Pregnancy is a beautiful phase of a woman’s life. She experiences many physical and emotional transformations of her life during pregnancy. Your body is magically getting prepared to welcome a whole new human to the world and carry it inside for 9 months. There are many changes that you encounter in these 9 months. Some of them are temporary and go away after some time of the birth, whereas some body changes after pregnancy you get to keep for almost your entire life. This amazing motherhood isn’t a bed of roses, after all.
It’s not only the pregnancy when your body undergoes unusual changes, but many transformations are also happening in your body right after the birth too. This process goes on for a while after you have given birth. Even though the baby is out of your belly, you may never get back to the complete version of yourself with these post-pregnancy changes.
Here are some changes from pregnancy that may stay with you forever.
Do you remember how your body started shaping differently to accommodate another human inside of you? This shape change comes with weight gain. Gaining some extra pounds is normal for a pregnant woman, but if you have not been working out during your pregnancy, you might get to keep the changes in the body after delivery. Yes, for most women, some extra pounds remain with them even after the pregnancy is over.
You may lose much of this weight with regular exercise and workouts but on an average 2.5 to 3 kgs of this weight hangs on to your body. Most women don’t shed this weight and stay heavier than they were before the pregnancy.
You might have seen many women complaining about the need to go and buy new shoes after pregnancy. Of Course, those extra pounds in your body cause changes in your shoe size. But most women remain oblivious to the fact that this change has become their permanent shoe size now. Nobody ever tells you that your feet aren’t going back to their original size even after giving birth.
Studies show that the cause of change in shoe size happens to be the extra weight that you carry around in your belly. This extra weight exerts pressure on the feet causing them to flatten. Also, the hormones that are produced during pregnancy cause ligaments and muscles to loosen up. All of these work together to flatten the feet and decrease the height of your foot arch. Hence, the bigger feet need you to buy a new pair of shoes.
The spin-offs of hormonal changes after pregnancy do not end there. From about the 16th week of your pregnancy, your body starts preparing your breasts for milk production. Your breasts grow and become tender because of bigger milk-producing cells. The color of the areola darkens as you proceed into later months of pregnancy and the nipples become larger. The way your body changes after pregnancy will surely leave you awestruck.
These bigger breasts last only till the time you are breastfeeding. Once you stop breastfeeding, the breasts begin to lose this surge. In no time, your breasts shrink and still, these are not the same as they were before the pregnancy. Majorly because, the fat tissues that support the breast, is changed with a functional tissue, but after breastfeeding the fat tissues don’t come back.
You can’t stop noticing how much your body changes after giving birth to the baby. The ligaments that lift and support the breast, soften and stretch during pregnancy. This change lingers even after you stop breastfeeding. You should find the best-fitted bra while your breasts are heavy with milk produced during pregnancy to reduce the chances of breast sagging.
Mostly breastfeeding is to be blamed for the sagging. But contrary to this general assumption, breast sagging happens during pregnancy and breastfeeding doesn’t increase it further. However, after pregnancy and breastfeeding, your body goes back to its normal self. This process varies from woman to woman. In cases where the tissues shrink after the breastfeeding phase but the skin doesn’t tighten up, the breasts may look sagged.
While your body prepares for the delivery, It’s evident that your vagina will have to dilate and widen up to let the baby out through it. When your body starts retracting to its pre-pregnancy state, your vagina also starts contracting. But you may still find your vagina wider than it was before pregnancy. And for most women, it does not go back to its normal condition and one of the inexorable post-pregnancy changes.
Sometimes during delivery, the skin between your vagina and anus tears up or the doctor may cut it to make space for the baby. This slit should heal over time causing you discomfort for a longer duration. You should do some important exercises to help you heal vaginal discomfort faster.
Here comes one of the most stubborn post pregnancy changes– Stretch marks! During pregnancy, your body surprisingly grows too fast and later, it reverts to its original size. When your belly or breasts grow to accommodate the baby and changes related to this little miracle, your skin can’t match these sudden changes. It causes the tissues to break and therefore, stretch marks appear. These red or pink marks mostly appear on belly and breasts because these two organs grow fastest. Your tummy may feel stretched and itchy at the beginning. Later these pink or red lines fade into whiter lines.
The good news is that these stretch marks become lighter over time. But, they do not completely disappear and you get to accept your body with the presence of these marks.
Even though you may have regular periods before pregnancy. You are well aware that the menstruation will stop while you are pregnant, you may not know that you will not be bleeding down there for many months while you are breastfeeding. Once you stop breastfeeding, your periods will start again. Sure enough, it will not be the same as it was before your pregnancy. Hormonal changes after pregnancy may cause them to be shorter or longer than before. You may also experience irregular menstruation or changes in your monthly cycle post pregnancy.
Along with many temporary changes you are surely going to face these longer or permanent body changes after giving birth. Nevertheless, every change and every trouble is worth the little angel in your arms. Becoming a mom instils patience in you making you more tolerant and affectionate. Changes in the body after delivery become more bearable with all the feelings of motherhood that you carry. Remember that, God chooses a woman to be a mother because only she is able to go through all the pain and still love her child unconditionally.