Motherhood is a new stage in life for women after giving birth. It is exciting and scary at the same time because there’s really no manual in parenting and bringing up a baby. The other challenge for new mums is accepting the changes to their body.
Here are several ways the body can change post-pregnancy and what mums can do to make themselves feel a little bit better:
1. The body isn’t the same anymore
For mummies who have breastfed their baby and are in the process of weaning, they may realize their bodies just isn’t the same anymore. While nursing, the breasts get larger because it’s filled with milk. After weaning the baby, the breast size sinks once the dense tissues disappear. The rib cage (and bra band size) will be different too because the torso expands when mummies are pregnant.
Tip: All mums can do is to get a new bra that fits better to feel comfortable.
2. Mums may find their boobs to be saggy
The breasts may feel softer and less perky after weaning but think of it as the boobs relaxing after working hard to nurse the baby. It is the pregnancy, not breastfeeding, that cause the lost in firmness.
Tip: Get pretty bras that support the top of the breasts and that provide enough coverage! It also helps a bit to do some exercises that firm up the chest wall behind the breasts.
3. Difficulty losing weight gained from pregnancy
When mums gain weight during pregnancy, the fats are often stored in the bum, hips and thighs.
Tip: It takes up to a year before mums can fully lose all the weight but a frequent pilates workout can help re-strengthen and tone the abs (stomach area), the back and arms while gradually losing weight. What matters is for mums to keep active!
4. Dealing with hair loss
During pregnancy, mums don’t lose much hair than the average person (about 100 hairs a day) due to changing hormones. However, after giving birth the body is compensating for not losing the ‘old’ hairs so mums will lose extra hair in the first six months after delivery.
Tip: There’s nothing to stop hair from falling but the hair will soon return to its normal growth cycle. If mums grew excess facial and body hair while they were preggers, these hairs are likely to fall off too!
5. Putting up with stretch marks
Stretch marks appear in both men and women but mummies may feel even more self-conscious of their skin after giving birth. It can appear on thighs, the butt, knees and even the stomach Stretch marks are also going through a ‘rebranding’ of sorts by calling them tiger stripes for strong, tiger mamas.
Many mothers are posting their stretch marks online to show solidarity and support to mothers worldwide. While mums don’t have to join in, many recommend using body oil such as Bio-Oil to lighten or fade away the lines if it bothers mums.
Also, look for creams that have vitamin E, rose hip oil, centella asiatica and patented stretch mark ingredient hydroxyprolisilane C as they are shown to reduce the severity of stretch marks!
Nd:YAG laser treatment works well to diminish the tiger stripes but works better on fresh marks.
It’s All Part Of Motherhood
If mums still feel bad, take a look at Spanish artist Zinteta’s Instagram feed where stretch marks are coloured in rainbow colours and Sara Shakeel’s Instagram where she covered the stripes in glitter.
There’s another Instagram account loveyourlines where stretchmarks are celebrated. Even Victoria’s Secrets Angels Lais Ribeiro and Jasmine Tookes have them tiger stripes! So does Chrissy Teigen. It’s all part of being mothers.
Feature image from Parents