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Pregnancy and Child-Rearing: The Aches, Pains and Hair Loss

post-pregnancy-effects-585When you’re pregnant and feel like aliens have taken over your body, you can’t wait to have that baby and feel normal again. Or a new normal, anyway. I knew that my new normal would involve a bit of excess weight that I’d have to lose. And that my new normal would involve the production of copious amounts of milk. But three things in particular caught me a little off guard when it came to my new post-baby body. While they aren’t all directly related to pregnancy, they’re all directly related to that baby. Read on to find out about these oddities!

Three Weird Post-Pregnancy Effects

1. Rogaine, anyone? A little-known side effect of pregnancy is that the increased estrogen causes your hair to remain in a growing phase. Therefore, you’re not losing nearly as much hair as you usually do on a day-to-day basis. However. A few months after that baby arrives? You better buy some Drano, sister, because your hair will be clogging your shower like nothing you’ve ever seen. A few months after my daughter arrived, my hair started falling out in fistfuls. I actually welcomed it because it had gotten SO thick and unruly, but I was surprised the hair loss could last so long. Now, at seven months postpartum, my hair loss has finally stabilized a bit. Luckily, I still have a few hairs left on my head. That is, until my daughter yanks them out as she gains dexterity.

2. Like the Sahara. What’s white, red, flaky and painful all over? My hands! With a baby around, I find myself washing my hands all the time. Combine that with the arid winter months, and my hands areas dry as a desert. A red, painful desert. My usual overnight Vaseline treatment hasn’teven done the trick, but they’re finally getting better as the weather warms up, diaper changes become slightly less frequent, and I’m less paranoid about germifying the little one.

3. Massage! Stat! This makes me feel like such an old lady, but my body hurts. From my arms to my feet to my back, no muscle has been left unscathed by taking care of a baby full-time. And it’s no wonder because never in my life have I repeated the same motions over and over and over—most involving lifting.

The pain in my back from picking my daughter up constantly is chump change compared to the recent pain in my forearms—pain that had me passing off the car seat carrying duties to the hubby. It felt like I was about to have a stress fracture up in here. Luckily, when it started getting really bad I started taking note and tweaking how I was carrying the baby and the car seat, and it has made a huge difference. I started lifting with my legs instead of my back, and I made sure to carry her car seat in front of me with the weight equally distributed between my arms—none of this draping the car seat over my forearm business—and it has made an enormous difference.

Did you have any strange bodily aftereffects following pregnancy and childbirth? How did you cope with repetitive stress on your body? —Erin

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  1. While I was pregnant I developed sacroiliac pain (a literal pain in the butt) and Pubic symphasitis (a pain in my pubic bone). It was so bad between the two of them that at 23 years old I was walking with a walker. After I had my son via c-section, out of fear that I could paralyze myself (depending on how my spine was sitting) going through labor. I had instant relief. But as my body has gone “back to normal”, if there is even such a thing, I now have permanent sacroiliac pain, thankfully it’s less severe so I don’t need a walker! Ugh!