Flabbiness, weakness, swollen fingers and ankles, large belly, weight gain, and bigger breast are some of the changes that most woman experience during the pregnancy stage. All these changes in your body are aimed at keeping your body safe and healthy. You’ll long for the day of delivery so you can ‘regain your normal body.’
Now, the baby is here and once again, you’ve realized new changes to your body as your body tries to from recover the labor process. Likely you will have larger breasts, get more emotional, experience pain in the nipples and more. Read on to find out the changes to expect once you deliver your baby.
Your Breasts May Grow Large
It is likely that your breast will grow larger, feel swollen and tender the moment you start breastfeeding. While you might be uncomfortable, the change and very normal. However, in a week or so, your breasts will become less swollen.
Although some women regain their standard size after giving birth, some are left with larger or smaller breasts than the initial. Your breasts will increase in size during pregnancy in anticipation for a baby, but once you lose weight and fat under your skin, you may end up with saggy breasts.
Weight gain is a side effect of pregnancy, but the delivery comes with the loss of fat and also weight. The result is the development of stretch marks on the thighs, boobs, back of the knees, stomach and other body parts. For most women, the stretch marks disappear a few months or two years after giving although, in some, they don’t clear away completely. Creams and lotions can help manage the stretch marks before as they disappear if at all they will.
The area between your vagina and the rectum is referred to as perineum. If you undergo a vaginal birth, it stretches during labor and is likely to tear. In some women, an obstetrician may make an incision at the opening of the vagina to create room for the baby to come out. Upon giving birth, the area is likely to become sore. Fortunately, some simple things can help relieve the soreness. Frequent Kegel exercises should help strengthen the muscles in the in the pelvic area. By squeezing the muscle tight and then releasing, you can boost the healing of the perineum. Other effective methods include a warm bath, medication to ease the pain, and sitting on a soft pillow.
Lowered Sex Drive
When the time to get intimate comes, most women report that they’re not in the mood. During this time, all your attention is mainly on the baby. In fact, the estrogen level goes so low that it can take as long as a year to regain back their sex drive. You should find it normal as your sex drive will return once your estrogen levels start going up.
During pregnancy, your estrogen level is high giving you denser and shinier hair. However, once you have given birth, there’s a drastic drop in the estrogen levels something that makes your hair to fall. For most women, the hair loss stage takes at most 4 months after which the shedding subsides and goes back to normal in 6-12 months.
Bloody Discharge (Lochia)
Right after birth, you’ll discover some blood discharge that comes through your vagina whether you had a vaginal birth or a cesarean birth. For the first 10 days, the discharge will change from red, yellow and finally brownish. Usually, lochia will last up to 6 weeks to end. The secret to getting it lighter day by day is to have enough rest.
Trouble Controlling Your Urine
While this isn’t a typical problem for most, you cannot wish it away. Mainly, the inability to control the bladder occurs among those women who deliver big babies vaginally and it ends up becoming a permanent problem. In such a situation, you have to talk to your doctor about the condition for a solution.
Kristine A. Eule, MD offers education, compassionate and individualized health care for women from the discovery, pregnancy stage, labor, delivery and beyond. We have an office in the Denver Tech Center where I, Kristine Eule (a solo OB/GYN) tend to women. When I am away to deliver a baby or in town, you’ll find my nurse practitioner, Cathie. In case of a problem or an emergency, I have three other women OB/GYN who assist when I am not available. Our office is open from Monday to Friday, and you can reach us 24/7.