Bodily Changes During Pregnancy: What to Expect and Why Mindset Matters

Becoming a parent comes with a lot of change. Changes to your sleep schedule, daily routine, lifestyle, home (babyproofing, anyone?), and more. And for a new mom, some of the most tangible and transformative changes happen directly to her body. 

If you’re new to pregnancy and childbirth and you’re wondering what changes to expect – or if you’ve recently had your baby and you’re wondering about the “new you” after pregnancy – let’s look at some of the ways a body will change and why mindset matters. 

Changes to Expect

Apart from weight gain, here are some of the other bodily changes that you can expect as a result of pregnancy:

Breast Changes

Typically, your breasts will change in both shape and volume, especially if you’re breastfeeding. First, they’ll be larger than before, but for some people, they may eventually return to pre-pregnancy size or smaller. Your skin may lose some elasticity, and you may notice your breasts take on a more drooping appearance overall. 

Abdominal Changes

To accommodate for baby’s growth, your abdominal wall stretches, causing a bulge that leads to excess stomach skin post-pregnancy. It’s natural to have extra skin in your mid-section after pregnancy, so try to expect it and even marvel at what your body was able to do!

C-Section Considerations: For women who undergo C-sections, hanging abdominal skin can be especially problematic, since they are healing not only from pregnancy but also from a major incision.   

Pelvic Floor Changes

Ever heard a mom joke about peeing a little when she sneezes or laughs too hard? Well, it’s true that after pregnancy – and particularly after a vaginal delivery – many women experience some urinary incontinence. That’s because your bladder and uterus moved to accommodate your growing baby, and now they need time to readjust. Plus, the pelvic floor fascia, ligaments, and muscles that support your bladder and urethra may be weaker, reducing your control. 

Pelvic Floor Therapy: You don’t have to accept post-partum pelvic floor issues as a new “normal.” If you’re struggling with incontinence, ask your OB/GYN, midwife, or primary care doctor for a referral for pelvic floor therapy. It can do wonders – and you deserve to sneeze and laugh without worry!

Now What? What Diet and Exercise Can & Can’t Do

Now that you know some bodily changes to anticipate during pregnancy, let’s talk about mindset and what you can do. 

First, if you’re struggling to love your new body, you’re not alone. So much in your life has recently changed. You may need a minute (actually, a few weeks or months) to adjust! Meanwhile, remember this: every version of you is beautiful.   

And moms, this is crucial: don’t expect diet and exercise to give you back your exact pre-pregnancy body. They can’t, because you are a new you. And the changes you see are natural – and proof of the incredible transformation your body has undergone to bring new life into the world!

Of course, eating well and exercising are great for your overall well-being – just don’t expect them to magically restore your appearance to the same as before. And working out more or restricting food won’t help you achieve your goals in a healthy way. Plus, if you have significant excess and drooping skin after a C-section, diet and exercise alone cannot make it go away – you may need a surgical solution. 

Always put your health first and contact a professional about your options before trying “quick fixes” at home that could damage your overall health.

Cultivating Confidence with The Lucas Center

Our goal at The Lucas Center is to cultivate real, lasting confidence. So however you find yourself after pregnancy, we are rooting for you, Mama! You’ve achieved something amazing, and you’re forever changed as a result. And if you need help feeling comfortable and confident in your body now, we’d love to talk about your options. Many new moms opt for a “Mommy Makeover” (including a breast lift and tummy tuck) to help them achieve their goal of a firmer, more youthful appearance. 

To find out more, give us a call today at (865) 218-6210 or schedule your personalized consultation with Dr. Lucas.

(865) 217-0572