Your Body after Pregnancy

The body of a new mother has undergone such massive changes that can even beat the demands expected from an Olympian athlete. The process of conceiving, developing, and delivering a young baby is something that has used up every ounce of your body and its different resources. The outcome is that the body now needs a lot of time and effort to get back into its original shape and energy levels.

Post delivery you go through a number of hormonal changes with the progesterone and estrogen levels going down by 90 percent within a few days of the delivery. Along with this the physical inconvenience and tiredness play havoc with your emotional state. You need to be treated like a precious thing that has the family’s support to get her physical and emotional energies back. There should be a good twelve hour sleep to enable you to overcome depression and mood swings.

Losing weight gained during pregnancy is every woman’s biggest worry. It is very important to let the body recover at its own pace because it has just completed a marathon effort of giving birth. During this period you must eat well, rest, and build your reserves again. You can avoid high protein, low carbohydrates from your diet and get recommendations from a dietician to enable you to loose weight sensibly. Exercise is another good option to get back into your original shape. It not only makes you loose weight but also makes you feel good and happy. Most important exercises are the pelvic floor exercises. One can start with gentle exercise like walking and go on to do yoga, swimming, and Pilates. You must remember to take things at a slow pace. There are so many aspects of your body, which you cannot change after delivery like breast shape, stretch marks, so it’s advisable to start respecting yourself and your body to get mental happiness.

There are a many parts of your body (internal and external) which need to get back into shape –

  • Abdomen – After delivery your abdomen still looks pregnant and the uterus is enlarged. Within the next six weeks, the uterus and the abdomen muscles become taut and uterus contracts back to its normal shape. This process is called involution.
  • Breasts – The breasts of a nursing mother at times are over capacitated and this may cause trouble for the baby to latch on. In such a case, you should express a little milk manually and soften the areola. To protect and help the tender breast tissues you must wear a supportive bra.
  • Constipation – This is one of the most common side effects of childbirth. Factors like sluggish intestine, out–of-shape abdominal muscles, use of anesthesia, epidurals, and pain killers can make the problem all the more severs. The only solution is to keep moving, drink plenty of water, and eat high fiber foods, raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Skin – the skin starts glowing in pregnancy and following childbirth, everything changes. Due to fatigue and other physical changes, your skin may become drier and loose its radiance. It regains its old charm when your menstrual cycle begins. Stretch marks unless very strong also begin to fade in due course of time.
  • Hair – Post delivery there is so much hair loss due to physical and hormonal changes as against pregnancy when there is not much hair loss, that it may create a panic. But because the hormonal levels starts falling again, things become normal within one year of the delivery and you may have your crowning glory back.

By the end of six weeks, your body starts recovering and you are quite set and adjusted in your new routine with the baby. Now you can go in for a physical examination where the following things can be checked –

  • Weight – should be down by 20 pounds
  • Breasts
  • Thorough check-up of vagina, ovaries, cervix, fallopian tubes, and perineum
  • Size, shape, and location of the uterus to check if it has returned to its original state.
  • Blood pressure
  • Legs for swelling or varicose veins
  • Birth controls
  • If there was a c-section, whether the stitches have healed.

Any problem in any area needs to be thoroughly checked, examined and discussed with your health care provider.

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