It’s no secret that pregnancy is tough on your body; you’ll gain weight, lose sleep, sprout hair in weird places and your feet might even get bigger. It’s all par for the course, and most of these changes reverse themselves postpartum. What many women don’t realize, however, is that some of these body changes are long-lasting or even permanent, and they can play havoc with our self-confidence. Here are five ways motherhood permanently changes our bodies, and what we can do about it.
It’s something most women don’t even think about when they get pregnant, but having a baby can weaken your pelvic floor, making you more prone to urinary incontinence. For mothers who deliver their babies vaginally, this can become a lasting problem. The good thing is, you don’t have to suffer poor bladder control forever. Vaginoplasty is one option, as it corrects vaginal relaxation symptom, resulting in a stronger pelvic floor. David Ghozland is an M.D. Board-certified OBGYN who specializes in minimally invasive procedures, so check out his website if you’re interested in the procedure.
Stretch marks are a badge of honor, a symbol of motherhood, but they can make you feel down about your body. It’s worth pointing out that stretch marks are entirely normal, even in women who didn’t gain much weight during pregnancy. Over time, their appearance fades, but they may never disappear completely. You can reduce the appearance of stretch marks using home remedies like castor oil, aloe vera and even lemon juice applied once daily.
Your hair was probably in peak condition during your pregnancy, which makes postpartum hair loss seem like a cruel trick of nature. The loss of hair after childbirth is said to occur because of hormones changes, causing your locks to feel limp and lifeless for many months after delivery. The good news is that this usually stops around a year postpartum, but for some women, it can continue for years. Care for your hair by reducing heat styling, using a heat protection spray and applying a deep conditioning mask once a week. If you continue to experience hair loss, consult your doctor.
If you breastfeed, it goes without saying that the shape and even size of your breasts will change. However, many women are surprised to know that pregnancy causes natural breast changes, however a mother feeds her baby. Your breasts can actually “deflate” after you’ve given birth, and will also change shape when they stop filling with milk. Your areola and nipples may also change color for good, as well as your labia and some moles on your body.
Ever heard the term “birthing hips?” Many women feel like their hips get wider once they’ve had a baby, but these changes actually occur in the pelvic bone structure to allow the baby to move through the birth canal. As a result, your pants will fit a little differently. This isn’t something you can reverse, so learn to embrace your post-baby body and celebrate it for all its miraculous achievements!