5 Things About Your Body that Pregnancy May Change – Forever
I loved being pregnant. Don't get me wrong, I hated parts – morning sickness, I'm looking at you! – but overall it was a great experience for me, and one that had me feeling better and more comfortable in my own skin than I had been since I was the baby myself.
Of course, eventually, pregnancy was over. And once your body has gone there some things may never quite go back.
Today we're talking the things about your body that pregnancy might change – forever.
This one is, admittedly, obvious. Since your uterus hangs out right there below your belly button, you have to figure that area is going to be home to some of the most drastic changes during pregnancy. If you're lucky, you will deliver a bundle of joy and see your belly shrink back to something that may be slightly softer, but closely resembles the stomach you once knew. Or you may be one of the ones who finds that extra skin, much of it marked with the lightning bolt reminders of stretch marks, takes up space where you used to be able to button your jeans.
Despite what some fitness buffs and a few of your friends may tell you, not all of this is within your control. You should definitely make the effort to stay healthy and regain confidence after pregnancy. However, you can bathe in cocoa butter and spend your non-breastfeeding hours in the gym, but some of those changes may be here to stay. No matter what it looks like, that belly has been home to something beautiful, so try to remember that fact.
Pregnancy swelling has reduced many a mom-to-be to hiding an extra pair of slippers or flip flops in her bag for emergency comfort measures. The extra weight – both baby and water – that pregnancy brings can make your feed spread and swell, and sometimes they don't quite make it back to the pre-baby shape. I may or may not have winced in pain as I donated some gorgeous shoes that were sitting in my closet, mocking my post-pregnancy size 7 feet with their size 6 1/2 labels.
Your bra size.
Breasts tend to grow during pregnancy – and after, depending on how breast milk production affects your body. And then, the hormones disappear, the baby stops nursing (or doesn't nurse) and the boobs tend to, well, sink. (Just so you know, this happens whether or not you breastfeed!) Some women find their breasts remain larger after pregnancy, some find that they lose a bit of their previous size. Couple that with the fact that pregnancy can lead to your ribs spreading to accommodate the shift in your internal organs, and your bra size – both band and cup – can change for good.
We've all heard talk about pregnancy brain and know that the exhaustion and stress of pregnancy and parenthood can have an effect on our daily ability to think, but there's more to it than that. During a fascinating study, researchers analyzed the brains of deceased women and found traces of their children's DNA there – even in a 99-year-old woman! Scientific proof that our children will always be on our minds!
Pregnancy is a joyful time, and it can be especially challenging when complications arise. But some of these complications and be used to help prevent future issues. Women who face pre-eclampsia during pregnancy are more likely to have heart problems or a stroke in the future. “The current thinking is that pre-eclampsia does not itself increase the risk of heart disease. Rather, it seems to unmask a woman's propensity for heart problems.” How is this good news? Being aware of the risk factors (and completing screenings for cholesterol levels, blood sugar and blood pressure) can help you to stay healthy – for yourself and your little one.
And of course there are the changes to your heart that can't be seen in a doctor's office test. Having a baby changes you – in ways you never imagined and didn't intend – but in the end the change is for the good.
Which of these changes happened for you?Read More