Study Shows The Toll Pregnancy Can Take On Overall Bone Health

Much of what we hear about pregnancy and childbirth focuses on the baby. At each doctor's appointment, an OB-GYN will measure the baby's heart rate and their growth, and sometimes check the position of the fetus, conduct genetic testing, and check for swelling of any kind, per Planned Parenthood. And while the health of the parent is a concern during pregnancy — during these visits, you will also have your urine tested, have your weight and blood pressure monitored, and update your medical history — that care often stops after the baby is born.

In fact, up until 2018, postpartum care was whittled down to one single visit six weeks post-birth. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists changed that to include a visit three weeks after birth, with a second visit before 12 weeks. But even with this change, the care a birthing parent receives after giving birth is lacking and this is evident when you look at the toll pregnancy can take on their overall health, from their organs to their bones.

Pregnancy can cause bone loss

Pregnancy is beautiful and miraculous, but it can also be scary and life changing in ways beyond adding a new life to your world. After birth, many birthing will experience health problems that occur solely due to their pregnancy and birth. According to Baby GaGa, they may suffer from things like urinary or fecal incontinence, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and these things can last for years or even a lifetime.

But a new study has shown that pregnancy can affect more than we thought. According to PLOS One, new findings have shown that our skeletons often change when our bodies undergo big life changes. You probably are already aware that menopause is a big factor in bone loss, but this study proves that some people may also experience "lower levels of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous in their bones" post-pregnancy. 

If you are worried about your overall bone health, don't fret. In fact, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, the estrogen produced during pregnancy can actually help to strengthen the bones, and any bone loss that occurs during pregnancy is usually restored after birth or breastfeeding.