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We Asked An Expert To Explain Lesser-Known Things That Happen After Childbirth

Varicose veins in your vulva is common after pregnancy.

In the past, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at Yale University School of Medicine – Mary Jane Minkin, MD – has helped answer our questions about women's bodies and childbirth. So, we turned to her again for information about lesser-known things that can happen to women after they give birth.

1. The space between your left and right stomach muscles can widen due to something called siastasis recti. It’s a common condition that can happen postpartum.

2. Varicose veins – especially in your vulva – are pretty common after pregnancy.

3. Although rare, a rectovaginal fistula occurs when there is a hole between the rectum and the vagina.

4. You can gain weight in different areas than you did prior to pregnancy. (For example, if you used to gain weight in your hips, you could start gaining weight in your stomach instead.)

5. You can excessively sweat for no reason after pregnancy.

6. Your breasts are likely to shrink after pregnancy.

7. However, your feet are likely to get bigger during pregnancy and stay bigger after it.

8. Your hair can change color or texture after you give birth – and it can get thinner.

9. Your skin and nipples may get darker during pregnancy and stay darker afterward.

10. And your skin can be more sensitive to the sun after pregnancy.

11. Your stretch marks may change color after pregnancy.

12. Your postpartum breasts will be very sore.

13. Peeing a little during and after pregnancy can happen frequently.