It was a moment I think any woman has had. I looked into the mirror, and thought “God how did this happen?” “Is this really me?”
I should not have been looking in the mirror, I had a newborn, and I had a miracle. I should have been sleeping, but no I was inspecting, judging myself.
I looked like the Pillsbury dough girl. My breasts were leaking, my belly was like pizza dough, and I was wearing a pad the size of Columbus. Would I ever return to “normal?” Why didn’t anyone tell me this was going to happen? Why hadn’t I read this in a textbook? It’s simple, if women shared this secret, maybe others would not join them in this role of motherhood?
So, most of the questions I get in the office are about bodily changes of pregnancy. So, let’s talk about them…
Skin- skin changes a lot in pregnancy due to the hormonal changes;
moles and freckles may darken. Some women will develop skin tags, or loose growths of skin. Other women will develop varicose veins or spider veins. (Sounds like fun, huh?) Acne is a common complaint in pregnancy. (Can you say teenage years again?) The linea nigra, the line from your navel to your pubic bone may darken.
Hair- some women will notice curly hair go straight or hair that gets thicker during pregnancy. Hair can also grow in places ii never grew before, on the belly or face.
Belly- the growing belly gets itchy and may have stretch marks. A belly button that was once an “inny” may become an “outy” and sometimes, this causes pain in the belly button.
Breasts- they get tender and grow. (Most women don’t mind the growing part) A lot of women may notice that the vessels underneath the skin are visible, giving a bluish color to the skin around the breast. The nipple and areola may darken due to pregnancy hormones.
Hemorrhoids- I bring up only because so many people are afraid to ask. They are due to dilated vessels of pregnancy and can cause bleeding and itching during pregnancy, which for many women is scary. (It’s ok, most women have experienced this) Tucks pads are a great thing to have in the medicine cabinet, they soothe the pain.
So, I guess maybe it’s a good thing I was not told I would develop “blue breasts”, skin tags, an itchy belly, and a hairy body before I knew and understood the miracle of motherhood. I may not have jumped in so readily.
I love my body now for everything it has allowed me to do, to carry and give birth to my 3 children and to nurse them. I love every stretch mark, area of cellulite, and imperfection. Without them, I would not have known the greatest loves of my life, my 3 children.