There’s the just no sugar coating it: pregnancy is some kind of physical, emotional, not to mention hormonal hellish delight for the female body to go through. There are ups and downs, literal bumps in the road, and swelling in places that haven’t swollen so big before. Pregnancy: it’s not all glamorous.
They say you’re going to to glow during pregnancy, but that might just be the sweat. They say you’ll feel wonderful about your body given you’re carrying new life, but that’s only after the nausea and morning sickness. They say that your body will never be the same, and they are spot on about that. Pregnancy changes the body in a very physical (and often uncomfortable) way.
Nonetheless, for all the lows of pregnancy, the scales are immediately tipped back to awesome, blissful happiness the moment you’re holding that new bundle of joy in your arms. And then comes the next part of the crazy rollercoaster ride - motherhood! That’s a whole different ball game.
Fortunately, the female body has outsmarted the traumatically painful changes of pregnancy by holding onto the good things that happen throughout these changes. Yes, there are many positives that are the silver lining in a whole bunch of dark pregnancy clouds.
From things getting better in the bedroom to reducing the risk of cancer, pregnancy is actually doing your body a favour in some surprising ways. Here are some reasons why you should be thanking and congratulating your post-pregnancy body, not just hating on the post-baby weight. That’ll disappear, but these benefits are here to stay (which is a good thing!).
14 Things Get Better In The Bedroom
This is true for both during and after pregnancy, and hopefully before as well! The reason for this is pretty simple, because there has been an increased amount of the blood flow to the pelvic area, the whole region is more sensitive and more likely to reach the peak of certain activities. Also, because of the increased hormones pulsating through the body, the libido is often ready to go during pregnancy, too.
This doesn’t stop after giving birth, either. Quite often the hormones that are still in the body encourage the libido. More than anything, the increased sex drive during pregnancy can encourage you and your partner to be intimate despite bodily changes reaching a new level of trust and passion. Therefore, you have the potential to reach new levels of sexual enjoyment that you haven’t explored before. This can have very positive effects, keeping things close and spicy between you long after giving birth.
13 Healthy Eating Habits Tend To Last
During pregnancy, diet is pretty much the most important thing. The growing baby needs food that are rich in things such as iron, folate, and all the good stuff to become strong enough and ready to enter the world. This means that expectant mom has to get her butt into gear and start planning foods properly. Once all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are in the diet, it’s ok to turn to those sweet cravings every now and then!
What this means in the long run is that you have conditioned yourself to eat healthy. Your body will start craving all those delicious nutrients you have been loading up with for the past 9 months. They say it takes doing something 20 times to create a habit. Well, you’re definitely prepared and eaten a healthy meal more than 20 times by the end of pregnancy, so it is more likely to be a habit from now on.
12 Less Risk Of Cancer
Somehow, pregnancy and breastfeeding reduce the risk of cancer. Of course, there are factors that impact on an individual’s specific risk for cancer, but this is overall quite good news. In particular, breastfeeding lessens the risk of breast cancer.
While there is still a lot unknown about how breast cancer occurs in women, what is known is that the risk of breast cancer increases when you are exposed to endogenous hormones. These are hormones that are released when you menstruate. Since pregnancy stops this little monthly dilemma happen, the hormones are not released.
Therefore, decreased exposure to the endogenous hormones means decreased risk of developing breast cancer. At least it is decreasing one risk factor amongst the others that are out there. And at the end of the day, pregnancy means no monthly periods. Endogenous hormones or not, no periods means no painful cramps and mood swings each month. That is something positive you can’t argue with!
11 Taste Buds Get A New Lease On Life
Perhaps one of the reasons the taste buds are craving so many bizarre combinations of foods during pregnancy is because they are receiving more and more flavours like never before. Pregnancy seems to open new experiences for the taste buds, making food even more delicious and enjoyable. This is probably because of the heightened levels of estrogen making their rounds through the female body.
Yes awakening in the taste buds can be one of the main contributors to morning sickness, but after pregnancy and giving birth has happened, the taste buds are still open to their new lease on life. They won’t be as heightened now the estrogen is fading away, but they will still have better perceptions than before giving birth. After pregnancy, women can be more likely to enjoy new flavours, be able to differentiate between tastes, and have a more sophisticated palate. Who knows, maybe they get stronger with each pregnancy!
10 Hello Period, Goodbye Cramps
So after 9 months of no menstrual cycle (just a bunch of other pains and aches going on in the body), it is inevitable that after giving birth the period will return. By this stage of life, women have to learn to deal with period cramps like a boss, knowing when to indulge in the chocolatey goodness guilt free and riding the emotional rollercoaster of PMS like a pro.
However, after giving birth, those who have always had a hard time with a heavy aunt flow may just find that the effects are lessened. That’s right, a lighter flow and less painful cramps might just be awaiting you each monthly cycle from now on. For some women, the period cramps disappear altogether after pregnancy. Why? Science hasn’t really figured that one out yet. But women know what pain feels like in their body, and they know when period pain isn’t as bad. That’s good enough!
9 Pregnancy, Challenge Accepted
There is no better way to realise self-potential and achieve goals than by facing life’s greatest challenge. There isn’t much that is more challenging on an emotional and physical level than pregnancy. This entire process is a huge ordeal for women, and the fact that they generally come out on top is a huge win.
Pregnancy forces you to get in touch with your body and accept it for what it is. During the bodily changes, you have to understand what’s happening and respect the body to make the changes it needs for the baby. Growing a baby inside you is the most selfless act, and it gives a whole new appreciation for what the body can do.
Likewise, on an emotional level, pregnancy is a huge challenge. However, it puts you in positions where you realise a deep strength within you and realise you can handle things you didn’t expect to be able to. This doesn’t stop with motherhood; in fact, that is when it really begins.
8 More Time To Enjoy Motherhood
There is some science and statistics out there that says women who have given birth have a longer life expectancy. Basically, during pregnancy, a new organ grows. This is called the placenta and it is the lifeline between mom and baby. It is where the umbilical cord is attached and it is how the baby gets the nutrients it needs to grow and oxygen to breath. This organ brings with it many new cells and antibodies. In a process called microchimerism, these cells hang around the body after and keep things functioning in a top notch way, extending the life expectancy.
This might also be because of hormones or maybe because of other lifestyle factors such as giving up alcohol for a year or so, or eating healthier and exercising more regularly during pregnancy. Whatever the reasons, it means that moms get longer to live with their precious bundles of joy.
7 Things Are Healthier Downstairs
The downstairs anatomy of a female is complex and amazing. Pregnancy is a time when the vaginal area is stretched and pushed to its limits, in a very literal sense. Fortunately, pregnancy is protecting the region as well as making it go through what can be likened to a hellish experience.
Pregnancy lessens many risks of ovarian cancers and endometrial cancer. This is because each month, the ovarian cells aren’t going through a process of division. This is better known as menstruation, a time of the month women are all too familiar with. Therefore, the ovaries get a real break from the hard work during pregnancy and are less susceptible to cancer. The same goes for endometrial cancers, because the endometrium (wall of the uterus) isn’t shedding itself each month in a big old bloody mess. So it’s good news on the outside of the body and good news on the inside!
6 Relief From Health Conditions
Changes to the body can be harmful, especially when they are so rapid. However, in the case of pregnancy, they are more often than not beneficial. The only downside to some changes that come with pregnancy is that they only stick around as long as the hormones do. This means that they are more likely to have short term benefits, although in some cases can have long term benefits, too.
When it comes to relief from conditions such as asthma, psoriasis, and autoimmune diseases, pregnancy is a wonderful short term relief. The basic reason behind this is because during pregnancy the body wants to protect the growing fetus. In offering protection to the fetus, the body also protects itself. There are a whole bunch more cells and hormones racing around the body, building up some intense fortress defence measurements to make sure the baby has a safe place to grow. So guess what, this also protects your body from harm from the outside world or from harming itself in many ways.
5 Longer, Shinier Hair
So during pregnancy, the hormones run rampant across the body and affect everything from the toenails to the hair follicles. This is because of an increased surge in estrogen that are making things grow super fast. This means that hair grows quickly during pregnancy, and not just head hair either. Yep, hair legs are going to be a thing. The downside to this rapid hair growth is that after pregnancy, there is thing called post-partum hair loss. The hair starts falling out all over the place thanks to the estrogen levels calming down.
So what’s the good news? Well, after the initial post-partum hair loss, which can last up to 6-8 weeks, hair actually gets longer and shinier. This is because, while estrogen was growing crazy back there, the increased amounts of this hormone actually means that the hair follicles are given a longer life span in their growth cycle. So your hair will stay stronger for longer.
4 Rheumatoid Arthritis Isn’t On The Cards
Amongst the strange and unexpected benefits of pregnancy is that it is basically a cure for rheumatoid arthritis. This is an inflammatory disease where the body essentially attacks its own tissues. Medical research suggests that because the body goes into overdrive protecting itself during pregnancy, it also fights off this form of arthritis. This is because the body is protecting the growing fetus in a fierce manner, and preventing autoimmune diseases from flaring up as well.
Unfortunately, the symptoms do not stay away for ever. A study at the University College London found that the rheumatoid arthritis symptoms tended to flare up again after breastfeeding. Nonetheless, they do tend to go away again during a second pregnancy. So, you know, just keep being pregnant if rheumatoid arthritis is a common problem that’s getting you down... It may not be the most sustainable option out there, but hey, worth a try, right?!
3 Everything Is Looking Up For The Ovaries
Pregnancy seems to do wonders for the ovaries, which is only fair considering it was the ovaries that produced the egg that started the pregnancy in the first place. The ovaries are sensitive little things and are at risk of quite a few health conditions throughout the journey of being a woman. Two of these major concerns include ovarian cancer and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Pregnancy reduces these risks because of the fact you stop menstruating each month. During the monthly cycle that everyone loves to hate, the ovaries go through a process of cell division. Each time this process happens, the more susceptible the cells are to cancer coming in. It is a necessary evil, apparently. Even though pregnancy means everything else about the reproductive system is kicking into gear and working hard, the ovaries are getting a much needed break. They’ll thank you later for this, hopefully by skipping out on ovarian cancer!
2 Less Chance Of Serious Conditions
There is no denying that pregnancy changes the body in some pretty drastic ways. Fortunately, many of these changes are very positive. For those who suffer from diseases such as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and psoriasis, pregnancy means a welcome relief from these distressing symptoms.
Doctors and medics aren’t entirely sure why this happens during pregnancy, but women who have these ailments certainly aren’t complaining. Pregnancy can also bring some relief to cases of asthma. Of course, this isn’t true for everyone suffering from these conditions, unfortunately. A study at University College London found that about a third of women got better, and a third of women stayed the same. The other third of women fluctuated between varying degrees of the symptoms. Some women with multiple sclerosis in the study got significantly better in the last three months of pregnancy, but then worse again three months after giving birth. Pregnancy and motherhood is a rollercoaster, after all.
1 Happiness Awaits Now And In The Long Run
Happiness is defined differently for every individual. For some women out there, the ultimate happiness goal is bringing another life into the world. And what a respectable and wonderful thing this is to do.
Women who have kids are, generally speaking, very happy. It is an incredibly fulfilling process, if that is what you want out of life. Of course, it is no secret that happiness is the key to a long and healthy life. The endorphins that come with happiness levels do wonders for outlook, attitude, and optimism in life. Moreover, having kids means that you tend to pay more attention to health and lifestyle. During pregnancy, eating right and exercising regularly has been a focus. This trickles into life after pregnancy, and eating right and staying fit brings happiness levels up, too. And of course, since you want your kids to live a happy life, you have to set it by example. Happiness starts from up top.
Sources: Kidspot.com.au, Parents.com, Todaysparent.com, Telegraph.co.uk