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The hospital bag you packed during pregnancy may have included some of your old, pre-pregnancy outfits, but you didn't quite fit into them. Even though you gave birth a month ago, some random stranger has already asked you if you were expecting a baby. Do you recognize this? Of course, you are wondering whether it is normal to still look pregnant after giving birth... and what you can do about it. 

No matter whether you were underweight, overweight, or anywhere in between, pregnancy takes its toll on the body. Your abdominal muscles move aside during pregnancy to accommodate your growing baby and the uterus, and your internal organs get pushed around. Your skin expands immensely during those nine months. Keeping that in mind, is it really fair that we expect our bodies to look the same way they did while we were still working on how to get pregnant?

Looking pregnant after you already had a baby is about much more than weight gain alone. Every mother knows that a body goes through many changes during pregnancy, and some of those may only become noticeable once you give birth. These changes include stretch marks, bigger feet (really!) and a saggy-looking abdomen.

The good news is that time, patience, exercise and healthy eating take care of the problem. While you are recovering from pregnancy and childbirth, you can wear larger, more "forgiving" clothes like tunics and leggings, or dresses. You can also start walking with your baby as soon as you feel up to it. If you want to start serious weight loss efforts though, and toning routines, you will have to wait for about six weeks.

It is a good idea to wait with postpartum exercise, especially abdominal crunches, until you have talked to your doctor about it. You will also need to build any exercise routine up gradually, and pay more attention than usual to your body.

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