Leave behind the swollen feet and incontinence issues: who knew that carrying a baby in your belly would be so damn fantastic?
Most of us are aware of the life changing toll that a pregnancy puts on a persons body — swollen breasts, back pain, and hair loss are among the common changes that one may experience. However, the positive changes that are experienced after a pregnancy are often overlooked, and I don’t just mean the obvious joy of having a child, but rather the bonuses that carrying a child gives to your body.
Studies have shown that after pregnancy, an individual’s brain, body, and productivity are altered and enhanced. While we typically focus on the obstacles that come with childbirth, mostly due to the abrupt changes in our once familiar body, there are positives in birthing your little forever human.
Here are three incredible ways that a body and mind changes after going through a pregnancy.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “Mothers of at least two children are, on average, more productive than mothers of only one child, and mothers in general are more productive than childless women.” While this isn’t correlated to the body or brain necessarily, it does hold truth in terms of focus due to constant responsibility and efficiency. This is not to say that childless women are unproductive. The stereotype of the pregnant individual being distracted, tired, and unwelcome in the work place is not true either. Caroline Gatrell mentions in her piece on The Guardian that many mothers are balancing their careers with motherhood and have found that many of the women are productive to a fault and are working themselves too hard. Whatever the case, individuals with children find themselves more active and this enacts a response of productivity in or outside of the home.
Less painful periods
After all of that pain comes a little bit of good. If you suffered from heavy periods before your pregnancy, you may see a difference in the pain afterwards. Individuals who suffer from endometriosis are especially likely to see this change. When delivering a baby, ligaments, tissues and adhesions are relaxed. Other conditions like, polycystic ovarian syndrome is also known to subside after childbirth. Sex hormones are rebalanced when the body prepares for the birth healthy baby.
A healthy future
Raising a child in itself is a lifestyle change. Lack of sleep, endless activities, and an all around change of events may appear to contribute to stress but childbirth actually decreases serious problems like ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and heart disease. Higher levels of estrogen, cells shared through the placenta, breastfeeding and decreased ovulation contribute to a healthy future (without even trying that much).
Additionally, being a mother allows for an individual to make healthy decisions on their own, as they are eager to quit their unhealthy habits while carrying their baby, and are less likely to pick the habit back up when the pregnancy is over.
So, now that you know all of this you still may not be feeling too hot. Nausea and fatigue are probably hitting you a little hard right now. But just think, in a short few months you’ll be smiling, holding your baby and riding these happy, healthy waves into the future.