12 Ways Pregnancy Messes Up Your Body That No One Warns You About

Being a mom is a beautiful thing. There’s so much love and wonder in childbirth, but pregnancy also does a job on women’s bodies in ways that are unexpected. Everyone knows about stretch marks, but have you thought about the fact that your feet might go up a size permanently? Here are 12 of those ways pregnancy changes your body.

  1. Stretch marks that literally never go away Perhaps one of the most known after effects of pregnancy is stretch marks. Pregnancy is such a major change to the body that it’s almost impossible to totally avoid them. Many stretch marks disappear a few months after pregnancy, but they can never fully go away. Some women keep very visible stretch marks. This is nothing to be ashamed of—in fact, they’re a reminder of the fact that you grew an entire human inside of you!
  2. Significant hair loss While pregnant, you may have luscious locks but the second the baby is born, your hair may start to be limp, brittle, or broken. It’s not uncommon for clumps to fall out. Don’t be surprised if you’re in the shower and large clumps start to come out onto the floor. This is common. Don’t panic if you lose a lot of hair—you won’t lose it all despite the looks of it. Give your body time to readjust hormonally and this should eventually right itself.
  3. Incontinence Probably the least exciting of all these changes is your inability to hold it when you need to go to the bathroom. After pregnancy, you may not be able to control when you need to pee. Especially if you’ve had a large baby, this may be a lasting problem. There are things you can do to work with your doctor, but in the meantime, this after effect is a pain in the butt.
  4. Wider hips that can’t be changed with exercise According to an article on SELF, an MD of gynecology said: “During pregnancy and when you have a baby go through the birth canal, it changes your bone structure slightly.” This would explain how some women feel their hips have gotten wider after pregnancy—it’s because they genuinely did shift. This isn’t necessarily a problem except that you may now have to buy new pants.
  5. Unpredictable hormones Pregnancy can do a job on a number of things and one to be expected is hormones. They’re all out of balance during the time of carrying a baby, but they can also be wacky afterward causing all sorts of side effects. For example, low levels of progesterone can cause nausea, dizziness, and depression.
  6. Larger feet Sure, you know that your feet are going to swell during pregnancy, but did you know that they can also grow larger even after the baby’s made its appearance? This often goes away within six months after birth, but some women go up a shoe size for good. Larger feet aren’t necessarily messing up your body, but they do ruin all the shoes you have in your closet because you might have to get new ones.
  7. Plummeting sex drive During the pregnancy, you may experience an uptick in your sex drive, but afterward, there’s often a sudden downward slump of sexual desire. It could take up to a year for your sex drive to return back to your own level of normal. This isn’t all that bad, though, as you’ll have plenty of other things to be focusing on!
  8. Different nipples It may be shocking at first, but it’s totally normal to have your nipples change color, size, or appearance There’s a chance they could be darker, bumpier, or a different shape. This is said to be due to heightened levels of estrogen in the body, but they often stay this way.
  9. Smellier armpits You may smell a strange odor—it’s probably you. New moms are known to sweat more, and there’s also a chance that the smell of your body odor can change permanently. This may mean being stinkier in one armpit or both, who knows. Changes after pregnancy can be unpredictable.
  10. New tastes It’s common knowledge that during pregnancy a woman may desire weird things to eat. But, did you know that taste buds can change even after the baby has made its appearance? Foods that you previously loved may now be undesirable and you may all of a sudden have a taste for foods you disliked.
  11. Lowered alcohol tolerance You may be someone who could carry her liquor like a champ, but this may now be permanently taken away. It makes sense that a few months after pregnancy you have a much lower tolerance, but this can actually be a permanent shift… making you a lightweight—not to mention you’re now almost guaranteed to have worse hangovers.
  12. New skin and moles You may develop new skin tags or dark patches on your skin during pregnancy. The dark patches may clear up post-partum, but the skin tags aren’t going to go anywhere. Say hello to some new parts of your skin. You can probably handle this, except when the baby starts tugging on the new skin tags. Joys of being a mom.
Ginelle has been writing professionally for more than six years and has a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing & design. Her writing has appeared on Birdie, Thought Catalog, Tiny Buddha and more. You can follow her on Instagram @ginelletesta, via her Facebook page, or through her website at ginelletesta.com.