7 Post-Baby Body Changes Every New Mom Should Know

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Your feet may be bigger (permanently)

It’s common for feet to grow a half size during pregnancy and sometimes stay that way. The extra weight carried during pregnancy may actually flatten the arch of the foot, making the foot up to a half inch longer. The hormone relaxin, which relaxes the muscle ligaments in your body to help prepare you for childbirth, may also affect the rest of your body, including your feet.

Hair loss

During pregnancy most women will notice that their hair is thicker, shinier and generally healthier. This is the result of high estrogen levels. After pregnancy, however, when estrogen levels return to normal, women may experience a heavy shedding period. The good news is that this is only temporary, and will stop six to twelve months after the baby is born.

Bra size

It's not uncommon for many women to come down a cup size after pregnancy, especially after breastfeeding. Once milk production ceases, the breasts might sag and actually be reduced in size. Unfortunately, this situation only gets worse the more children you have. Some studies note that other risk factors for sagging breasts include a higher BMI, history of smoking and older age.

Your stomach

Despite what some celebrity magazines will have you think, your belly is not going to magically disappear after giving birth. It will take at least a couple of weeks just for the swelling and water weight to subside. Women often lose about 10 pounds at childbirth and can reasonably expect to shed between two to four pounds a month if they follow a healthy diet and exercise routine.

Your period

Don't be alarmed if you don't get your period right away. For most, menstruation starts again about six to eight weeks after giving birth. Breastfeeders take longer to ovulate, so it can take about a year to get their period back. While most women’s flow and cramping situation returns to what it was pre-pregancy, some women report less PMS and some report a change in flow.

Stretch marks

The stretch marks that appeared during pregnancy won't necessarily disappear without a little help. Like tattoos, only lasers will significantly reduce their appearance. To help them heal, try using a scar cream or vitamin E.

Your gums may be extra sensitive

During pregnancy the extra progesterone in your system can make your gums extra sensitive to plaque, causing them to bleed and become sore. This may linger for awhile after pregnancy so you may have to schedule extra cleanings at the dentist.