We already know that life changes forever when you become a mom. From the moment you become pregnant, actually, your life is no longer your own. Your needs will never come first again. This is both the beauty and the curse of motherhood.
I remember when I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant, so it was a moment of pure joy. I was completely overwhelmed in every sense of the word. I had a good pregnancy, so I can’t complain. But realizing that everything I did and ate directly impacted this tiny little person growing inside me was a monumental change and a pretty heavy weight to wrap my mind around. Sure, I missed my glass of wine at the end of the day and a nice, fat Italian sub, but it was all worth it. The moment the doctor placed her in my arms and I finally got to meet the little person that was kicking me and keeping me awake with her hiccups, nothing else mattered. And I felt the same way with my second daughter. Just when you think you can’t possibly love another person as much as you love your first child, your second child is born and you realize that your heart is capable of holding more love than you’d ever imagined.
And though I had two amazing pregnancies, carrying babies definitely changes your body’s dynamic. I ended up with mild stretch marks after my second daughter, heartburn following the first, and that stubborn “mom pouch” below my belly button. But there are ways to counteract some of those post-pregnancy side effects that our body endures.
Not all moms experience stretch marks during their pregnancy, but they are very common. When the skin stretches and pulls, it can result in stretch marks. This also happens after gaining or losing a lot of weight, which is why it makes sense that pregnant women often get them.
Though you may never completely eliminate stretch marks, there are a lot of topical remedies that can help reduce their appearance. Some stretch marks are very dark and red in color, where others are more translucent and less noticeable. Either way, you can try some of these popular remedies to reduce the severity of your stretch marks.
Aloe Vera is one of the most popular products used to treat a whole host of skin conditions, including stretch marks. You can rub Aloe Vera directly on the stretch marks and let it sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with water. Or, you can mix Aloe Vera with vitamin E and vitamin A and then apply the mixture directly on the skin. This mixture will be absorbed. Other topical options for stretch marks include egg whites, castor oil, sugar, and lemon juice. Who knew?
Oh yes, baby weight. We all know it too well. The struggle that new (and older) moms go through when it comes to losing weight postpartum is real. And it’s no secret as to why. For some women, they view pregnancy as their free pass to eat whatever they want. And while you should allow yourself to indulge and enjoy some guilty pleasure as a pregnant woman, it’s also important to monitor your weight and gain at healthy levels. Your doctor will help determine what a healthy amount of weight gain looks like for you, but here is a general guideline.
Average Weight Post-Pregnancy: Gain between 25 and 35 pounds
Overweight Post-Pregnancy:Gain between 15 and 25 pounds
Underweight Post-Pregnancy: Gain between 28 and 40 pounds
Following childbirth, most women lose 10 pounds upon delivery. This is the weight of the baby combined with amniotic fluid and water. Most moms can expect to lost another 5 pounds in the days to follow, which is more water weight. But now the real weight loss journey begins. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice for caloric intake, especially while breastfeeding. Depending on the type of delivery you had, you’ll also need clearance from your doctor before beginning a workout or exercise regime. But you can still stay active!
Take short walks around your house or outside with your baby. Start incorporating more fresh vegetables, fruit, and proteins into your diet and ditch the desserts and pizza. Remember, you’re not eating for two anymore (unless of course you’re breastfeeding). There are countless weight loss plans available also, from Weight Watchers to Jenny Craig or even Beach Body. Do a little research and see what works best for you and your schedule.
If you ended up having a cesarean section delivery, you’ll be left with a scar. Your scar will rest somewhere below your belly button and above your pelvic bone and is approximately between four and six inches in length. Most women I know consider this a badge of honor in terms of their child’s delivery. Because the scar is so low, it won’t be visible when wearing a bathing suit or most garments. But some women still find the scar bothersome. So, what can you do?
Though the appearance of some scars may lessen over time, they will never disappear completely and your skin will never return to its original state, before surgery. But you can use a long list of topic methods, similar to treating stretch marks. These include a mix of Shea butter and coconut oil, Aloe Vera, and apple cider vinegar. You can also use pressure garments, which are said to help reduce the appearance of scars.
Understanding Life Will Never Be the Same
It’s important to understand that not only will your body be different following pregnancy, but so will your entire life. Once you become a mother, your entire perspective on life changes. You become much more aware of the truly important things in life. You are in a constant state of worry and concern. But you also experience moments of pure joy, pride, and compassion like you’ve never felt before. All of the physical effects of pregnancy are well worth it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.