What Motherhood Does to Your Body

Your breasts may never be the same, but it's not all bad news. Here's how having kids affects your health -- for better and for worse.

Your weight

Not-too-bad news: Having a baby doesn't itself make you much heavier. It's true that most women weigh more after having kids. But it's also true that most women weigh more after not having kids-the bulk of your excess weight, it turns out, comes from age rather than pregnancy. A study of 2,788 women by researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine found that women without kids gained 6 to 13 pounds over a five-year period, whereas those who had been pregnant with their first child put on just 10 to 19 pounds. Similarly, a study of more than 2,500 women by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, found that the typical adult woman gained 8 to 10 pounds during any given ten-year period -- but only 3 of those pounds could be attributed to pregnancy.

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