Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, but it brings several physical changes that can be uncomfortable for you. Due to fluctuations in hormones and the fact that your body is continuously changing, you may encounter many unexpected physiological changes that are utterly normal. From hair loss to abdominal shifting, here are nine lesser-known yet common surprises that pregnancy can bring to your body:
While you may expect to gain weight throughout your pregnancy, you can continue keeping the weight even after childbirth. Many women usually hold onto the weight after giving birth, usually around four or more kilograms. A few kilograms might not sound like a lot, but if you do not decrease your daily caloric intake following childbirth, you may experience rapid weight gain over a few years.
Just like you can't fit into any of your pre-pregnancy clothes, pregnancy can change your shoe size forever. It occurs because your body produces extra fluids, and you gain weight during pregnancy. Excess fluid in your pregnant body leads to swollen feet and ankles, which increases your shoe size. The larger shoe size might feel worrisome at first, but you should remember that it's merely a part of pregnancy.
Diastasis rectus abdominis is a common condition during pregnancy in which the abdominal wall muscles separate to create a gap between your abdominal muscles. This may cause you some discomfort or core weakness after childbirth. Hence, you should continue training side core abdominal muscles after delivery to ensure the muscle group remains strong.
Another side effect of pregnancy is sagging breasts. Due to the stretching of ligaments and fatty tissues, your breasts begin to droop during pregnancy. Unfortunately, they don't perk up again for many women. However, like other effects, it's a part of pregnancy that you shouldn't worry about. You can invest in a couple of stretchable maternity bras to relieve breast pain and tenderness.
During pregnancy, many women notice that their hairs have become thicker and shinier. Some pregnant women may experience hair growth in new or unwanted places, such as around the nipples or on the face or belly. Wondering what happens after pregnancy? Well, these hair changes usually aren't permanent. Once your hormone levels return to normal, you may lose some hair postpartum, particularly when you stop breastfeeding.
During childbirth, your rectovaginal septum - the thin tissue of skin separating the rectum and vagina - is likely to tear and bulge through this opening, similar to a hernia. This is a common condition for women delivering larger babies (weighing more than 9 pounds) or having quick deliveries. However, remember that this may happen to many women for various reasons, and recovery is a simple process.
Due to breastfeeding and hormonal changes, it can take more than one year for your libido to return to normal. You can blame low levels of estrogen for your low libido. Moreover, fatigue caused by growing a new life might lead to a loss of interest in lovemaking post-delivery.
Your skin also changes during pregnancy. While most women experience a 'pregnancy glow,' some women may suffer from skin conditions like Chloasma or Melasma during pregnancy. Some will notice a dark line on the lower abdomen's midline, traditionally called the Linea Nigra. This happens because pregnancy hormones increase skin pigmentation, causing several skin problems. You can avoid most skin problems by wearing highly breathable and stretchy maternity dresses.
While skin darkening is a common condition during pregnancy, stretch marks are more likely to occur while you're pregnant. Fluctuations in weight cause stretch marks because your skin stretches and relaxes over time. However, the good news is that as your body settles into an even weight over time, they fade and become less noticeable.
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