What does a womans body look like after giving birth
Your baby needs to grow, so your stomach muscles stretch to allow it. Your baby needs to come out somehow, so your hips widen to accommodate it. Your baby needs to be nourished, so your body makes a placenta. Your breasts will be larger than normal — even bigger than they were during pregnancy, most likely.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What Pregnancy Actually Did To My Body...
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: The 4th Trimester: Healing After ChildbirthContent:
- Your Postpartum Body: 20 Ways It Changes After Baby
- 18 Ways Pregnancy May Change Your Body Forever
- 17 mind-blowing ways your body changes after giving birth
- Your Post-Delivery Body: What Happens in the First 24 Hours After Giving Birth
- Recovering from Delivery (Postpartum Recovery)
- Your body after baby: The first 6 weeks
- What Happens to Your Body After Birth?
Your Postpartum Body: 20 Ways It Changes After Baby
As your uterus contracts back to size, many women feel abdominal aches and flutters somewhat akin to menstrual cramps that grow more pronounced during breastfeeding.
However, the discomfort should last only a few days and can be treated with a prescription or over-the-counter painkillers. You may have heard about the vaginal discharge known as lochia , but you weren't expecting it to be so, well, bloody. Although it's not pretty, lochia is only benign leftover blood, mucus, and tissue from your uterus. No matter how you deliver, the flow can be as heavy as, if not heavier than, your period.
Tampons can put you at risk for infection or cause pain or irritation, so use heavy-duty pads instead. The amount of discharge should decrease from there. Hormone fluctuations can also contribute to edema, or swelling of the hands, face, ankles, neck, and other extremities. In fact, it's normal for your foot to increase by half a size.
It can take weeks for all the extra fluids to leave your system. To speed up the process, though, "choose foods rich in potassium, such as fruits and vegetables; it helps counteract the water-retaining effects of sodium ," says Lakatos. She also suggests drinking more than the recommended eight glasses of water per day, especially if you are nursing.
Your breasts will probably become flushed, swollen, sore, and engorged with milk for a day or two after birth. Once this swelling goes down, in about three to four days or until you stop breastfeeding , your breasts will probably begin to sag as a result of the stretched skin. You may also experience milk leakage for several weeks, even if you don't breastfeed. The nipple may also look displaced. Your belly undergoes more changes during pregnancy than any other body part.
Depending on your age, genetics, and the amount of weight you gain , this can mean stretch marks and excess flab, or a "pooch," postpartum. It can take as long as six weeks for the uterus to revert back to its old size, which will decrease the size of your belly. But since the abdominal skin has been stretched and pulled, it may never again be as taut as it was.
As for that extra pooch, most experts recommend abdominal work. Targeted abdominal exercise will get most women the results they want with their postpartum body. These thin scars on the stomach, hips, breasts, or butt usually start out red and then lighten within a year.
Goldberg, M. Prescription topical ointments like tretinoin cream can diminish the stretch marks , but they're not safe to use while you're nursing, and they're most effective when used soon after childbirth. As many as 40 percent of pregnant women develop dilated blood vessels near the skin's surface, most often on the calves and thighs.
Varicose veins may improve after childbirth, but they won't go away completely on your postpartum body. Because it will take some time for the stretched abdomen muscles to become strong again, your body is putting extra weight on the muscles of your back.
This can lead to a backache. A new mom can also be suffering from back pain due to poor posture during pregnancy. Generally, these postpartum problems should clear up in the first six weeks after giving birth. If not, you may want to see a chiropractor. Women who had a vaginal delivery often experience tearing of the perineum the area between the vaginal opening and anus or had an episiotomy a surgical incision through the perineum , both of which need at least six weeks to heal.
To help prevent a tear in the perineum, Suzanne Aceron Badillo, P. C, clinical program director of the Women's Health Rehabilitation Program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, suggests a daily massage of the area in the final weeks of pregnancy. A daily postpartum massage will help a scar become more pliant. Toward the end of your pregnancy, the weight of your baby puts a strain on your pelvic-floor muscles , which help support your bladder control. Those weakened muscles may now cause you to leak a bit of urine when coughing, sneezing, or lifting something heavy.
Kegel exercises , which help to strengthen your pelvic muscles, are the best method for preventing leaks. Get a feel for targeting the right muscles by peeing and stopping the flow of urine midstream about ten times.
By the end of the first month or so, you should start to notice an improvement. Many moms-to-be don't stick to a regular upper body workout during pregnancy, leading to flabbiness and weakness. Additionally, your body produces the hormone relaxin in larger amounts during pregnancy, and this can weaken the joints afterward. Sore wrists, aching shoulders, and tired arms are all part of the postpartum body package. Toning and strengthening the arms, back, and shoulder muscles can help relieve strain on your upper body.
The best time to start is during pregnancy, says Flatt. After giving birth, wait six weeks before starting to exercise again. The extra fat then gets distributed to places where women most often put on weight: the backside, hips and thighs.
It can take up to a year to lose the weight gained during pregnancy , says Dawson. To shed pounds gradually, experts recommend a mix of exercise and well-balanced nutrition. Low-calorie, high-fiber foods, such as vegetables, promote a feeling of fullness, making it easier to eat less.
As for exercise, Flatt recommends moves that work multiple muscles. Night sweats in the first days after labor are part of your body's natural hormonal-adjustment process. You're still retaining lots of fluid from pregnancy, and sweating is one way your body expels it.
The sweats should dry up in a few days, but in the meantime, take one of those crib pads you bought for the baby and place it on your side of the bed to keep the mattress dry. After you give birth, it can take two to three days to have a bowel movement. Weakened ab muscles, bowels traumatized from delivery, or use of narcotic painkillers can cause the backup. Many moms also fret that they'll rip their stitches, so they hold it in, which makes matters worse.
To keep things moving along, have at least eight glasses of water a day plus plenty of fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Try not to worry about those stitches; they might smart a bit, but it's rare for them to tear, and resisting the urge to go can make you even more constipated. Walking around will help too. Just limit any strenuous activities, particularly if you've had a C-section. As many as 10 percent of women experience hair loss after pregnancy , the result of a drop in hormone levels. But relax—you aren't as bald as you feel. In fact, hair often thickens during pregnancy; in the months after giving birth, women are simply shedding that extra hair, explains obstetrician Shari Brasner, M.
Things should return to normal after three months or so, but if your brush continues to resemble a small furry animal, consult your doctor. She may want to give you a thyroid test. Up to 70 percent of expectant moms get melasma the "mask of pregnancy".
Hormonal fluctuations cause these dark patches on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lips that often fade postpartum but don't go away completely. Prescription bleaching creams, steroids, and tretinoin the main ingredient in Retin-A work either alone or in combination.
Many patients see improvements within a few weeks. The downside: These creams can cause temporary redness, peeling, and dryness; you can't use them while you're nursing or pregnant; and not all insurance companies cover them.
The same hormones that cause some infants to develop acne may also affect your complexion, says Dr. While your skin usually clears up on its own by your six-week postpartum visit , you may be able to speed things along by using an over-the-counter acne cream with salicylic acid. But talk to your doctor first if you're nursing, since even topical medicine can pass into breast milk.
To be absolutely safe, consider going the natural route: The drying and lightening properties of lemon juice make it an effective spot treatment. On the energy front, some new mothers say that they feel more energetic than they ever did before pregnancy.
In fact, a woman's aerobic capacity can increase up to 20 percent in the first six weeks postpartum. Other women say that the sheer exhaustion of childbirth, caring for a newborn , and excess body weight makes their postpartum body feel sluggish and moody. Hormones, as well as other physical and emotional changes a postpartum woman experiences, can cause you to become anxious or have nightmares, says Dr. As long as the anxiety doesn't get in the way of caring for your baby, doctors generally advise waiting for it to subside on its own rather than turning to medication.
Anxiety that escalates to panic attacks or feelings of hopelessness or being completely overwhelmed should be discussed early on with your doctor. This may be a sign of postpartum depression , which can be treated with medication. Though most C-section scars fade to a pencil-thin line in a year or two, they never completely disappear. Call your doctor immediately if you experience any of the changes on this list during the six weeks after you give birth, since they can signal a health problem.
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18 Ways Pregnancy May Change Your Body Forever
Pregnancy and childbirth transform your body—sometimes in weird and not-so-wonderful ways. By Bonnie Schiedel May 9, Giving birth is deeply awesome, but giving yourself the tools and time to restore your nutrient levels, hormones, muscles and everything else is going to affect how you experience the early days of motherhood.
Please sign in or sign up for a March of Dimes account to proceed. Your body changes a lot after you give birth. Some changes are physical and others are emotional. Learn about common postpartum discomforts and what do to about them.
17 mind-blowing ways your body changes after giving birth
As your uterus contracts back to size, many women feel abdominal aches and flutters somewhat akin to menstrual cramps that grow more pronounced during breastfeeding. However, the discomfort should last only a few days and can be treated with a prescription or over-the-counter painkillers. You may have heard about the vaginal discharge known as lochia , but you weren't expecting it to be so, well, bloody. Although it's not pretty, lochia is only benign leftover blood, mucus, and tissue from your uterus. No matter how you deliver, the flow can be as heavy as, if not heavier than, your period. Tampons can put you at risk for infection or cause pain or irritation, so use heavy-duty pads instead. The amount of discharge should decrease from there. Hormone fluctuations can also contribute to edema, or swelling of the hands, face, ankles, neck, and other extremities. In fact, it's normal for your foot to increase by half a size. It can take weeks for all the extra fluids to leave your system.
Your Post-Delivery Body: What Happens in the First 24 Hours After Giving Birth
They say that being a mother changes you, and they aren't kidding. At no other time in your life will you grow a whole new organ, force your heart to pump 50 percent more blood and have alien cells hijack your brain. And while most of those odd changes disappear after birth, a few of them, like your little one, are for keeps. From permanently bigger feet to diabetes, here are 18 things that may never go back to the way they were before pregnancy.
Your body has just done one of the most remarkable things it will ever do: grow another human being. After nine months of waiting, you are probably excited to finally be home with your new baby. Much of your focus and energy during the coming weeks and months will be on baby, but remember that you also need to take care of yourself, too. Your delivery may have been complicated or easy.
Recovering from Delivery (Postpartum Recovery)
Your body after baby: The first 6 weeks
What Happens to Your Body After Birth?