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9+ Effects Of Pregnancy And Giving Birth That Are Rarely Talked About

Pregnancy and giving birth take an emotional and physical toll on a woman. For some reason, we've never really talked about this — until now.

Moms and postpartum experts are shedding a light on some little-discussed realities of giving birth through their social media posts.

1. Hair Loss

During pregnancy, many women report having thicker hair because hormones temporarily stop normal, daily shedding.

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When this cycle picks up again in the postpartum period, it's not unusual to lose what seems like large clumps of hair at a time.

While this cycle is totally normal, many women feel self-conscious during their process as their hair thins.

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2. Weight Loss

For some women, the processes of pregnancy and childbirth can trigger a thyroid issue leading to sudden and extreme weight loss.

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Postpartum thyroiditis affects between 5-10% of new moms.

The condition can cause a number of physical and emotional changes in a woman's body, so it's important to see your doctor if you're experiencing these symptoms.

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3. Smaller Breasts

While breastfeeding, most moms notice that their breasts are large and swollen.

In many cases though, a woman's breasts tend to become smaller than they were pre-pregnancy once breastfeeding stops.

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Experts aren't quite sure why this happens.

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Some suspect that strain on the breasts during and after pregnancy causes the tissue to lose elasticity and shrink.

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4. Loose Skin

Following the birth of their babies, most new moms continue to rock a little baby belly for months or well, forever. Many are embracing their belly "pooches" on Instagram through body-positive hashtags.

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Social media has helped many moms embrace their new bodies.

It's comforting to know there are other moms out there going through the same experiences and that many choose to feel empowered by their new bodies.

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5. Sweating

If you've ever been pregnant and thought that having the baby would help get your body temperature back under control, that's not always the case.

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Many new moms continue to experience hot flashes and excessive sweating in the first few months.

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Apparently, sweating helps your body get rid of those extra fluids it was carrying around to nourish the baby during pregnancy.

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6. Weight Gain

Weight gain might seem like the most obvious physical transformation since every pregnant woman will gain some weight during a healthy and normal pregnancy.

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However, many new moms say that where they gain weight and how they carry it postpartum is often different compared to their bodies before pregnancy.

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Even if a woman doesn't gain weight, she may find she needs new clothes due to wider hips or other physical changes brought on by pregnancy.

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7. Stretch Marks

Stretch marks during and after pregnancy are common. As the baby grows, the skin across the abdomen needs to quickly stretch to accommodate this growth.

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What's interesting is that these marks can change color over time and with subsequent pregnancies.

They can also appear on other parts of the body and aren't confined to baby bumps.

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8. Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are common in pregnancy due to an increase in weight and an increased volume of blood in a woman's body.

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9. Varicose Veins In Other Areas

Varicose veins aren't restricted to legs. Many pregnant and postpartum moms also report having them in their vulva, which can be quite uncomfortable.

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10. Diastasis Recti

All pregnant women experience some stretching to their abdominal fascia (the connective tissue between muscles).

This stretching can cause a separation of the abdominal muscles, which can be repaired in the postpartum period with exercise and physiotherapy.

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Assessing diastasis recti in new moms is important for a number of reasons.

Your core strength affects a number of areas in your body and can lead to issues such as back pain if it is not properly addressed.

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11. Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is extremely common in new moms, but is still somewhat of a taboo topic for people to discuss.

Women with postpartum depression report not feeling connected to their babies and being overwhelmed by negative thoughts.

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Thankfully, more people are starting to talk about the mental health of new moms.

Celebrities like Chrissy Teigen have also come forward with their experiences of postpartum depression and are helping to remove the stigma.

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12. Swollen Feet

While swollen feet are another common condition during pregnancy, not many people realize that it can stick around after the baby is born.

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IV fluids during birth can cause feet to swell for the first few postpartum days.

Unsplash | Abbie Bernet

As well, some moms notice they permanently go up a shoe size or two after giving birth. Crazy!

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It's about time that we started talking about these effects!

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Pregnancy and giving birth impact women on a physical and emotional level. By talking about these issues, it can help moms feel like they aren't going through these changes alone.

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