The true reward of pregnancy is a no-brainer – you finally get to meet your baby! But what about the hidden rewards of delivery? There are a host of surprises in store for the post-partum you – and we’re not talking the diaper variety.

Losing the Weight

Worried you’ll never fit into your favorite jeans again?

The first few days after the delivery are all about the water weight, according to Dr. Glade Curtis, author of the Your Pregnancy Week by Week series. “A lot of women comment that they’re going to the bathroom all the time in the days after they give birth,” he explains. “They realize they’re getting rid of all that water.”

Your bladder may get a workout as you pass the water weight, but it’s one organ that will be happy to say goodbye to the little person who’s been bouncing around on it for the past few months.

Breathing Room

That extra room in there is good for your lungs, too. Delivery relieves the pressure the enlarged uterus has been exerting on your diaphragm, and you’ll suddenly find breathing a whole lot easier.

Feel the Burn? Not Anymore

So you’ve had morning sickness, heartburn, and a roiling stomach at the scent of certain foods? Welcome back to eating!

“For a lot of people, heartburn and those sorts of things are gone very shortly,” Dr. Curtis explains. “For some it’s almost like it’s instantaneous!”

Rolling Over

Missed sleeping on your stomach or your back? After delivery, you’ll no longer have the weight of your baby belly to fight with for a good night’s sleep. Feel free to stretch out on your back – and you can finally roll on your tummy! (Moms who deliver via C-section will likely have to wait a few weeks.)

Best of All...

No matter how miserable – or wonderful – your pregnancy, women give birth every day in America to second, third, or even fourth children. “I think one of the most positive things is that people do start talking about getting pregnant again,” says Dr. Curtis. “They might have been the most vocal people about the misery they were going through, but with the positive experiences of birth and the miracle of their baby, all these negative things go away!”

AUTHOR BIO: Jeanne Sager is a freelance writer and mom from upstate New York. A frequent contributor to parenting magazines, she maintains a blog of her award-winning columns at InsideOutMotherhood.com and blogs for Burbia.com.