what is it about pregnancy that "wrecks" women's bodies?

It’s a sort of cliche that pregnancy “wrecks” women’s bodies. You always hear them say “well, after two kids…” or “i’ll never get back to my weight before having two kids!” etc.

What are they talking about? Are women just referring to the weight that’s gained during the pregnancy, or are there actual physical changes to their bodies as a result of pregnancy?

Yeah, some. Nature did not intend adult women to keep a “girlish figure” their entire lives, especially after having babies.

A woman’s breasts tend to get a little larger-- and may lose some of their elasticity after nursing is finished. The hips may broaden, and weight gained during pregnancy may be somewhat difficult to shed.

Not to mention stretch marks.

As well as the weight and breast changes, women often have to deal with episiotomies, stretch marks, varicose veins, and cesarean scars. The extra hair that grows in during pregnancy falls out soon after, which is probably depressing as well. Also, some women endure a lifetime of urinary incontinence after pregnancy and especially after a vaginal delivery.

Are women just referring to the weight that’s gained during the pregnancy, or are there actual physical changes to their bodies as a result of pregnancy?

I’ve always been fat, but before I had my daughter I had a flat pancake butt.

Afterwards it got all round and bootylicious.


AFAIK, a woman’s metabolism is changed after giving birth. Also, as others have mentioned there are things like stretch marks, scars, and incontinence that come up. Also, if the woman doesn’t get proper nutrition during pregnancy her body takes from itself to help the fetus grow. It wasn’t uncommon in past times for a woman to lose teeth after giving birth, becuase she couldn’t get enough milk during pregnancey, so her body took from itself and gave to the fetus. I don’t think it’s just calcium the body does this with either, but IANAD, so I’m not positive on that.

Also, even if a woman manages to return to her pre-pregnancy weight, she may be dismayed to find that everything has moved considerably southward. There are a lot of little things that cause this. One is time. A woman who took the time, pre-motherhood, to eat proper, nutritious meals and exercise regularly, may now find herself overwhelmed with just taking care of the baby. Also, let’s say you gain 35 pounds during pregnancy. You lose 25 of them in the first year, and you’re pretty much okay with carrrying around that extra 10 pounds. It’s only 10 pounds, right? No big deal. But multiply that by two more pregnancies, and you’re 30 pounds over your pre-pregnancy weight! Then you have three kids, you’re approaching an age where metabolism almost always slows down anyway, and it can be damned near impossible to lose that weight! As if all that weren’t enough, a lot of moms get into the habit of finishing that last two or three bites of something the kids leave on their plates. It’s a battle that can be won, in most cases, but it’s tough.

Doing pregnancy is hard work on the body. By its conclusion you’re carrying around a five-to-nine pound burden and metabolically supporting a five-to-nine pound parasite, while displacing the body’s organs and architecture with a five-to-nine pound tumor. (Not the warmest and most affectionate descriptions, I know).

It can stretch out the muscles in the abdominal wall, making it hard or impossible to “suck in” your tummy.

Carrying the extra weight can also stress the joints and back and cause further damage. My knees got exponentially worse.

AHunter3, there’s a lot more pregnancy weight than just the baby. The increased blood supply, the amniotic fluid, the breast engorgement, and extra fat all weigh something. I think I gained about 40 pounds during pregnancy and immediately lost 20 after I delivered, just in baby, amniotic fluid, and water retention. And the kid weighed less than 8 lbs.


Where I used to work ,we had many Vietnamese,Chinese women working and many of them had children .
After some of them came back to work they looked exactly like before giving birth and in some cases even better, I’m not lying.
We had also white women there and some of them also were pregnant and after they returned to work they looked not that good.I mean they were overweight and their faces were kind of tired and old.
Of course what I noticed is not the rule but genneraly speaking East Asian women get thru pregnancy and recovery much better.
Can you ladys shed more light on this please.

I don’t think AHunter was suggesting the weight gained was that of the baby, quite the contrary. He did mention having to metabolically support the baby, which category most of the things you mentioned fall under.

It is not unusual for a woman’s **feet to grow larger ** during pregnancy. Mine grew from a 7 1/2 to an 8 1/2 in my first pregnancy. That’s a good example of the kind of silly, disruptive nonsense going on in your body when you’re pregnant.

I think a lot of it is hereditary. I didn’t gain weight, get stretch marks, or lose my teeth. I kept some of the increased breastage, but that’s about it.

I’ve never been more happy to be a guy.


I read his post to mean that women “only” gained the weight of the baby. If I misunderstood, I apologize.


Nothing. Maybe I’m just different, but nothing on my body was wrecked in any way.

I have curvier hips now, and my husband loves it. I was very skinny in HS and thought I had the body of a 10 year old boy. My breasts are a little lower than they were when I was 20, but so what? My body is still beautiful.

If I have strech marks, sagging boobies or whatever, they are a badge of my motherhood, and not to be despised or surgically removed!

I am not incontinent, nor have I lost control of my pelvic muscles. Episiotomies heal, usually with no trace (at least mine did). I am not sagging or overly stretched anywhere, and I have had two children so far.

YMMV, of course, but I love being pregnant and having babies, and I love myself and my beautiful body.

Women need to stop worrying about what terrible things might happen to the way their body looks, and start focusing on the incredible joy of what they are doing.

Like I said on another board about a similar thread, I’m so glad I have a penis :stuck_out_tongue:

The penis is just a bonus compared to the privilege of not ever having to get pregnant. :smiley:

We have three children, and my wife is Chinese. Not to brag or anything, but she looks the same as before she had children. She still weighs 100 lbs.