Stretch marks! Saggy boobs! Loose skin! You’ve no doubt heard about all the ways that having a baby will “ruin” your body. But it’s not all bad—we promise. Some women are pleasantly surprised by the changes that happen after pregnancy. They report having less acne, easier periods—even better eyesight. Here, 15 women share how childbearing changed their bodies for the better.
1. Migraine relief “I used to get migraines every three months or so, but during my pregnancy I didn’t have any. Now that I’ve given birth, I get them far less frequently—about every six to nine months.” —Michelle Axford, Toronto
2. New hair, don’t care “After my second pregnancy, my straight hair grew back curly! It’s a pain to brush out, but I love it!” —Raelene Nielson, Calgary
3. Hotter than ever “I haven’t been cold since getting pregnant! I’m now 11 months postpartum and I’m rather enjoying not being the person who is always freezing in a room where others are comfortable.” —Laura Cardiff, Toronto
4. Flour power “My gluten intolerance went away after my first. Aside from my baby, it was the best thing that happened to me. Simply magical. Hello, bakeries!” —Melinda Nikkel, Toronto
5. Zits zapped “I’ve had really bad acne since I was a teen, and when I was in the second trimester of pregnancy, it cleared up and never came back. I assume it was a hormonal change. I talk face to face with people all day for work, and it makes me feel so free to not have the nagging feeling that there are spots on my face.” —Laura Smith, Toronto
6. A step up “My feet are smaller now—almost a full size. Pre-pregnancy I was a size 8.5 and now I’m a 7.5.” —Melanie Theuma, Toronto
7. Goodbye, glasses! “I have been near-sighted and worn glasses since high school, but my eyesight improved dramatically while I was pregnant and in the six months after I gave birth. At one point, I actually spent half an hour trying to take out my contact lenses before realizing my vision was so good that it just felt like I was wearing them.” —Sara Cohen, Thornhill, Ontario
8. A better butt “My pelvic bone widened, so my hips got wider and stayed that way, and I gained a little weight after being at my lowest weight ever. Thanks to that, I now have some curves to my body. I can finally wear tight dresses and have something to show in them.” —Lynn, Toronto
9. Silky strands “About a month after my baby was born, I started noticing that my hair was so silky! My hair is naturally dark, thick and frizzy, but now, I finally don’t have to straighten or blow-dry it all the time.” —Maleeha Tahir, Mississauga, Ont.
10. Milking it “I’m no longer lactose intolerant. It just went away during my first pregnancy.” —Fernanda Torres, Montreal
11. Pleasant periods “When my periods returned after I gave birth, my painful cramps didn't. It's like pregnancy reset my hormones.” —Renee T., Toronto
12. Scaled back “I put off getting pregnant because I was already obese, and I was scared of what it would do to my body. But I only gained 18 pounds, and I worked out every day, because I had back problems early on. By the time I delivered, I was probably in my best shape ever, and I walked out of the hospital weighing less than I did before I got pregnant.” —Anonymous, Toronto
13. Glow on “My nails and hair got stronger, and my skin changed from dry to normal. It bounces back more now, and it’s healthier looking.” —Valerie Porkhun, Edmonton
14. Bust booster “My breasts went from an A cup size to B/C cup. I never had cleavage before, and now, necklines are so much more fun.” —Linda Wu-Dunphy, Toronto
15. A new perspective “I always saw my self-worth through my size and how I looked, but after giving birth, I cared about my health and being at my best for my daughter. Although I have cellulite, stretch marks and smaller, less perky breasts, I love my body more than ever now.” —Elyssa Cipriani, Montreal