10 Most Common Postpartum Physical Changes Women Experience
During pregnancy the body experiences a lot of physical and psychological changes. Some of which remains with you for a longer time after childbirth while others go away shortly after. Having adequate knowledge of these physical and psychological changes can help you and people around you prepare ahead of time.
The article below offers ten most common postpartum physical changes that most women experience.
Increased Body Weight:
Throughout pregnancy, you gain an average of 11 kilograms combined with the 50% increase in blood supply and extra water stored in your cells. This additional weight tend to remain for a while after childbirth. However, during the postpartum period, your body excretes this water that have been retained in your cells and body in general through perspiration and frequent urination in the first few days after childbirth. This helps you in losing some pre-pregnancy weight gain.
You may experience a sudden hair loss which can be attributed to the rapid drop in the level of oestrogen which was on the high side during pregnancy. This hair loss becomes more pronounced at 3 to 4 months postpartum. However, hair growth begins to normalize within one year or even less in some people.
Obvious Increase in Breast size:
The reason for an increase in the size of your breast after childbirth is not far fetched. Your body prepares for lactation during pregnancy at the postpartum stage, your breast may feel fuller and more engorged with milk for the breastfeeding phase. You may also experience milk leakages due to engorged breasts and sagging breast after the breastfeeding period. All these are normal and there’s no cause for alarm.
Changes in the Skin:
The fluctuating hormones may cause your skin to show some changes such as stretch marks on the body which is due to the stretching of the stomach muscles during pregnancy. Other postpartum changes you may experience are sudden breakout in the first few months after delivery and a gradual clearing of the skin if you had pigmentation during pregnancy. These are all normal changes and with a good oil and lotion, the breakouts and stretch marks tend to clear up over time.
Changes in The Vaginal Structure:
During the period of pregnancy, your pelvic floor experiences a lot of pressure and stretching and this causes the muscle in the vagina to loosen. This postpartum change in the vagina resolves itself in a few weeks after childbirth, however, doing the Kegel exercise can help your body recover quickly.
Reduced Sexual Drive:
You are free to blame your postpartum reduction sex drive on Oestrogen. Yes! the sudden drop in the level of oestrogen, the pain you feel in the vaginal area as well as the stress of taking care of your newborn combines to cause the low sex drive you will experience in the first few weeks after delivery. However, there’s no need to fret as things always seem to stabilize with time.
Bulge in The Abdominal Area:
You will observe that the line seen on your abdomen called the Linea nigra fades away after delivery. However, you will also see a visible bulge in your abdomen. This is due to the stretched abdominal muscle during pregnancy. This can be regularized with normal exercise routine and in no time you may regain your pre-pregnancy shape.
You may experience post childbirth depression due to the new lifestyle changes you have to adopt, rise and fall of hormones, lack of rest and postpartum pain. These are normal and with time, rest and support from family and friends, the depression tends to go away.
However, in a case where the depression becomes too severe for you to handle, you can log on to the Sehat Cloud and get connected with a Doctor who you can speak with to explain your postpartum depression symptoms. You can also schedule an appointment with the doctor so that you can get all the help you deserve.
For the first few month post childbirth, you many experience pain in your back. This is as a result of stretched abdominal muscle, weight of the baby during pregnancy and bad posture all through pregnancy.
Urinary and Bowel Incontinence:
You may also experience incontinence, blood in stool and constipation at the first few weeks after delivery. This symptoms go away on their own with adequate rest and a regular diet of high fibre content.
The period of pregnancy can transform a woman’s body in various ways. However, with adequate care and support this physiological transformation would always resolve themselves. This makes physiological postpartum care physiological postpartum care a vital factor in women’s health.