Every woman looks forward to that time she will experience the joy of having her child/ children grow within her, what most don’t expect is the reality of what happens to a woman’s body after bringing a child into the world.
For some, they simply embrace the changes pregnancy and childbirth has done to their body while they work towards getting it back to its former state. For some others, they grapple with body-issues unable to accept that such transformation could have happened to their previously ‘perfect’ body.
Whichever group you may belong to or will eventually belong to, it is important to remember that pregnancy is a beautiful thing. Your body might go through some changes, but it is something you can handle. Knowing what to expect beforehand will put your mind at ease that no permanent damage has been done and you enjoy motherhood while working on your snapback.
Here are a few things you might have questions about when you first give birth.
1. Why you still look pregnant?
For the next few weeks or months after childbirth, your tummy will still look like you are pregnant. Even after the uterus shrinks back, the abdominal muscles which have been stretched during pregnancy take a while to get back to normal and for some women, it never does. This means that you need to work on some tummy exercises to get your belly flat again.
2. How much weight will you lose after childbirth?
Gaining extra weight during pregnancy is expected in most women but once you deliver, you lose about 11-12 pounds depending on your baby’s size. You probably won’t return to your pre-pregnancy weight for some time, but that is okay. With time your body will lose all the extra fluids retained during your pregnancy and the extra blood as well. You will notice that you will sweat a lot more during the first week of childbirth, don’t get worried. This is just your body getting rid of the extra water still in your system.
3. Why can’t you tell when you want to pee?
Labour and delivery usually take a toll on the bladder causing swelling and loss of sensitivity. This will fade with time but while it is difficult for you to feel the urge to pee, ensure you try to ease yourself at intervals so you won’t get to the point where you can’t hold it back. Also, let your doctors know about this so they can give you the attention you need.
4. When will your vagina go back to normal?
If you give birth vaginally, then your vagina might never get back to its original state. Immediately after birth, you might lose muscle tone in your vagina but gradually it should gain its tone back. Doing exercises such as Kegel will help you tone up the muscles faster.
5. Why are you losing your hair?
During pregnancy, you have higher estrogen levels leading to more hair growth and less shedding but after childbirth, your estrogen levels drop. This is why for a while you will notice your hair shedding, but it’s nothing to worry about. After some months, your hair growth should be back to normal.
6. Why your skin is breaking out?
For most women, pregnancy triggers breakouts due to the high hormone levels. These breakouts will clear with time once you put to bed. On the other hand, if you have very clear skin during pregnancy, the delivery may trigger breaks out for you, but give it a few months and it will clear up.