7 Ways Your Body Changes During Pregnancy
As much as you’ll like your body to return to its normal shape after pregnancy, it could take you many more months before the after-effects of your pregnancy wear off. In some ways, your body will never return to its old self. It’s best for you to be mentally prepared for these changes as you will be in a better position to manage them.
Here are some ways your body will change:
- Your big belly doesn’t go away immediately
You may be under the impression that after you give birth your belly disappears, it doesn’t. In fact, while you’re carrying the baby, your belly may be big but it is still tight. Post-pregnancy, that tight, stretched out belly turns into soft, squishy flab, which isn’t flattering at all.
Generally, you’ll be advised by doctors to wait for at least 6 weeks before you can begin to workout but you should give your body some time to regain its strength. It’s important you give your body time to recover before you begin pushing it again to lose the weight.
However, if you don’t do any exercise at all, you’re taking the risk of keeping that excess weight and that morphed body for longer. So don’t prop your legs up and think you shouldn’t exercise at all. You should exercise but start off slowly.
Start off with low-intensity workouts, like a brisk walk or jog around the park. You can also engage in some light swimming just to begin toning your muscles and strengthening your joints as preparation for more intense exercise later on.
Once you feel that your body has fully recovered you can begin reshaping your body. To get that slimmer waist, you’re eventually going to have to do intense exercises that concentrate on your core and take up a strict diet that doesn’t add any more fat to your belly.
- Your bladder weakens
Many women face this issue during the pregnancy itself. If you thought you won’t need to visit the bathroom as often after childbirth, you’d be wrong.
Pregnancy and childbirth weaken your pelvic floor and also damage the nerves that control the bladder regardless of how you gave birth, causing you to run to bathroom more than you had to prior to pregnancy.
Though it may not have any physical repercussions, having to dash to the bathroom as often can be quite embarrassing.
To help your pelvic muscles regain their strength, try incorporating Kegel exercises into your daily schedule. Kegel exercises help with the tightening of your pelvic muscles enabling you to control urination.
- You could be left with a bigger shoe size
Remember how swollen your feet became and how you couldn’t slide them into your regular shoes? Well, there’s a chance that your feet never go back to their original size.
The swelling of the feet during pregnancy and immediately after childbirth occurs due to the fluids your body makes and retains during pregnancy.
It can take up to 6 months for your body to lose all that excess fluid but in some cases, you could be left with a shoe size that’s is two sizes bigger than your original size.
- You go down a cup size
It’s no surprise that you have a bigger bust while you’re pregnant but many women are under the impression that the bigger bust is there to stay (at least if your breastfeeding).This isn’t true.
After you stop breastfeeding, it’s highly likely that your breasts will be left sagging and even a cup smaller. In fact, the more babies you have, the saggier your breasts will become.
- Hair loss
When pregnant, most women will love their thicker, glossier hair. You’d wish that this change in your body remains post-pregnancy too but unfortunately, it doesn’t.
While you’re pregnant the rise in estrogen levels leads to thicker and shinier hair but after you give birth the estrogen levels drop…and so does your hair.
You can experience heavy shedding for up to 5 months after childbirth, sometimes even up to a year. The shedding of hair will take its time but it will definitely stop.
Hair loss after pregnancy is inevitable but it is temporary, so don’t fret.
- Dark spots on face due to melasma
It’s common for women, specifically those of darker skin tones to develop melasma during pregnancy. Melasma is the appearing of dark spots like freckles on your cheeks and on your forehead.
In some circumstances, the spots fade on their own but many new mothers must resort to applying topical creams to help reduce the appearance of the spots.
- Cold sweats
Like mentioned earlier, the body makes and retains fluids during the pregnancy. After you give birth, your body needs to find ways to release this excess of fluid and it does this through sweating.
Yes, like all the other changes weren’t enough of an inconvenience, you have to deal with an excessively sweaty version of yourself too.
Cold sweats are very common amongst women after pregnancies, to the point that they may have to get up and shower in the middle of the night.
We would all love for our bodies to return to their normal selves after pregnancy and many of us will be willing to work for it too but even after all the work, there are certain parts of your body that have transformed forever.