To be a mother changes you there are body changes during pregnancy. And these changes such as Vaginal changes, Growing and shrinking breasts, Skin changes, and Wider hips. At no other time in your life will you grow a whole new organ. Force your heart to pump 50 percent more blood and have alien cells hijack your brain. And while most of those odd changes disappear after birth. A few of them, like your little one, are for keeps. From permanently bigger feet to diabetes.
Here are 8 things that may never go back to the way they were before pregnancy.
Shoe size as body changes during pregnancy
There are two main reasons for the change in shoe size during pregnancy: weight gain and hormones. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Says that women of normal weight should gain from 25 to 35 lbs. (11 to 16 kilograms) during pregnancy. "That extra weight that's carried around for the 10 lunar months of pregnancy, and even longer, flattens out the [foot's] arch," which is why some women gain about half a shoe size during pregnancy
The hormone relaxin also plays a role. As its name suggests, relaxin helps relax ligaments and bones in the pelvis. So the body can be elastic during childbirth. But relaxin also affects ligaments all over the body, including in the feet. Which can make a woman's feet looser and more spread out. New moms: Once your feet grow, you should get used to sporting a larger shoe size. As these changes are permanent, even after you lose weight and relaxin production stops
Extra pounds as body changes during pregnancy
And speaking of weight gain, while those extra pounds don't have to be permanent, they are for many women. One in 4 women will hang onto 11 lbs. or more (5 kg or more) a year after giving birth. And after having a baby, a woman will be, on average, 2.5 to 5 lbs. (1 to 2 kg) heavier than she was prior to pregnancy. Kathleen Rasmussen, a professor of maternal and child nutrition at Cornell University, previously told Live Science. While that's not a ton, imagine repeating that process for four or five babies; after that, the extra weight gain can be significant
Vaginal changes as body changes during pregnancy
This one shouldn't be a surprise, given the average dimensions of a newborn's head. But women often have vaginal changes postpartum While the vagina will contract down to almost its original size after birth. Most women will have a permanently wider vagina. There are many factors that contribute, including the type of delivery, size of baby, genetic factors [and] being overweight.
Growing and shrinking breasts
A woman's breasts go through some big (and little) changes during and after pregnancy. "They get bigger at first because the dormant fat tissue in the breast gets replaced by functional tissue" in preparation for breastfeeding. But these larger breasts don't last forever. "After a woman stops breastfeeding, that functional tissue atrophies, because it's not being used anymore," And then it's not immediately replaced by fat, because the fat is already gone." If the woman gets pregnant again, then the process will repeat. And if the woman gains a lot of weight after a pregnancy, then she'll replace those fat cells in her breasts. "But generally, if somebody is a very fit person and doesn't gain weight, then [her breasts] are going to stay smaller at that point,"
Stretch marks as body changes during pregnancy
Pregnant women might notice pink or red stretch marks on their skin during pregnancy. Granted, this condition isn't unique to pregnancy; people can get stretch marks any time they experience a big increase or decrease in weight, The good news is that while stretch marks stick around, they do get much lighter over time. "They usually do fade out in one to two years. However, "if the woman gets pregnant again, or gains or loses a lot of weight gain, they may become more pronounced."
Pregnancy comes with all kinds of skin changes. For instance, the linea nigra Latin for "black line" is a dark, vertical line that runs over the belly to the pubic hair region during pregnancy. Women may also develop the "mask of pregnancy," known as melasma, which are brown patches that color the face. Freckles and moles can also darken during pregnancy. The linea nigra and melasma are caused by an increase in melanin, the pigment that adds color to your skin and hair, according to ACOG. The dark areas usually fade after the woman gives birth, but some women with melasma can have dark patches for years, ACOG said. Some women with melasma are extra-careful to use sunscreen or wear a hat if they're going outside, and others use skin lighteners after giving birth to address the dark patches,
Varicose veins and hemorrhoids
Some pregnant women might notice swollen, sore, and blue veins called varicose veins on their legs, as well as on the vulva and in the vagina. When these sore-feeling veins occur on the rectum, they're called hemorrhoids. Varicose veins and hemorrhoids develop because the uterus's heavyweight and pressure can reduce blood flow from the lower part of the body, ACOG said. In addition, increased blood flow and a weakening of the blood vessels' lining can contribute to these conditions, Usually, varicose veins and hemorrhoids go away within six to 12 months of the birth
Some women may notice that their hips are wider following childbirth. But why? You may think it has to do with the hormone relaxing largely because relaxin relaxes and softens the joints and ligaments in the pelvis to help the mother push out the baby during labor. But that's likely not the real reason behind wider hips. Rather, wider hips are "most probably due to the deposition of fat into areas of the body that have extra fat cells," he told Live Science. In other words, some women get chubbier because of accumulating fat cells, not because their hip bones are actually wider.
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