An honest look at what changes in your body once you have given birth
For some reason, talking about the changes in your body after giving birth seems to be a taboo topic still, and there is no reason for it to be so. After your body has performed the miracle of giving life there will be a lot of changes in your body that will not be too pleasant. The good news is, everything will fall back into place eventually.
Here are the most common asked question after giving birth and our answers based on our own experience and research.
Will I lose weight straight after giving birth?
Yes, once the baby is out you should lose around 10-12 pounds. The baby alone would be around 6 - 9 pounds, and the placenta, blood and amniotic fluid will also be a few pounds. It will take time until you reach your pre-pregnancy body, as you will still have a lot of water weight that you will slowly lose over the next weeks.
What's wrong with my bladder?
You will notice that you will also need to visit the bathroom more often, especially in the first days and weeks after giving birth, this will help you get rid of the water weight. Many women don't actually know when they need to pee, which can cause accidents. Giving birth can be hard on your bladder causing temporary swelling which can lead to loss of sensitivity. To avoid accidents, try to pee frequently, even if you don't feel the need too. Use special maternity pads, which will also be needed for the blood you lose from your uterus.
Why am I still bleeding?
Bleeding after birth is normal, and can last up to 6 weeks after delivery. This is due to the blood loss in your uterus (womb), the amount of bleeding and color can change from women to women. Make sure you have enough maternity pads available, as especially in the first few days you will need to change them very frequently.
When can I have Sex again?
While some experts suggest waiting until you stop bleeding to avoid infections, it is essentially up to you and when you feel your body is ready. Don't be worried if you're not in the mood for sex either, your hormones are still upside down.
Will sex feel the same?
It really depends how much time you have given yourself to heal, but the truth is the first time might not feel as great! There have been a lot of changes in your body which can cause sex to be a bit painful at first. "The assumption is that the pain is from the trauma of delivery, which it definitely can be, but it also has to do with low levels of estrogen that affect the elasticity of the vaginal tissues," says Rebecca Booth, M.D., a Louisville, Kentucky, gynecologist and author of The Venus Week. Again, give yourself time to adjust, sex will be just as great again once you have healed.
Will my vagina ever be the same?
We have all heard about the importance of the kegel exercise, but unfortunately even if you have been a master at kegel your vagina will have suffered immensely and you can expect to suffer mild to not so mild vaginal discomfort, due to that the area has been stretched and bruised, and even sometimes torn which might have led to stitches. The pain can get worse if you cough or sneeze, and you might even find it hard to sit down. Good news is, every day that goes by your vagina will go back more and more to its pre-pregnancy state, though some women believe that their vagina is not the same after giving birth, even after month post delivery. As every case is different we suggest speaking to your gynecologist to get detailed information on your specific case.
Another very common postpartum symptoms are mood swings. Laughing and suddenly breaking down crying? This can be caused by so many different factors, such as hormones, not enough sleep… etc. While having the baby blues is quite normal, postpartum depression (PPD) can be more serious and harder to overcome, we have written an article on this, which you might find interesting.
Another uncomfortable but common symptom are hemorrhoids, especially if you have given vaginal birth. Hemorrhoids are varicose veins: or in other words, veins that have become swollen and engorged with blood. Hemorrhoids are usually found in the rectal area, inside or outside. While there are many cures for this uncomfortable symptom, a healthy diet with lots of fiber is essential. Make sure to keep the affected area clean, especially after going to the bathroom and apply specific cremes and cooling pads. Doing a sitz bath can also help, you can get them at the pharmacy.
If you have any further question or would like us to add to this article please feel to reach out.
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