Embracing your postpartum body

You are highly likely to experience changes in your body after childbirth.  These changes are different in every woman and their lasting time may differ. Some of the postpartum changes

Embracing your postpartum body
  • PublishedJanuary 26, 2021

You are highly likely to experience changes in your body after childbirth.  These changes are different in every woman and their lasting time may differ. Some of the postpartum changes are permanent while others take a short period of time to disappear.

For some women, it can be hard to come to terms with some of these changes but be encouraged that you brought a whole human being into the world. Therefore, you need to give yourself a break and keep these in mind:

1.You might experience weight loss

The few pounds gained during pregnancy will be shed during the first week since most of it was from the placenta, amniotic fluid and blood, not forgetting the baby’s weight. Don’t be shocked if you drastically loose 10 pounds after you just left the hospital.

2.Post-belly bump will still be there

Even if you shed most of the pregnancy weight few months after giving birth, you can still have a baby bump. But don’t worry because the human body is elastic therefore, it will go back to its normal size after a while after a few tummy-toning exercises. However, consult your doctor before you embark on any exercises, especially if you had a C-section pregnancy.

Image: A mother holding her baby. (Source; guardian.ng)

3. Your breasts grow bigger and fuller

You may have noticed that your breasts are bigger, tender and feel swollen. The hormone prolactin helps with milk production hence your breasts may feel fuller and painful. The pain may last until you breastfeed. For those not breastfeeding, the pain may last for up to five days. Buy a supportive bra to balance the breasts or use a cold compress because warm ones tend to worsen the pain.

4.You will experience vaginal discharge

After your baby arrives, you experience blood and and excess mucus from the uterus. The blood is usually from where the placenta was attached. This bloody discharge called Lochia lasts for about four to six weeks after delivery.

5.The swelling from your pregnancy may still be there

Most pregnant women experience swelling on their arms, face and feet. This is caused by the fact that cells in your body hoard extra fluids. It may take a while for the swelling to go away even after the baby arrives.

6.Urinary problems may happen after delivery.

The first few days after giving birth, you may notice pain when you urinate or fail to urinate. Worse still, you may not be able to control the urine. This is referred to as incontinence. It usually goes away as your pelvic muscles regain their strength. Drink lots of water or soak in a warm bath to reduce the pain. You can also do kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles. Consult your doctor if the pain persists.

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7.You may experience hair loss

Don’t be worried when you condition your hair or comb it and a chunk of it remains on your comb because it is normal after child birth. When you are pregnant, the extra estrogen contributes to hair growth and more lustrous curls. But after delivery, the estrogen levels reduce making the hair lesser and weaker. Your hair will go back to normal in a year or nine months.

8. The stretch marks begin to fade

The purplish stretchmarks on your thighs, hips and bottom may turn to silver or to a lighter colour than that of your body. They may not completely fade or disappear after giving birth. They however become less prominent. You can use lotions and creams that help with the appearance. Consult your doctor first before using any of these.

9.You may sweat more

The body is in the process of losing the water retained during pregnancy. Therefore, you may find yourself sweating more than usual. To regulate the sweat, wear lighter clothes and try sleeping with less clothes on.

10. Some changes are permanent

You may find that after you got pregnant your shoe size rose to a slightly bigger one. This may not change even after birth. Your hips may broaden slightly because they expanded during child birth. Embrace your sexy curves and figure. They are there to stay and have no harm at all.

Feature Image; A mother shows off her postpartum belly after delivering twins. (Source, parents.com)

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