Lots of weird stuff happens to your mama-to-be body while pregnant. Teenage acne can pop up while Aunt Flo takes her vacation. You become Rubber Woman as your skin gets all stretchy — if only the rest of you were that bendy. Your boobs go up a cup or two, but they also will have to deal with a nipping baby. Here are the 6 ways how being pregnant affects your whole health.
Those changes are typically temporary, but carrying the baby bun can permanently impact your body and health. Say hello to your future mom-bod and all the quirks that go with it during and after pregnancy.
Boobies in Assorted Sizes
Your biggest fear may be flat tire boobs, and this can happen once your little one is out in the world — no matter if you choose the bottle over breastfeeding. Your boobs grow like the Hulk as your body prepares for the baby, and fat loss below the skin can cause drooping once the milk stops. The time it takes for your baby to wean off breastfeeding also impacts breast size.
Assorted boob sizes come in thirds after birth — a third of women each report smaller and bigger breasts after birth, which may be due to weight to some degree, and another third report that their boobs mostly bounced back afterward. Got to love those Play-Doh booby powers.
Darker Lady Bits + Darker Moles
Your lady bits — areolas and labia — tend to darken during and after pregnancy due to increased blood flow and hormonal changes. Your moles also look darker because of these effects. The color may reduce postpartum, but it can also remain.
You may have purplish dangly lips and nip tips — and darker moles, to boot! Purple is reserved for royals, anyway, so it’s okay.
Prospective Bone Loss Is Bloody, Gummy Great
Half of expecting moms experience puffy bleeding gums when they floss or brush since the hormonal shifts affect how the body responds to plaque bacteria in the mouth. Pregnancy-induced gingivitis results from inflammation, and if you don’t get to the dentist stat, you risk bone loss and increased risk of other chronic diseases as periodontal disease is also linked to cardiovascular disease, among others.
On the fun side, you’re golden for Halloween year-round — Let the blood flow, point yourself in the general direction of people you don’t want to talk to and let your reign of terror begin.
Keep those dentist appointments up during your pregnancy and afterward to maintain your whole health. Routine dental treatments aren’t harmful to the baby.
Mommy’s Perpetual Pee-a-Little Party
When you laugh or sneeze, or make any sudden moves, your body decides it’s really happy for you and pees a little. How fun!
Urine incontinence is twice as common in women, and 63 percent of women say their bladder issues began either during or after pregnancy. Your baby bun disrupts your regular bladder stretching due to added pressure and hormonal changes. Women with a family history of urine incontinence are more likely to have leakage when pregnant, especially if they’re over 35 and have a higher BMI before or during pregnancy.
Whether you cough, laugh or cry, your urethra gleefully honors each bodily reaction with a little cheer of leakage. The good news is that many women recover after a year postpartum, but issues of incontinence can persist.
Earning Your Tiger Stripes
Many proud and snarky women refer to the stretch marks on their mom bods as tiger stripes they earned through labor. They usually appear on the tummy, breasts, bottom and thighs, and many women already have stretch marks from puberty.
Like scars, stretch marks do fade as early as six months postpartum, but they don’t go away completely. Creams help smooth your skin while exercises will tone the area, but remember, your tiger stripes were earned by bringing your beautiful baby into the world.
From Lustrous Locks to Stringy, Zombie Hair
During pregnancy, your hair experiences a shift in texture and will grow more quickly, being less prone to breakage and falling out. Get jealous, Rapunzel! These changes also affect the strength of your nails on your fingers and toes.
Your lustrous locks are due to the changing hormones in your body, as the hairs slow down in the anagen stage, or growing, to the telogen phase, or resting. That full head of hair turns to stringy, zombie hair as you lose hair one to five months after birth, and your hair typically recovers after 15 months. You may also experience hair loss after breastfeeding.
Your body orchestrates an interesting circus performance that gives you interesting superpowers, such as stretchy skin and weird cravings, and it can give you glorious hair that rivals Rapunzel’s.
Be sure to keep up with your doctor and dentist appointments while maintaining a balanced diet, and once the baby is born, be proud of those tiger stripes and all your other quirks, Mama. Your mom-bod is amazing.