TO SAY the body changes during pregnancy and childbirth is an understatement.
Throughout the nine months it takes for the body to bring a baby into the world, it goes through some huge physical changes.
Considering how different the body looks during pregnancy, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t quickly bounce back to how it looked before.
And it some ways, it never does, Doctor Rachel Ward, a GP at Woodlands Medical Centre, Derby, said,
1. Wider ribcage and hips
“During pregnancy in order to accommodate a growing baby and prepare for giving birth, our body produces a hormone called relaxin,” she explained.
Relaxin works by increasing the flexibility and movement in our joints and ligaments.
“Many women find that after pregnancy the shape of their pelvis and ribcage remains different,” Dr Rachel said.
It is common to need a different bra size due to a change in chest circumference, the expert said.
“This is a remainder of the changed your body made to accommodate your baby and nothing to be worried about,” she added.
2. Change in skin colour
During pregnancy, most women experience skin changes as it stretched to accommodate the bump and enlarging breasts.
“It is not uncommon to develop stretch marks.
“Though they will often fade over time and become a shiny pale colour, depending on your skin tone they will not go away completely,” Dr Rachel said.
“Some people do not like the way stretch marks look but they are an incredibly common change that we see in many people,” she added.
3. A change in breast shape
Breasts increase in size during pregnancy as the breast tissue prepares to produce milk.
And shortly after birth they will start to produce milk and become swollen, the expert explained.
“If you choose to beast feed or not, it is likely that the shape, size and way your breasts look and feel will be different after pregnancy compared to before,” Dr Rachel said.
“This is not a problem but it is important that we do learn what the new normal is for our breasts so we can stay breast aware and pick up and changes that could be cancer.” she added.
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