Thank you to Mirum for partnering on today’s post. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and styling are my own.
You’ve probably heard about all the different ways that having a baby will change your life (and body), and while it’s not all bad, there have definitely been some surprises I didn’t expect! Weight gain, swelling – let’s not even get into the changes that breastfeeding causes – all of which are pretty normal. I fully expected it’d take time for my body to get back into the swing of things. But I didn’t realize that some things would NOT go back to normal even now 10 months post pregnancy. I thought it would be helpful to share these things for several reasons:
• To give future or expecting mamas a realistic look at postpartum body changes
• To reassure current mamas that you’re not going through it alone
Again, these are things that no one really told me. I had to Google a few of them, and once I mentioned them on IG Stories, I realized that there were SO many people who had similar experiences! I’m also sharing a product recommendation that has given me relief for one of them – and I’d love for you to share if you have experienced any of the below or found products that have helped!
Keep Reading Surprising Postpartum Body Changes
1. Hair Loss
Your mane will probably be thick and glossy throughout pregnancy, but once your hair cycle returns to normal after baby arrives, expect some (or a lot of) hair loss for months. Although several of my mom friends warned me about this, I wasn’t prepared for the sheer volume of hair that actually falls out and the sheer amount of strands Bennett pulls out on a daily basis. I ended up cutting my hair because my ends were getting so thin. And with all the baby hairs that start to sprout, you may even get tricked into thinking your hair is growing back – but don’t be surprised if they never fully grow out (guilty!). I recently looked back on my hair from my baby shower and was in SHOCK at how thick it was at the time compared to now.
Solution: My only solution for this has been getting some clip-in extensions for the foreseeable future and taking my daily vitamins.
2. Itchy Scalp
I definitely wasn’t prepared for this one, and honestly, it’s become the most uncomfortable. I didn’t even consider dry scalp a postpartum body change until recently. I had been testing out multiple, different dry shampoos for a blog post (coming soon), and I initially thought my dry scalp was caused by one of the dry shampoos. The skin on my head was SO dry and itchy especially along my front hairline. I went from being a person who could go a week on dry shampoo to washing every two days just to get relief. There were times when I couldn’t go on with my day until I washed my hair because it bothered me so much.
I went back to my usual dry shampoo thinking my scalp would go back to normal… no change. I swapped shampoos, I tried scalp serums, and in-shower scalp brushes. At this point, I was desperate and consulted Google. Lo and behold, this is an actual post pregnancy issue due to a change in the body’s nutrients. Since then, I’ve done a deep dive into scalp care. Researching new products and things to try. So far many have fallen flat and some can be quite expensive.
Solution: One product has given me a TON of relief and is super cost-friendly – I’d recommend to anyone with itchy, dry scalp to try it out. The answer is scalp scrub. Sounds weird, but it’s SO satisfying. It’s like a body scrub but for your head. Imagine the feeling you get when someone else washes your hair at the salon and really gets down in there. That’s what it feels like. The one I like is from the RE-fresh Scalp Care line – it’s available at Walmart, so it’s super accessible – and I have been loving the Sea Mineral + Cleanse line.
There are other products in the line that include shampoo and conditioner which are formulated with sea minerals that help smooth out your hair. I actually love anything with salicylic acid, and it’s one of the active ingredients in the RE-fresh Scalp Care Sea Mineral + Cleanse Shampoo and Conditioner that controls and removes the dry skin. After the first time I used the Exfoliating Scrub from the line, which is new and exclusively available at Walmart, I felt like I scrubbed off 5 layers of hair product that wouldn’t budge. It felt like my head could breathe as weird as that sounds. I’m also really into the fact that the RE-fresh Scalp Care line is formulated without silicones, parabens, or dyes, which means it’s not only better for the body, but is also less irritating.
3. Mild Psoriasis
Pregnancy also comes with unexpected skin changes (you can thank your hormones for that). After having Bennett, my skin how gets itchy after every shower or bath – and especially after shaving my legs. NOT as itchy as my head, but just as annoying. It only lasts for a few minutes and goes away, but for a few minutes my legs will feel like they are on fire.
Solution: The best solution has been drinking lots of water and moisturizing my skin immediately after getting out of the shower while it’s still damp. I also use a shaving cream rather than a foam which I’ve found seems to amplify the burn.
4. Hyper Pigmentation
Having a baby really put my skin to the test! I went from smooth, glowing skin to uncontrollable breakouts. And to literally top it off, I started noticing new and darkened freckles on body as well as lentigo and pigmentation on my face. About three months after pregnancy, I felt a HUGE mole type growth on my back that didn’t quite feel right. I went to my dermatologist to have it checked out and removed – it turned out to be completely fine btw. But she did confirm that pregnancy can bring pigmentation and any underlying skin damage to the surface very quickly which was exactly what was happening to me. Those years working at a tanning bed DID NOT help either.
Solution: I’ve been using products packed with retinols, salicylic acids, and exfoliants back into my routine to help lighten the existing dark spots. I have been getting regularly scheduled peels every six weeks to treat any other spots under the surface as well. I also wear SPF daily – and avoid the sun all together which can amplify the spots that I already have.
5. Stomach Sensitivities
I have always had an unruly stomach and several food sensitivities – specifically my stomach doesn’t handle gluten and dairy very well. So, it was a very welcome surprise when both of those sensitivities went away while I was pregnant – and boy did I take advantage of it! I was truly living my best allergy-free life. Perhaps the greatest Thanksgiving, Christmas, King Cake season, and Easter of my lifetime. In fact, some people have even said their stomach issues completely went away after pregnancy, so I had my fingers crossed that this change would be permanent. BUT both have since returned now that my body has readjusted…
Solution: I’m getting back into clean eating, and it hasn’t been as difficult as I expected. But don’t get me wrong, I still have the occasional cheese board or small cheat days to satisfy cravings as needed. I just don’t have the pregnancy hall pass to indulge myself and throw caution to the wind like I did for those nine months of pregnancy.
Have you experienced any weird body changes you have experienced post pregnancy?
Photos by Jen Menard