Your body, post pregnancy
- By Team TDO
You have just delivered your baby. And now your body is in a transformation mode, trying to go back to its pre-pregnancy condition. In this event you may witness some strange and new transformations.
It’s good to know what these changes are so that you are not shocked when these changes actually occur.
After the nine months break from menstruation, the bleeding is back with a revenge. Initially, the blood is bright red with heavy flow. It later turns pink. This discharge continues for several weeks. It is advised to avoid strenuous physical activity.
After the delivery, your feet may feel heavy, swollen and itchy. This gradually reduces. Get some comfortable slippers to wear.
During lactation breasts enlarge, become firm, and uncomfortable. This is called breast engorgement. Wear a well-fitted maternity bra for support. Take a warm shower and gently massage your breasts.
Sore and swollen vagina
The vagina will be sore and swollen with small tears in the wall after delivery. Discomfort in the perineum (area between the rectum and vagina) is expected. Putting ice next to perineum helps to relive soreness. Soaking the area in warm water for 10-15 minutes for 2-3 times a day also helps. Vagina will slowly become smaller. However, it will not reach the same small size as it was before pregnancy again.
Your breasts and nipples will look different and may leak often. Your hips will be wider and you will still have excess body fat that may take a long time to lose. You may feel insecure and unattractive. This, however, is a temporary phase. Shed off the insecurity and enjoy motherhood.
Don't freak out if you shed hair. It's normal after delivery. A hormone called estrogen is released during pregnancy that stimulates hair growth. The extra hair grown during pregnancy falls out with the drop in this hormone. This will begin around three months after delivery and stops in a couple of months.
Back pain and hip pain
Many women complain about having back and hip pain after delivery. There could be number of reasons for the pain such as the stretching of ligaments, strain of baby weight for a long time, and wearing wrong footwear. Ask your doctor if some physical therapy will help. Few sessions of such therapy will help ease the pain.
Immediately after delivery, your uterus remains hard and round and can be felt just by touching your naval. Gradually it will start regaining its original size.
The brown line which you got during your pregnancy in the centre of your lower abdomen will slowly disappear. The stretch marks, however, will not disappear. You have to bear with them for long in the near future.
Incontinence (involuntary urination)
You may have dribbling of urine unintentionally and may lose bowel control. It occurs due to the stretching of your muscles during delivery. Urinary incontinence may occur when you laugh, cough or sneeze. Kegel exercise can help you to fix the problem. Consult your doctor.
Moms tend to feel extremely exhausted after delivery for a few weeks. Take good rest. It helps fast recovery and good milk production. Fatigue can also lead to depression. Take support from partner and family. Limit the number of visitors so that you can get rest.
Shrinking of belly
The belly does not shrink down immediately after delivery as the uterus is still quite large after childbirth. Later the uterus begins to contract and shrink. These contractions may feel like cramps called “after pains.” These pains subside in a few days. The uterus should be back to its pre-pregnancy size in about four weeks. It measures about the size of your fist.