Post-Baby Body Changes

Changes in Your Hips and Feet

Hips

  • The reality: Many mothers wind up with wider hips.
  • The reason: It's not your fault, but that's cold comfort when you look like a sausage in your swimsuit. During the third trimester, pregnancy hormones cause the ligaments holding the pelvic girdle together to soften, allowing the birth canal to widen during labor and delivery. Also, as the pregnancy progresses and you gain more weight, more fat collects on the outside of the hips.
  • The relief: The redistribution of wealth around your waist can be controlled through diet and exercise. As for the looser ligaments, they will firm up over time, but your pelvis may never return to its exact pre-pregnancy shape. So if you went from a size 6 to an 8 in pants post-baby, you might have to grin and wear it.

Feet

  • The reality: If you're convinced your feet grew during pregnancy, you're not crazy. They may be longer or wider -- or both -- postpartum.
  • The reason: During pregnancy, your body retains fluid, swelling the soft tissue around your feet. In addition, the pregnancy hormone relaxin loosens the joints in your feet and causes them to spread out -- sometimes permanently.
  • The relief: Although the swelling disappears after delivery, your feet may never return to their pre-pregnancy size. It's a great excuse to buy new shoes!

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