When you are pregnant, your body undergoes so many changes each day. It’s hard to keep up! And even after the baby is born, the body continues to change for many women. They may see permanent changes to their bodies and minds postpartum. If you are currently pregnant or recently gave birth, you are probably already prepared for the common postpartum symptoms such as changing breasts, irregular periods, and even hair loss. But what about those postpartum body changes that you aren’t prepared for? We discuss a few here!
Your feet size may change.
My own mother’s feet grew one size with each kid! After two kids, she had to officially throw out all her shoes and start her collection over again. I thought this was crazy when I was younger, but it’s extremely common. When pregnant, our feet swell. Often the ligaments and muscles that swelled during pregnancy never return to their original state. This is also true for your hands. Many new mothers have said that even after they’ve lost the baby weight, their extremities, like their hands and feet, remained at their new, larger size.
Your hair color may change.
This is true for texture, too. Many moms have reported seeing their bright strands turn a bit darker or change from super straight to curly seemingly overnight! Hormones may be to blame for the hair change. However, with your body changing so much, it makes sense that your hair would follow suit.
If you are concerned about your hair changing, don’t be! Blondes can keep their hair bright post-baby by seeing a colorist or at-home hair dying. Those who don’t want to reach for chemicals can use a purple shampoo instead, which helps to brighten locks with one wash instantly. As far as texture changes, invest in some hot tools, try out new hairstyles, and embrace the new you! You may come to love your new post-baby look.
You’ll be reaching for more water.
It’s a small change, but after you give birth, you may never seem to be able to quench your thirst. For breastfeeding women, the thirsty feeling may be intensified even more. This is likely to subside after a few weeks or so. In the meantime, the best thing you can do is keep water near you at all times! This includes while you are on the run: invest in a water bottle you love and take it with you everywhere. Not only will this keep you from feeling thirsty all the time, but it will keep you and your baby extra healthy.
That confused feeling may not go away.
Do you remember that feeling during pregnancy when you forgot things and seemed to feel a bit lost? This phenomenon is called pregnancy brain, and it’s not just for pregnancy! Pregnancy brain continues post-baby for many women—so many that it’s been dubbed “mom brain” instead. Your hormones are raging, your body is changing, and you suddenly have this huge responsibility you didn’t have before, so it’s okay for your brain to have difficulty keeping up. If your mom brain gets to be too much, try meditating, taking deep breaths, and, most of all, giving yourself a break!
This is one most new parents don’t even consider. You just had a baby. You aren’t thinking about having another baby yet! And maybe you’ve been told it can’t happen until after your first period returns, which may be a while. Fertility for most women doesn’t usually return until at least 6 weeks postpartum. And it’s been shown on average to return on day 74 postpartum. Breastfeeding is shown to suppress the return of fertility. But it’s essential for moms who aren’t breastfeeding to take precautionary measures to ensure they don’t get pregnant too soon.