Having a baby is the most beautiful and craziest thing in life. Your body changes too. She looks different, feels different, and may still be struggling with the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth. Your body will still need a while to get back to normal – and most physical changes are nothing to worry about.
1. Your back needs a break
During pregnancy, your back is subjected to more stress than before. A condition known as symphysiolysis (also: symphysis laxity) can cause lower back pain. Sit up straight and make sure your back is supported while breastfeeding your baby. Place a small pillow behind your lower back to support your lower back. Make sure your feet touch the ground. Kneel or squat (without bending your back) to stay low to the ground while you’re picking up toys or bathing your baby, for example.
Read also: Exercises Prevent Major Heart Problems
2. Your pelvic floor recovers
A vaginal birth can leave marks on the pelvic floor area, such as a mild to moderate tear. This can cause pain, discomfort, painful sex, incontinence and constipation for a few weeks after birth – but these symptoms should subside by 2 months at the latest.
3. Heal perineal tears and episiotomy
At birth, the tissue between the vulva and anus is stretched. This can lead to a tear in the perineum – or the midwife or doctor has to perform an episiotomy. These birth injuries are stitched and should heal within a month. Shower instead of bathing while you’re still bleeding, since bathing could introduce bacteria into the uterus.
4. After cesarean section
Around 1.4 million cesarean sections are performed in Europe every year. After a cesarean section, your body needs to recover, everything just takes a little longer. As with all major surgeries, there is a risk of infection through the incision and damage to the nerve with a cesarean section, and bruising is also common.
5. Hemorrhoids can occur
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in or around the buttocks. They can occur both during pregnancy and after childbirth. It is believed that up to 35% of all pregnant women suffer from it. Hemorrhoids usually develop during pregnancy due to the increased pressure the baby puts on the abdominal wall. Many women don’t realize they have hemorrhoids until they feel the itch or see blood on the toilet paper. But hemorrhoids are usually very treatable.
6. The uterine lining is renewed
It is normal for women to bleed for about 2-6 weeks after a vaginal delivery or cesarean section. The menstrual period (lochia) is a mixture of mucus, blood, and tissue that is shed after childbirth as the lining of the uterus is renewed.
7. The vagina becomes dry and sore
It’s normal for the vagina and the area around it to feel sore after childbirth. Also, due to low estrogen levels, the vagina can become very dry, which can make sex painful. You can put ice packs on the swelling, apply a topical numbing cream, and take pain medication if needed. Also, follow the general tips for pelvic floor problems above.
8. Gap between the abdominal muscles
In about 60% of women, a gap forms between the straight abdominal muscles (rectus diastasis) during pregnancy. It is caused by a split in the muscles that run down the middle of the abdomen as the baby puts more pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy. The width of the gap varies from woman to woman. In most cases, the tummy will begin to recede around 8 weeks after birth. You can start with a gentle abdominal and core workout. Ask your midwife about exercises to reduce the gap between the muscles.
9. Skin and hair changes and obvious body disfigurement
The hormonal changes during pregnancy can have very different effects. Some women report having glowing skin while others suffer from acne. Some women report hair loss after childbirth, but that’s actually due to fluctuating estrogen levels. Many women show obvious body physical changes like sagging belly, the obvious appearance of hip dips, and even gaining weight and becoming obviously bigger than before pregnancy.
It’s important to eat a nutritious, healthy diet and get as much sleep as possible, and consider taking a multivitamin for new moms. Iron tablets can also help. You should be careful with these though, as they can cause constipation. You should also start planning your exercise routine too. Meanwhile, you can cover up these changes with your choice of clothes. You can read How Do You Cover Hip Dips for some tips
10. Your mood swings
Low moods are due to hormonal changes. The baby blues kick in around day three after birth. It’s important for both you and your partner to realize that around day three after giving birth, the baby blues can kick in. This awareness is half the battle. These feelings usually go away on their own after a few weeks.