It’s no secret that pregnancy is a lot for your body to handle. Aside from growing-a-baby, your hips widen, your skin stretches more than you ever thought possible, your breasts jump bra sizes, and hairs grown in strange places. While these changes may just be temporary, for some they could be permanent. Whether or not pregnancy is going to wreak havoc on your body can’t be predicted, but you can certainly take measures to mitigate damage. Eating healthy, avoiding middle of the night cravings, consistent exercise, and using high-quality skin oils may help buffer your body from long-lasting trauma.

Yes, it’s true, pregnancy can leave you with lasting physical souvenirs you may not have wanted, but there are ways to correct them should you want to.

The most common changes and the procedures to correct them are:

1. Wider Hips
Women often say their hips got wider after pregnancy, but it’s actually their pelvis bone structure that has changed. This can result in your pants fitting differently. You may have also accumulated fat in your hips which is not going away on its own after childbirth. Sometimes these fat pockets become resistent to diet and exercise.

When this is the case, you can turn to lipsouction or non-surgical fat removal treatments.

2. Smaller or Larger Boobs & Deflated or Saggy Boobs
Your boobs fill up during pregnancy in preparation for breastfeeding. When this happens the skin is being stretched out just like your tummy. After childbirth, your breasts may change shape and/or deflate when they stop producing milk. Fat loss can also contribute to sagging or drooping of breast tissue. Skin laxity may be present as well.

The most common cosmetic surgical procedures for breast restoration following pregnancy are breast augmentation, breast lift, and breast reduction.

3. Skin laxity & Abdominal Muscle
During pregnancy, your skin stretches potentially causing lasting skin laxity. Additionally, your growing uterus puts pressure on abdominal muscle bands located in the middle of your stomach which may cause them to separate, along with the possibility of also creating a bulge at the midline. Unfortunately, both of these can cause unwanted permanent changes to your body. While exercise and healthy eating may help you lose weight and improve your overall body appearance, it won’t fix saggy skin or fix diastasis recti (abdominal separation).

The most common cosmetic surgical procedures for abdominal restoration include tummy tuck, pubic lift, and liposuction.

4. Stretch Marks
Many stretch marks fade over a period of months up to a couple of years after childbirth, but unfortunately will never entirely disappear. Pregnancy is such a major change on the body that they can inflict anyone no matter how much weight they gain. Some stretch marks are thin and lighter in color while others may be thick and a dark purplish color.

The most common surgical treatments for stretch marks include tummy tuck, micro-needling, and laser skin resurfacing.

5. Darker Areolas & Labia
You may experience a change in the color of your areolas and nipples to a darker shade during pregnancy which may never change back. This can also happen to your labia and even some moles. This color change is caused by the high levels of estrogen during pregnancy.

Hydroquinone is a topical skin-bleaching agent used to treat hyperpigmented skin conditions. It can be used continuously for 4-5 months with a 2-3 month break before starting use again. For severe cases, medical tattooing of the areolas may be an option.