I think, as cisgender women, we often hear about the symptoms that come along early in pregnancy. We hear that we should expect tender or swollen breasts, nausea, increased urination, fatigue and cravings for outrageous things at all hours of the night (and day). Rarely do we ever hear the truth about what happens to our bodies later in and after pregnancy. Whether we like it or not, after enduring a pregnancy, we will be altered forever. Our bodies are amazing and the science behind what is actually happening internally is beyond belief!
What really is happening?
When doing research about what is anatomically happening during pregnancy, I came across this piece on Parents.com by Cari Wira Dineen. This reading truly enlightened me, giving me a glimpse of what to expect during pregnancy. For starters, our bodies double in blood volume, going from 30% to 50%, to prepare for the fetus. Another common thing that happens (one that seems most common) is the development of hips. This is largely due to the pelvic bone separating to be able to prepare the cervix for a child. That is absolutely insane and badass!
Along with these changes, our hormones begin to change. This hormone change may cause body hair to grow thicker but also can contribute to breast sensitivity. This sensitivity is due to lactation, increasing the breast in size. This, in turn, increases our bra size. Along with hormonal changes come many changes to our breast, actually!
How are boobs changing?
It is no doubt that we may hear about breasts becoming tender during pregnancy, but did you know they can continue to grow even after pregnancy? This growth can be for hormonal reasons, or even the inevitable weight gain that comes with pregnancy. Regardless, continued growth is quite a common phenomenon after giving birth.
What can we do?
The lopsided nature of our breasts, that is reality for many of us, may be enhanced by this growth. This lopsidedness may often be accompanied by sagging, especially during and after breast feeding. “The only way to counter the sagginess in breasts is to make use of a bra that can make them look great, as well as maintain a controlled diet…”, is the advice given to us from First Cry Parenting.
Finding a great bra that helps you retain your shape is key in this process. It is important to lift your girls and not squish them. We want them to look good but we don’t want the discomfort of underwire. Wearing a bra with hardwire is not recommended but wearing one overall is recommended to help maintain a good breast size. Having a good, supportive sports bra seems only best because you kill two birds with one stone! You gain the support you need and it motivates you to continue working your body into the shape it was in pre-pregnancy. We all need a little motivation sometimes!