Understanding How Your Body Changes After Pregnancy

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Hello mom-to-be! What an exciting time it is for you as you plan for the arrival of your new family member. Throughout pregnancy, your body will change in ways you could have never imagined. While your body is so strong and powerful, you may notice new characteristics, aches and other ailments show up that you didn’t have prior to or even during pregnancy.

Not only will your body physically feel different after pregnancy, but your self-esteem may also see a shift due to postpartum depression. As women, our bodies are always changing, but they go through an accelerated amount of change during pregnancy. While some new moms are able to return to their pre-baby figure, it’s more common for the body to change and look much different from before. But don’t worry. From wearing plus size clothing to maintaining body hair, we are here to normalize postpartum minds and bodies, celebrate them and share some of the ways you can expect your body to change — whether you have just given birth or you are preparing for the next few months postpartum.


Postpartum Body Changes

Here are some of the many ways you can expect your body to change. All women are different, so you may experience only a few or all of these changes. We hope that by acknowledging these changes, we can help bring you a sense of peace in knowing that you aren’t the only woman experiencing these new changes.


You May Fluctuate Sizes

Because your body changes and adapts so rapidly to accommodate the growth of a baby, you may notice that you are wearing cute maternity clothes that range in sizes. After you give birth, your body may continue to remain the same size or fluctuate a bit. As you get to know your new curves, it may boost your confidence to start styling plus size women’s clothing into your wardrobe and routine. Having clothing that fits you perfectly during this time is critical in keeping your self-esteem in a positive place.


Body Aches Become Normal and Frequent

Throughout pregnancy, and especially during labor, your body will endure a lot of trauma. After you give birth, you may notice that you have more aches and pains now than ever. These aches and pains can continue for as long as a few years, which is why it’s important to incorporate a balanced diet that can help alleviate symptoms and movement like yoga or strength training into your daily routine .


Your Tummy May Feel Loose and Look Different

Our skin and bodies are incredible at healing themselves but, obviously, your stomach has been through a huge transformation and won’t just bounce back to its original shape. You can expect your tummy and muscles to feel loose or pronounced. If you find yourself feeling insecure or critical of your ever-evolving body, we recommend learning about the body positivity movement, which is one of the most empowering initiatives of our time. Body positivity is all about learning how to accept, embrace and love the body you have in this current moment. By following body-positive influencers, bloggers or celebrities you love on social media, you can expect to get a daily dose of positivity that helps you embrace your beautiful body!


Breasts Will Be Sensitive and Enlarged

After giving birth, it’s totally normal for your breasts to feel enlarged, swollen and sensitive, especially within two to three days after birth. Similarly to your body, your breasts’ appearance will change during breastfeeding and after. You may notice new stretch marks, a change in your nipples’ appearance, and that your breasts may sag after breastfeeding.

In navigating these breast changes, finding a comfortable and effective breast pump can be crucial for new mothers planning to breastfeed. Understanding the differences in breast pump technology and comfort can significantly impact your postpartum experience. A comprehensive comparison of leading breast pumps can provide valuable insights and help you make an informed decision tailored to your body’s needs and your baby’s feeding schedule.


Pronounced Appearance of Stretch Marks

Every woman has stretch marks, but you will probably notice that you have acquired a few more throughout your pregnancy. As your body adapts back to normal, you may notice that stretchmarks are becoming more pronounced. It’s important to remember to make sure your body is moisturized so that your changing skin can feel soft, nourished and comfortable.


Bowel Movements Will Be Inconsistent

You may notice in the days following childbirth that your bowel movements are inconsistent. This is completely normal, as it may take a few days for your body to regulate. Make sure you are staying hydrated and eating foods that are high in fiber.


Prepare for Some Hair Loss

After childbirth, your body’s estrogen levels will naturally dip, which can cause hair loss, along with the above skin issues. However, hair loss only happens to 10% of new moms.


You Will Experience Different Kinds of Discharge

After you give birth, it’s smart to wear heavy pads, or diapers even, as your body will expel discharge regularly. As your uterus returns to its normal size, you will see a lot of blood and other discharges leaving your body. Stick to pads and diapers because tampons can cause infections after you give birth.


Vignal Sensitivity and Tearing

If you have had a vaginal birth, you can expect tearing to occur in the perineum — the area between your vagina and anus — as well as increased sensitivity and pain. Your doctor may also give you stitches, which you will need to be careful of and allow to heal for a few weeks.


Weakened Pelvic Floor Muscles

You may have noticed that you had to pee quite frequently while you were pregnant.  Just because your baby is no longer sitting on top of your bladder after birth, you may realize that your bladder and pelvic muscles are still weak. Four in ten women experience incontinence after childbirth, which may cause you to pee when you cough or sneeze. This can also affect how long you are able to hold your bladder for extended periods of time.


Your Skin Changes

After you give childbirth, you may notice more acne popping up, along with discoloration known as melasma. Melasma is common among new moms and can be treated by your dermatologist.

Whether you experience some of these changes or more than a handful, just know that your body will take care of you and carry you through every aspect of this new journey. Your body is stronger than you know, and these changes are all natural.


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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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