When you have your first baby, your life changes drastically. Everything suddenly revolves around the new little life you created. Your home baby-proofed, your sleep schedule adjusted, and your future changed. However, what many people do not often talk about is how your body changes. Many women may end up being taken by surprise by these changes and some may even feel upset. This can lead to a decrease in a new mother’s self-confidence or even her self-worth. Knowing about these changes before you become pregnant, can help you prepare emotionally and even physically for them. Here are some things you should know about how your body may change during and after pregnancy.
Thicker air – Due to the increase in hormones, your hair may stop falling out as much as it used to before you were pregnant. If this is the case, your hair may become thicker than ever. Nothing to complain about here!
No period – Another fun surprise is no more periods until after you either give birth or stop breastfeeding.
Swelling – The majority of women may experience swelling when they are pregnant. This swelling can occur in the face, hands, feet, and neck. This leads to many women not being able to wear their wedding rings or other jewelry while they are pregnant. Many women also struggle to get shoes and socks on from either swelling or not being able to reach their feet.
Foot size – Along with swelling, many women may also grow half a shoe size when they become pregnant! This is a great reminder to make sure you do not purchase any cute new shoes until after your baby arrives.
Varicose veins – Almost half of all women develop varicose veins while they are pregnant. They usually appear in the calves and thighs and are a result of dilated blood vessels due to your weight gained. Heredity and genetics also play a role in whether you will develop them. If your mother has them, you most likely will as well.
Stretch marks – Genetics and weight gain also play a role in whether you will develop stretch marks. Women who gain weight quickly and who have poor skin elasticity have a higher chance of getting them. Daily exercise and a healthy diet may give you a better chance of avoiding them. There are creams to apply to help reduce their appearance, but they do not go away.
Hair loss – The thick hair you grew while pregnant, unfortunately, does not last forever. After giving birth, you may notice a lot of hair loss. This is nothing to be too concerned about unless it lasts longer than 6 months to a year.
Saggy stomach – This is one of the changes women struggle with the most. After the stomach stretches out, it can leave your stomach with a deflated and saggy look due to a lack of elasticity. However, it is important to remember that you are not the only one and it does not affect your self-worth in any way. If it is something you would like to avoid, it is suggested that you begin your pregnancy at a healthy weight. Daily cardio and muscle strengthening, a healthy diet, lots of water, and other creams and oils have been effective for many women as well.
Abdominal scar – If you need to have a cesarean section during delivery, be aware that you will also have an abdominal scar afterward.
There is a lot more to know about how your body may change during and after pregnancy. With all these changes, you may feel nervous about having a baby. Staying healthy and exercising daily gives your body its best chance at bouncing back after giving birth. However, this may not be a priority for all women. What matters most is that you both you and your baby are healthy and happy.