How Pregnancy Permanently Changes Your Body

Pregnancy changes your body while your bun is cooking in the oven, but it also has permanent changes postpartum, too. Here are a few of the most common changes that can happen!

  1. Shoe-a-holic – You may think that your shoe size will stay the same forever, but that can go out the window with pregnancy. Due to weight gain, shoe size can grow about ½ a shoe size. A hormone called relaxin can also cause this, as it helps relax ligaments, thus make your feet spread out. But hey, this just gives you an excuse to expand your shoe collection!
  2. Chimera – The body is filled with cells from the growing baby (referred to as Chimera) Did you know not all of these cells leave the body with the baby? Studies show these cells can remain in the mother’s body for the rest of her life. Crazy right?! Whether or not these cells have positive or negative effect is still unknown, but researchers are working hard to get to the bottom of this phenomena.
  3. Hips don’t lie– They just increase in size. Now, obviously giving birth is going to change things down there. Though things mostly go back to normal, most women will permanently have a wider vagina. Whether how much changes depends on type of delivery, size of baby and genetic factors. A woman’s uterus and hips may also increase in size!
  4. Wee wee wee, all the way home, literally. This permanent change doesn’t happen to everyone, but you’ll know if it happens to you. Vaginal delivery can weaken the muscles needed for bladder control, damaging nerves and supportive tissues. This can lead to a dropped pelvic floor and increase risk of Not to worry, kegel exercises can re-strengthen those muscles!
  5. Show me your teeth– According to a study in 2008, the more children women had the more likely they were to lose teeth. Other dental issues experienced are enlarged gums and higher bleeding due to increased blood flow. Hormonal changes can also affect your mouths microbiome, so it’s important to have good hygiene and get your teeth cleaned regularly during pregnancy and beyond!
  6. Varicose Veins are not scared to make themselves loud and proud. These veins are swollen blue veins that typically fall on the legs. They occur due to increased blow flow and weakening blood vessels that occur during pregnancy. Your blood also flows less from your legs as your pelvis decreases. After all, you are pumping enough blood for two! Typically, they go away 6-12 postpartum, but for others they remain much longer.
  7. Abdominal separation – It’s probably the most permanent change on this list. The medical term is Diastasis Recti and it’s pretty common, too. Women experience this separation to make room for their growing belly. Some women will retain separation on their own, but there are also things you can actively do to help things come back together, too!
  8. Momma bear– Chemically speaking, momma bear mode is a real thing. After birth, a woman’s neuronal network has shifts into a more protective mode focused on parenting and nurturing. In turn, feelings of sexiness, intimacy-seeking and sex drive reduce. This is because women experience low levels of estrogen immediately after childbirth and during breastfeeding.
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