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    6 Post-Pregnancy Body Changes You Didn't Expect

    The top 5 post-pregnancy body changes that you never saw coming.

    2. Belly Bulge continued...

    “I used the bathroom the day after my daughter was born, and looked in the mirror,” Ezman says. “I thought I would look a little different, but I still looked almost nine months pregnant.”

    During pregnancy and after delivery, exerc and a healthy diet are key to getting your body back in shape (under the direction of your ob-gyn, of course).

    “It takes time,” Ricciotti says. “Core exercises that focus on your belly do help in toning your baby bulge.”

    3. Shoe Surprise

    Think the changes you experience from pregnancy happen mostly in your mid-section? You forgot about your feet.

    "Yes, a woman’s feet swell during pregnancy,” Ricciotti says. “But after her baby is born, she may have a permanently different shoe size.”

    The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that average-sized women gain between 25-35 pounds during pregnancy. That extra weight puts your feet under pressure.

    "The additional weight you carry may flatten the arch of your foot,” Ricciotti says. “With the arch flattened you might find that you need an extra half-inch larger shoe size to be comfortable.”

    Hormones play a role here, too -- in particular, one called relaxin.

    "It does just what it sounds like,” Ribaudo says. “It relaxes the muscle ligaments in your body to help prepare you for childbirth, but it’s not exclusive to your pelvic area. It also affects the rest of your body, including your feet.”

    With loosened ligaments in your feet and an increase in body weight pushing down on your arch, your feet are primed to flatten and lengthen.

    On the bright side? It's a great excuse to go shoe shopping.

    Baby's First Year Newsletter

    Because every week matters, get expert advice and facts on what to expect in your baby's first year.

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