Karabo Mokoena
Content producer
3 minute read
12 Feb 2020
10:00 am

7 postpartum body changes no one tells you about

Karabo Mokoena

For people who expect women to "snap back" they need to snap out of it.


Expecting women do a lot of preparation in anticipation of welcoming their little ones. They buy the essentials that they think the child might need, but probably won’t.

They fix the nursery, prepare the hospital bag and get mentally ready to give birth.

The one thing they never prepare for is the state of their physical bodies post-birth.

Subsequently, a lot of women struggle with the realization that their bodies have changed after giving birth.

Here are some of those changes that no one talks about.

Larger boobs

You will certainly have larger boobs that are full due to milk production and breastfeeding. A lot of women also experience engorged boobs caused by an overproduction of milk. This means that your bra size will change. There is a possibility that your size will also never be the same after you are done breastfeeding.


8 out of 10 women experience stretchmarks that stick around long after pregnancy. According to the National Health Services, many women will experience them on their tummies, thighs and even breasts. They are caused by the stretching of your skin as the baby grows and as you gain weight. For some women, the marks fade after birth, and for others, they remain behind for good.


The acronym appeared in the 2018 Vogue issue with Beyoncé as the cover star. Beyoncéhad openly embraced her protruding tummy after giving birth to her twins. FUPA stands for “fat upper pubic area”. This is the little mommy pouch that does not go away after you have given birth.
Some women experience diastasis recti, a condition that Healthline describes as the retention of the pouch months and even years after giving birth. This means that for 60% of women, ‘snapping back’ is not a possibility.

Varicose veins

According to Being the Parent “varicose veins is a condition when the veins in your legs begin to enlarge and overfill with blood”. Other moms have the appearance of the veins long after giving birth. For others, they become permanent.

Bigger feet

60% of women are reported to have larger feet after giving birth. The research reported by Live Science stated that the extra weight carried by women during pregnancy could be the major cause of a flattened arch, which results in a larger foot. So get ready to potentially buy new shoes, mama.

Urinary incontinence

Mayo Clinic defines urinary incontinence as the unintentional loss of urine that could be caused by physical movement such as coughing or sneezing. Weakened pelvic floor muscles are the main cause of incontinence. The National Center for Biotechnology Information concluded that 6.2% of women that give birth vaginally might experience this permanently post-birth.

Back pain

The extra weight women carry during pregnancy stretches their abdomen muscles and cause back pain. Back pain can persist long after you have given birth because it takes some time for the muscles to relax again. This pain may be there for more than 6-weeks and you might need to see a Dr if it does.

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