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What does a womans body look like after giving birth

Pregnancy and childbirth transform your body—sometimes in weird and not-so-wonderful ways. By Bonnie Schiedel May 9, Giving birth is deeply awesome, but giving yourself the tools and time to restore your nutrient levels, hormones, muscles and everything else is going to affect how you experience the early days of motherhood. Thyroid hormones, which help regulate body temperature, metabolism and organ function, can be affected by giving birth, too.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: What Pregnancy Actually Did To My Body...

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Body after baby: 5 things to expect

Recovering from Delivery (Postpartum Recovery)

Your body has just done one of the most remarkable things it will ever do: grow another human being. After nine months of waiting, you are probably excited to finally be home with your new baby.

Much of your focus and energy during the coming weeks and months will be on baby, but remember that you also need to take care of yourself, too. Your delivery may have been complicated or easy. You may have had a cesarean birth C-section or vaginal delivery. You may have labored for a few hours or a few days. No matter what your delivery looked like, your body has been through a trauma just the same. It is going to need time to recover. Fully recovering from pregnancy and childbirth can take months.

While many women feel mostly recovered by weeks, it may take longer than this to feel like yourself again. During this time, you may feel as though your body has turned against you. Try not to get frustrated. Remember that your body is not aware of your timelines and expectations. The best thing you can do for it is rest, eat well, and give yourself a break. Also during this time, your hormones will be fluctuating.

You may not be thinking clearly and will be more emotional. Again, give yourself time for this to pass. However, if at any time you think about hurting yourself or your baby, tell someone. It took the better part of a year to grow and have a baby. Take comfort in knowing that, for the most part, you will begin to feel like yourself much sooner than that.

In a few months, you should be well on your way to recovery. Even if you can only manage to eat, sleep, and care for your baby, that is enough. During the first six weeks, pay attention to your body. This is very important as you heal. As you begin to feel better, resist the temptation to do more. Overdoing things at this point can set you back in your recovery. Concentrate on nourishing your body with good foods, drinking plenty of water especially if you are breastfeeding , and getting enough rest.

Your doctor will let you know when you can resume normal activities. Abdominal pain. As your uterus shrinks back into its normal size and shape, you will feel pain in your abdomen lower belly. You may feel more of these pains as you breastfeed your baby. That is because breastfeeding stimulates a chemical in your body that causes the uterus to contract tighten.

For many women, applying heat to the area helps control the pain. Consider using a heating pad or hot water bottle. Your abdominal pain should ease up over time. Baby blues. You are so excited and happy to bring baby home. The next minute, though, you are sad. It can be confusing, especially to new moms. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

In fact, confiding in a friend of family member can often make you feel better. If these feelings last more than a few weeks or you are not able to function because of them, you could have postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is more serious than baby blues. If you have severe feelings of sadness or hopelessness, you should call your doctor. It is very common to be constipated in the days following childbirth.

There are several things that could cause this. If you received any pain-relieving drugs in the hospital, they could slow down your bowels. If you had anesthesia a pain blocker for any reason, that also can cause it. Sometimes, postpartum constipation is brought on simply by fear. This is true especially if you have stitches because you had an episiotomy a surgical cut between the vagina and anus to widen the vaginal opening for childbirth or tore this area during delivery.

You may be afraid of damaging the stitches or be afraid that a bowel movement will cause even more pain in that area. To help ease constipation, drink plenty of water and try to eat foods that offer a lot of fiber.

In many cases, you may want to talk to your doctor about prescribing a stool softener such as Colace or Docusoft. You may have developed hemorrhoids painful swelling of a vein in the rectum during your pregnancy. If not, you may have gotten them from the strain and pushing during delivery. They can cause pain and bleed after a bowel movement. They also itch.

You can get some relief from the pain and itching by applying witch hazel to your hemorrhoids. This is especially effective if you keep the witch hazel in the refrigerator. Your hemorrhoids should shrink over time. If not, contact your doctor. Hormonal shifts. You may be sweating more, especially at night when you sleep. Just make sure that your sweating is not accompanied by a fever. That could be a sign of infection. Hormonal changes also cause hair loss for many new moms. This is only temporary.

When your estrogen levels increase, your hair will return to its normal thickness. Perineum soreness. The perineum is the area between your vagina and anus. Many times, this area will tear during childbirth. Other times, your doctor may have to make a small cut in this area to widen your vagina for childbirth.

Even if neither of these things happened during your vaginal birth, you perineum will be sore and possibly swollen postpartum. You may feel discomfort in this area for several weeks. While you recover, sitting on an icepack several times a day for 10 minutes will help relieve the pain. This is especially good to do after going to the bathroom. During the first week postpartum, also use a squirt bottle to rinse the perineum with warm water after using the toilet.

Notify your doctor if your perineum area does not get less sore each day or you have any sign of infection. Sore nipples and breasts. The first few days of breastfeeding, it is normal for women to have sore nipples and breasts. Try changing positions or consult a lactation expert breastfeeding expert for help. Do this before your nipples develop painful cracks, which could sideline your breastfeeding. Breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods throughout the second half of the first year.

The stitches will absorb over time. It is important that you keep the stitches from getting infected by gently cleaning them with warm water after each time you use the toilet. Do this by using a squirt bottle to rinse the area and pat it dry. Do not wipe the area with toilet paper or you could irritate the stitched area.

No matter how eager you are to check the healing progress, try to keep you hands off the stitches. If the area begins to hurt worse or the stitches seem weepy, contact your doctor. It could be a sign of infection. If you have stitches from a cesarean birth C-section , these heal in varying degrees. The stitches in the skin should heal in days. The underlying stitches in your muscle layer will take longer to heal.

For the stitches that you can see, make sure to watch for any signs of infection. These signs include if the incision area is red, swollen, or weeping pus; or if you have a fever. Vaginal bleeding and discharge. After giving birth, it is common that you will have vaginal bleeding and discharge this is called lochia , even if you had a C-section. Expect for this to be heavier at first up to 10 days , but then taper off.

Light bleeding and spotting can last up to six weeks after delivery.

18 Ways Pregnancy May Change Your Body Forever

Please sign in or sign up for a March of Dimes account to proceed. Your body changes a lot after you give birth. Some changes are physical and others are emotional.

As your uterus contracts back to size, many women feel abdominal aches and flutters somewhat akin to menstrual cramps that grow more pronounced during breastfeeding. However, the discomfort should last only a few days and can be treated with a prescription or over-the-counter painkillers. You may have heard about the vaginal discharge known as lochia , but you weren't expecting it to be so, well, bloody.

Your body has just done one of the most remarkable things it will ever do: grow another human being. After nine months of waiting, you are probably excited to finally be home with your new baby. Much of your focus and energy during the coming weeks and months will be on baby, but remember that you also need to take care of yourself, too. Your delivery may have been complicated or easy. You may have had a cesarean birth C-section or vaginal delivery.

Your Postpartum Body: 20 Ways It Changes After Baby

Your account is not active. We have sent an email to the address you provided with an activation link. Check your inbox, and click on the link to activate your account. When a celebrity appears in the media soon after she's had a new baby, you'll probably hear quite a few questions about what she's doing to "bounce back. That's when the Instagram account called takebackpostpartum steps in. It spreads body positivity, encouraging new moms to embrace their postpartum stretch marks and other pregnancy battle scars. January Harshe is the woman behind the postpartum body project. Women said, 'Let's show what this is like'…. What I've learned is that every woman struggles with pregnancy and even postpartum depression one way or another. Every woman struggles differently.

Your body after baby: The first 6 weeks

Your baby needs to grow, so your stomach muscles stretch to allow it. Your baby needs to come out somehow, so your hips widen to accommodate it. Your baby needs to be nourished, so your body makes a placenta. Your breasts will be larger than normal — even bigger than they were during pregnancy, most likely. Packed with essential antibodies and immunoglobulins, colostrum gives your baby the nutrition he or she needs straight after birth.

They say that being a mother changes you, and they aren't kidding.

You've probably done lots of research about labor and delivery, but you might not know so much about what happens to your body right after the baby arrives. Here's the scoop. Once your precious bundle is born, the toughest part of your pregnancy journey may indeed be over, but the process of childbirth continues for a couple of weeks as your body starts to recover and adjust to its new role.

17 mind-blowing ways your body changes after giving birth


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