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5 unexpected changes your body can experience after pregnancy

Women's bodies are strong and adaptable.

Your body experience some changes postpregnancy [Pinterest]

Pregnancy is an amazing journey that ends with the miracle of birth. It changes your body in many ways, both during pregnancy and afterwards.

While you likely expect changes during your pregnancy, here are some surprising ways your body might change after you have your baby:

Many new mothers experience hair shedding a few months after giving birth. This is known as postpartum hair loss or telogen effluvium and it happens due to falling estrogen levels. While alarming, this is a temporary phase, and your hair growth cycle typically returns to normal within six to twelve months. Interestingly, some women report their hair texture changing, with new hair growing in curlier, straighter, or finer than before.

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Pregnancy can leave its mark on your skin in various ways. While some women enjoy the famed "pregnancy glow" due to increased blood volume and oil production, others may notice the appearance of stretch marks, melasma (also known as the "mask of pregnancy"), or a dark line running down the abdomen called the linea nigra. Postpartum, these pigmentation changes usually fade but may not disappear entirely. Additionally, some women find that their skin becomes either drier or oilier than it was pre-pregnancy.

An unexpected change that can occur after pregnancy is an increase in shoe size. This is due to the hormone relaxin, which loosens the ligaments in your feet, potentially leading to a permanent increase in foot size. Some women may find they need a half-size or even a full-size larger than their pre-pregnancy footwear.

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After pregnancy, when your menstrual cycle resumes, you might notice changes in your period's flow, duration, and pain level. Some women report heavier periods, while others experience lighter or more irregular cycles. Breastfeeding can also impact the return and regularity of your menstrual cycle, often delaying it due to the hormone prolactin, which suppresses ovulation.

Diastasis recti, the separation of the abdominal muscles to accommodate a growing baby, can result in a lasting change to the core strength and shape of the abdomen. While some degree of retraction is common, many women work with physical therapists or fitness professionals specialising in postpartum recovery to strengthen their core and improve the separation.

Interestingly, some mothers report a change in their sensory perceptions after giving birth. This can include heightened senses of smell and taste, which may or may not revert to their pre-pregnancy levels. Also, new allergies or sensitivities to certain foods or environmental factors can emerge.

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Beyond the physical, pregnancy and childbirth can trigger significant emotional and psychological changes. Many women experience a deepened sense of empathy, a shift in priorities, or a new perspective on life.

This content was created with the help of an AI model and verified by the writer.

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