As if being pregnant hadn’t been freaky enough, it turns out there a whole load of weird, unexpected physical side effects to being a mum in general which will make themselves known over the first few months. We all know about stretch marks and compromised boobs, but what else does having a baby do to your body?
Remember that lustrous mane you rocked during pregnancy to distract everyone from your swollen fingers and shell-shocked face? GONE. Your hormones have been larking about again, resulting in hair loss a few months after giving birth – which may well be delayed if you’re exclusively breastfeeding. Then starts the regrowth – the reasons why lots of new mums have strange wispy hairlines, and often drastic new haircuts. It all gets back to normal eventually. Well, unless you have another baby
In their ongoing bid to prematurely age you, babies also mess with your teeth while in utero, increasing your chances of gum disease and decay. You’ll probably notice this a few months later… hopefully not so many months later that your entitlement to free post-natal dental care has expired.
Feet can go up a size or two during pregnancy, in keeping with the rest of your body. But the kicker is, they sometimes stay that way so you may find yourself blowing your mat pay on new shoes (flat, practical mum shoes, obvs).
More manageable periods
If you had irregular, heavy or generally icky periods before having a baby, you might be in for a pleasant surprise when dear old Aunt Flo rears her ugly head in the months after giving birth (as an aside, if you’re formula-feeding or combi-feeding, your periods could come back pretty promptly, whereas it tends to be around the nine month mark for the average breast-feeding mum – although this varies massively because PESKY HORMONES). Generally, women report that their periods are lighter and less painful after having babies, and they can be more reliably regular than before too. Hooray!
Here’s another “side effect” that should be celebrated – all that lugging around your baby has made you physically stronger than you’ve ever been (unless you were a professional body-builder pre-pregnancy, anyway). You’ll notice that your arms are musclier than ever before without you even trying, and all that pacing around with a pram may well have given you thighs you could crack a nut with too. Whoop! YOU ARE WOMAN HEAR YOU ROAR (not now, though, the baby’s sleeping).