How is my body going to change after my pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a unique and transformative experience that can bring great joy but also fear and uncertainty. It is essential to understand the changes that your body will undergo during this time and what you can do to help it recover. Whether you opt for exercise or seek extra help through a mummy makeover surgery, this article will help guide you through the process.
The body undergoes many changes during pregnancy to accommodate the baby’s growth. These changes can result in physical alterations that can impact a woman’s confidence and self-esteem. This article will explore the changes occurring to various body parts during and after pregnancy.
Vagina and vulva:
If you opt for a vaginal delivery, it is common to experience puffiness and discomfort in the crotch area. A C-section can also lead to swelling, but it will be in the incision area. Your best course of action is to rest and take painkillers as prescribed by your doctor. Remember to double-check if you are breastfeeding, as some pain medications may not be safe.
Bladder, bowels, and pelvic floor:
The month after giving birth, your body will be readjusting and may experience fluid retention. This may lead to increased urination. Unfortunately, the expulsion of said fluids can be difficult due to the puffiness in the pelvic floor. Cold compresses can help alleviate discomfort.
Postpartum constipation is also prevalent during the first week post-partum. This is primarily due to dehydration and pain medications. The best bet is to follow your doctor’s advice, which usually includes drinking more water and taking stool softeners.
Uterus and tummy:
Your uterus will return to its original size within six weeks after giving birth, but in order to do that, it will cause period-like cramps for a few days. During pregnancy, the muscles and skin around the tummy will stretch, which can result in excess skin and fat. In some cases, this might not go away, and a tummy tuck might be necessary to return to your original figure.
Your breasts will grow significantly in the days after giving birth due to the drop in estrogen and progesterone, as well as the production of prolactin, which is responsible for breast milk production. This growth can cause discomfort, but it can be relieved through warm compresses before breastfeeding and cold compresses afterwards. If you’re not breastfeeding, engorgement may last for up to a week, and a tight bra, ibuprofen, and ice packs can help relieve the discomfort. There is a chance that your breasts may not return to their original size and form, whether they stay a couple of sizes bigger or they deflate causing a droopy shape.
Pregnancy can have a significant impact on your legs. The extra weight you gain during pregnancy can lead to the formation of spider and varicose veins. These veins appear when the blood flow in your legs slows down and pools in the veins, causing them to enlarge and become more visible. These veins can cause discomfort and even pain. In addition to the veins, you may experience swelling and aching in your legs during and after pregnancy. Even after pregnancy, these problems may not disappear completely. However, they might improve over time, aided by compression stockings and regular exercise to promote good blood circulation.
During pregnancy, you might experience fuller, thicker hair due to the increased levels of hormones in your body. However, some women might experience hair loss post-partum, as hair that was in the resting phase during pregnancy falls out. This is completely normal, and your hair should return to its pre-pregnancy state within a year.
Fat often accumulates around the tummy during pregnancy, and while diet and exercise may help, there may be residual areas of excess skin and fat that won’t go away. This is another reason why some women opt for mummy makeover surgery.
In conclusion, pregnancy can be a miraculous and transformative experience, but it can also bring physical changes that can be hard to cope with. By understanding the changes that occur to different parts of the body during and after pregnancy, you can make an informed decision about how to help your body recover. From hair loss which in most cases can be solved thanks to vitamins and over-the-counter aids, to more complicated struggles such as weight loss, going through these drastic changes can often be hard and lonesome. But thankfully, whether through exercise or through surgery, there are options available to you to help you bounce back and feel confident and beautiful again.