After giving birth, it’s time for new mothers to rest and recover. The nine months of pregnancy, followed by the painful labor and delivery takes a huge toll on the body. But even in this condition, mothers can’t take complete rest as they have to nurse and care for their young ones. There are many changes the body goes through during and even after pregnancy. Some of these changes are minor while others can really surprise the new mommies. Therefore it’s important that they are well aware and ready for these changes. And if and when they face these effects on their bodies, they are better prepared mentally to deal with them.
It’s equally important to care for your body because it has been through a lot of trauma and the road to recovery is not a walk in the park. Therefore, pay attention to it, and maybe you’ll even learn some new things you didn’t know already. For Some of these changes, acceptance is the first step in coming to terms. Self-care and awareness also go a long way in helping you get back up as good as before. Here are five changes that you need to know about your postpartum body:
1. The Breast Change
You might be someone who has not been blessed with big breasts, but when you’re pregnant, that changes. Your breasts will swell up, become huge, and probably even hurt. But as you begin to breastfeed, you might start to feel some relief as your body and breasts start to adjust to the demand. Depending on how much your baby feeds, your milk supply will increase or decrease. You could even dry up if there is no stimulus. But whether you breastfeed or not, your breasts are going to swell up, and that’s something you should be prepared for.
The increase in the size of the breasts may cause some discomfort in the initial days. It will take some time before you’re used to the heavier lactating breasts. But rest assured that soon you’ll get used to them and in fact will start appreciating the wholesome look of your breasts.
2. Emotional Rollercoaster
After you’ve given birth, your hormones are all over the place. So, don’t be surprised if you catch yourself crying over everything and nothing. No, there’s nothing wrong with you — you’re just hormonal! Be prepared to cry because you love your baby a bit too much, or maybe because you suddenly realize that you’re a parent and there’s no going back (yes, it’s absolutely normal to have these thoughts). No, you aren’t the only one! So, embrace your emotions because it’s going to be one hell of a ride!
3. Mark It Like It’s Hot
The stretch marks, oh the stretch marks! We hate to break it to you, but there’s no escape from those scars. During pregnancy, your belly is stretched out like a balloon, and after birth, it’s bound to leave a mark. You can probably reduce the scarring a little by using a few creams or oils, but there’s no way that you have no stretch marks. So, own it because it’s the mark of victory! Your scars don’t define you, but they are a testament to the trauma you’ve been through.
4. Something Hairy
Your hair situation changes, almost always. During postpartum, most women experience a lot of hair fall. It’s normal and happens to nearly everyone, so don’t panic. It’s hair — it’ll grow back. Besides, you’re not going bald. It’s just a little temporary setback. Some women also swear that their hair texture changes post-pregnancy. So if you’re a straight-haired woman who always wished to have curly hair and are tired of trying different curling creams that don’t work, maybe it’s time to give pregnancy a chance (we’re only kidding).
5. Where’s The Control?
Probably one of the most embarrassing aftereffects of childbirth is when you lose your ability to control your bladder. You might even find a way to get it together but a simple sneeze or cough is enough to make you leak. You’re not alone, dear ladies. Don’t be embarrassed because you’re still a superstar for enduring pregnancy, childbirth, and everything else in between. It might take a while (maybe even up to a year) to get your body back on track, but it’ll happen with time. You could try a few kegel exercises or speak to your doctor about it.
During the ordeal that is pregnancy, the back muscles take much strain. Be it the extra weight that mothers have to carry during the pregnancy months, or the contractions during labor, it’s the back muscles that bear the brunt of them. Women often complain of backaches during pregnancy and chances are that the pain continues way beyond even after childbirth. It’s important, therefore, to provide the best care possible. Stretching and yoga help strengthen the core and back muscles. Make sure to do any workout in guidance with experts and don’t exert yourself if the pain is severe.
7. Skin Issues
With the changes in the hormone levels, it’s common during pregnancy to see many skin conditions. Acnes, rashes, breakouts etc. are common throughout pregnancy as well as post-delivery. Fluctuations in hormone levels continue even after pregnancy and will need some weeks before they come back to normal levels. As such don’t panic if you get skin problems even several weeks after delivery. Keep eating a healthy diet, avoiding oily and greasy food. And most importantly drink plenty of water to get rid of the toxin from the body. Staying hydrated is a great way to deal with skin problems.
Postpartum recovery is not a piece of cake. It’s anything but that. Granted that you want to get back soon, but your whole body has changed after childbirth. Therefore, it will take some time. So, be patient with yourself and love your body through it all! What did you learn about your body during postpartum? Share your story with us in the comments below.