged “sex cult” says everything is fine. That doesn’t mean it is.

Jocelyn Savage says she's "happy" and "totally fine" in her arrangement with R. Kelly. Experts say that's common behavior among abuse survivors.

Black women warned us about R Kelly's behavior for years. Was nobody listening?

Black women and girls have been telling people for years about the singer's behavior. And yet too few people have deigned to listen.

Tabloids tried to shame newly crowned Dr. Who with professional nudes

A number of UK tabloids ran nude stills of Jodie Whittaker after she was announced as the first-ever woman to play Dr. Who.