Body Changes After Pregnancy: Some Can Be Erased, Others Can Be Embraced
Having a baby is one of the most important decisions I’ve ever made. It’s not like I wrote down the pros and cons, but I was definitely aware of the fact that nothing will ever be the same again. Most of the things change for the better, except for the body. So I gave myself a mission to be prepared for everything, including the stretch marks, saggy boobs and weight gain. The trouble is that you can never be prepared enough, and you always end up looking at the mirror without recognizing your own reflection. Although pregnancy is a whole different period for every woman and we all cope with it in our own unique ways, I think that sharing different experiences can be helpful, so here are some things I learned along the way.
Dealing with the Weight Gain
This is one inevitable change, but some of us get the short (or should I say fat) end of the stick. I packed on way too many pounds during my pregnancy, and even continued to gain weight after giving birth. You can imagine how depressed that made me feel, but I didn’t just sit there and did nothing.
My doctor explained that I should look for the cause in lack of sleep, stress and snacks. Breastfeeding was one of the “methods” to regulate my weight, but I also made sleep my priority and made a deal with my husband so that both of us have minimally 7 hours of sleep per night.
Another important change I made was about my diet. I started eating smaller portions several times a day, and included more fruit and vegetables. When feeling up for a snack, I would grab a handful of nuts, instead of cookies and potato chips. I didn’t have time for a true fitness program, so I started doing mommy and baby exercises and walking as much as I could.
Accepting That My Boobs Will Never Be as They Were
Those crazy hormones leave their mark during and after the pregnancy, and nobody knows that better than my girls. Sagging breasts are one of the most common body changes that come with motherhood, and it is almost irreparable. I’m trying to minimize it with exercising the breast muscles and hide it by wearing a supportive bra. A bit weirder thing that happened to me is that one boob became bigger than the other, and that is something I simply must learn to accept and live with it.
Hair and Nail Changes Are Manageable
During pregnancy, my hair and nails were growing faster than ever, but two months after labor, my nails become weak and prone to cracking, and my hair started falling out. I was panicking more than I had to, because I didn’t want to cut my hair, so I started taking hair growth vitamins (e.g. C, B, E, A, D, biotin, niacin) and I achieved great results. Repairing products with nourishing oils and amino acids proved to be very helpful. A simple strengthening nail polish was enough to get my nails in order.
Their Evilness – Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are absolutely the most stubborn and annoying things that happen to a woman’s body after pregnancy. The thin scars that appeared on my breasts, stomach and hips ruined my confidence more than extra pounds. Creams with vitamin A were helpful, but only to a certain extent. The thing that helped me the most was acceptance. So what, I’ll have to wear longer skirts and put camouflaging makeup when summer comes, but it is still my body and I have to learn to love it.
In the end, it all comes down to one simple enlightening thought: It was all worth it. I know that when I look into my child’s eyes. That doesn’t mean that I have to neglect myself and my physical appearance, it is all a matter of priorities.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.