When a woman becomes a mom, she'll never be the same again. It's not just about the things that happen to a woman's lifestyle and her outlook on life, although those are surely completely altered when she brings a child into the world. Sometimes the changes are physical and completely permanent.
A woman might expect to gain a bump during pregnancy, but she might be surprised to learn that her insides will never go back to the size it was before, and her abs might never go back together. She expects her hair to get thicker during pregnancy and to lose hair afterward, but she might have no idea that her hair could look different for the rest of her life. It can go even further, all the way down to her cells — her baby's DNA will permanently be inside her in a way she never imagined — and even her brain will never be the same again.
A mom usually knows what she is getting into with her life, but she may not understand how her system will change permanently when she has a baby, but this list will help moms to understand what could be changed for good or for bad for the rest of her life..
Here are 20 ways pregnancy changes a woman forever.
20 Baby's Cells Remain In Mom
A baby remains in mom's belly for nine months but the baby's imprint can remain for the rest of her life. We're not just talking hypotheticals here — research has shown that women who had sons decades earlier were found to have male DNA cells in their brains during autopsies at their death.
The mom and baby pass cells and nutrients back and forth through the placenta during the pregnancy, but the studies prove that some of those cells remain after the birth. It's called a chimera, and some scientists believe those cells are dangerous, while others feel that there are benefits to the situation. It's weird to imagine, but a part of the baby remains with the mom for the rest of her life.
19 Things Are Wider Down There
When a baby comes out you, it's a bit too much to expect that the place will go entirely back to normal. The area is pretty magical, but once it is stretched, many women find that it never goes entirely back to what it once was, even if mom does Kegels constantly.
The truth is there are exercises that help the area to reform itself within a few months of birth, but some moms complain that they never feel as tight down there, which can mean that they worry that bedroom fun isn't as pleasurable for their partner. But most of the time things get close to where it was before, and partners don't notice much of a difference.
18 Do Your Girls Hang Low?
When you have a baby, your beasts go through a lot of changes. Many times women can gain a cup size before the first trimester is over, and they might add on another one by the time the baby is born or the milk comes in after the birth. It can take a while, especially if a mom is breastfeeding, but often the breasts go back to their normal size eventually.
The problem, is that they can start to droop. It's a problem that all women deal with eventually, but pregnancy and breastfeeding can certainly speed up the process. The girls are likely to hang low for the rest of the mom's life, and she will no longer be able to go without a bra.
17 Mom's Big Old Feet
The girls aren't the only thing that expands when a woman goes through pregnancy. While the belly grows the most, other body parts will cause her to change sizes, maybe even permanently. Even though she may never expect it, some women go up a half size — or even a full one — in their shoes.
On the one hand, women can get really swollen in their legs and feet, but that usually goes away after the birth. But for some, the big feet remain. Even though things don't feel as bloated, mom can't go back to her old sneakers. She'll have to trade her shoes in for a new size.
16 Abs Separate And Stay That Way
During pregnancy, moms know that they will get a belly, but they think it's mostly baby and fat. They don't think about the fact that there are muscles there — even if they never had a six-pack that they could see.
Unfortunately, during pregnancy, the abdominal muscles separate. For many pregnancies, that isn't a very big deal, but for others, the abs will never come back together — not without surgical intervention. That's especially true if the mom has twins or higher order multiples. It's not always a big deal if you aren't a body builder, but the six pack might never happen, no matter how hard you work out, after you go through pregnancy.
15 Mommy Brain Lasts Forever
With a baby on board or a newborn in your care, most moms find themselves sometimes losing their train of thought. In fact they can lose their keys somewhere in the fridge. When the baby is small, most women blame it on sleep deprivation, but scientists have determined that so-called "mommy brain" is a real issue, and it can be permanent.
Research shows that during pregnancy a woman's brain can change, and the impact remains long after the birth. The changes can be seen on an MRI which shows that women have less gray matter in certain parts of their brain after pregnancy. It's kind of scary to think of it, but the brain changes during pregnancy, and it might be like that forever.
14 Bladder Busting Issue
Women know that pregnancy is likely to mean that they will have to rush to the bathroom. But they expect that when the baby is no longer sitting on their bladder, the problem will go away. Unfortunately, many moms continue to have incontinence well after the birth.
For some women, it's more than a problem with having to run to the bathroom more often than they would like. Some women have leakage problems that happen unexpectedly and it can cause major embarrassment. They might even have to go through surgery to keep from having to pack a change of clothes for everywhere they go.
13 Mom's Tiger Stripes
Stretch marks might seem like a price that most moms are willing to pay to have a child, but when you find out that the marks are permanent, it can become an entirely different situation. Moms can get stretch marks on their bellies and their breasts during pregnancy, as well as their hips. That might mean a bikini is out of the question, even if they lose all of the baby weight.
The good news is that most women who get stretch marks will not continue to have the dark, red coloring. Most of the time the marks will get lighter over time, which means that they won't be as noticeable. But at the same time those marks will remain for the rest of her life, and she might be self-conscious of them no matter how much they lighten.
12 Varicose Veins On Mom's Legs
When women get pregnant, the amount of blood that flows throughout their body can go up dramatically. Most of that goes between the mom and the baby through the placenta, but there is a portion that can be not so great for the mom. Some of it can cause varicose veins, which are basically swollen blood vessels that can get huge in the legs.
Varicose veins can be unsightly, but that isn't the worse part. Unfortunately, they can also be painful — and while they might be made worse by the swelling in the legs during pregnancy, they don't go away when the pregnancy is over and the swelling is down. Some women go through laser surgery to try to make varicose veins less painful and less ugly, but others suffer with it for the rest of their life.
11 How It Affects Your Smile
Pregnancy can impact a woman's dental health for the rest of her life. It's surprising, but many women end up at the dentist because of the extra tooth decay that happens while they are pregnant, even if they are careful to continue to brush and floss each day.
According to research, a good portion of women end up losing a tooth or two per each child born. If they get to the dentist right away, it's possible that they could save the tooth but have to get a crown. Either way, pregnancy impacts their smile — and the effects will last a lifetime.
10 Mom's Mid-section
When you have a baby, your uterus will never be the same. After the birth, doctors and nurses are sure to massage a woman's stomach with hopes of getting her uterus to shrink back to normal size after expanding so much to make room for a full-term baby, but it's impossible to go back to the tiny size that the organ was pre-baby.
Even if the mom is able to lose all the baby weight, the extra size for the uterus can end up leaving a little bit of a pooch in the belly. Most moms end up with a bit of a muffin top because their body will never be the same after baby. The uterus will always be a little larger; that is for certain.
9 Things Can Be Dryer Down There
Moisture is important when you are enjoying grown-up time. Bedroom fun can definitely be hampered by a dry situation downstairs, but unfortunately, your discharge changes during pregnancy and childbirth, and afterward — especially if you breastfeed — the moisture can go down.
No one enjoys it when you rub something dry against something else dry, so that can be a problem for both members of a couple after the baby is born. But the good thing is that there are products on the market that can help provide the moisture that moms lose when they have a baby.
8 Your Hips Don't Lie
When a woman is pregnant, her body starts preparing for birth. That means that pregnancy hormones will relax the ligaments in the pelvis to allow for a bigger passage for the baby to exit the body. Unfortunately, it can also be the beginning of a big issue that can become permanent. In fact, we know of people who have had to have surgery years after childbirth because of severe lower back pain caused by the pregnancy.
The sacroilliac joints — the space between the backbone and the pelvis — can suffer damage during childbirth that might not seem evident at the time. After a while, though, the pain can be debilitating, and unfortunately it can take physical therapy or more drastic measures to finally get the pelvis back in alignment and stable enough that the pain will go away.
7 The Mask Of Pregnancy Can Be Permanent
There is an old saying that sometimes a baby can steal her mom's beauty. That's because there can be a change to the skin that comes with pregnancy. It's called chloasma, and it's also known as the mask of pregnancy. It involves some darkened skin on the face, usually along the cheeks and sometimes the forehead.
Chloasma goes away for some women, but for many, it can remain after the birth. Some women can ben really self-conscious about it, such as Good Morning America's Ginger Zee, who was honest about having to cover up her discolored skin with makeup. There are laser skin treatments that can help, but otherwise, it can change your face forever.
6 Other Areas Also Get Darker
The darkened skin that can happen with pregnancy doesn't just happen on the face. It can happen on several other parts of the body. That includes the linea nigra, a line that goes straight up the abdomen for women, especially those who have darker skin tones in the first place.
The skin can also get darker on the tips of the breasts and even on the labia, and some women are surprised that their original skin tone never returns. It might be surprising, but the body will never be the same in a lot of ways, and the shade is only one factor.
5 Some Moms Develop Diabetes
Some women have pregnancy complications that develop into long-range health problems after the birth. That is especially true for women who have gestational diabetes. The complication can happen to women who are small, although women who start out the pregnancy overweight are more likely to have the issue. And while some can control their condition with diet, it's possible that gestational diabetes can lead to diabetes after the birth.
Sometimes the condition never really goes away, with women having to check their sugar and manage their diet continuously after the birth. Other times, gestational diabetes can be a sign that a woman will develop type 2 diabetes later in life. It doesn't always happen, but it is a sign that a mom should be aware of the risks and work on controlling her diet, since the situation might be permanent.
4 Permanent Hair-Raiser?
Most women are aware of the amazing things that pregnancy can do for women's hair. They have heard how wonderful and luscious their hair can be while with child, since many women benefit from the pregnancy hormones and get thick, lush hair. And they also know that there is a possibility that they could lose that thick hair in clumps after the birth. But they don't know that there could be permanent changes to their coif.
It's not just about the thickness. It's possible that the mom could end up with a different texture to their hair, having more curly or more loose hair. It's all a matter of how the hormones shake out in the end, and it might be a year before a woman figures out how their hair will change long-term because of the pregnancy.
3 Pelvic Floor Impacts Grown-Up Time
Pregnancy and childbirth can wreak havoc on the pelvic floor. Those muscles are the ones that are in the lower abdomen that not only help to push the baby out during the birth but also hold up the bladder and perform other functions in the "floor" of the abdomen. Unfortunately, one of the worst impact is that the strain on the pelvic floor can impact grown up time.
A woman's private life is important. It can help her relationship and her own self-esteem, but without the big O, many women might just as well skip the whole thing. Unfortunately, a damaged pelvic floor might mean it's harder to reach that climax, and that it might take a long time before things feel pleasurable, if it ever returns at all.
2 A change in size Remains
It is entirely possible for women to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight, so we don't want to discourage women who are worried about this issue. But the truth is that most women can say goodbye to the number that they saw on the scale before they were pregnant. Research has shown that a few pounds will remain for most women.
This trend is especially true these days, when many moms don't adhere to the doctor's recommendation to gain between 25 and 35 pounds. The more weight a woman gains during the pregnancy, the more she would have to lose to return to her pre-pregnancy weight, and many don't end up back at the same point where they were before the baby came along.
1 Your Heart Has Changed Forever
We've talked a lot about physical changes that happen to a woman's body because of pregnancy, but that is not all. It is true that breastfeeding is known to protect a woman from heart disease, but that is not the most important impact of the heart.
The biggest permanent change to a woman after pregnancy is how her heart grows. Even women who aren't sure that they could love another find themselves completely and utterly in love with their little one. A mom's heart has an infinite capacit for love, and it grows with each child. It's undeniable — the heart is changed forever with each pregnancy