No-one reading this should be under the impression that life is going to stay the same after childbirth and you’re probably well aware of it. However, many women go into it without truly being aware of how it might also affect their body. This may lead to shock, some discomfort, and possibly sadness. But being ready for those changes and what you can do about it can help you stay on top.
A different body
Most women are aware that pregnancy essentially turns the apple cart upside down when it comes to hormones in the body. But it should be worth noting that those changes won’t immediately go away. It takes time for the uterus to return to its original shape and the baby bump to disappear. Your boobs will change, your hips, your legs, your feet, all of them can permanently change. It might feel like looking at a very different person in the mirror, but finding the things to love about your new look and practicing body positivity can help you get used to it a lot quicker.
Those little niggles
Some changes will likely stand out more than the others as well. For instance, during and after childbirth, your face may get a “pregnancy mask”, resulting in dark marks on your face. There are some great dark spot correctors here to help treat these if they’re noticeable. You might also experience some postpartum hair loss, different hair styles and restyling your parting can help you avoid the loss of confidence that can sometimes come with it. These both fade over time, but many women say that the consistency of their hair changes permanently after birth, becoming thinner, frizzier, or coarser.
One of the changes that women find embarrassing is the risk of incontinence after childbirth, particularly urinary incontinence. It’s only natural that, given the punishment that particular part of the body takes, it might take some time for it to get back to normal. A range of incontinence pads can be found here to help deal with it in the long-term and live a little more comfortably. However, if it persists long after you give birth or you’re starting to feel pain due to a UTI, it’s worth going to the doctor. As for the constipation that can sometimes come with it, plenty of hydration, fibre, and juices in your diet will help.
The rollercoaster of emotions
Hormones playing their role in the emotional landscape of a new mother’s mind is nothing new. However, more serious is the stress that can come as a result of postpartum depression. Many mothers will wrongly assume that any depression or negative feelings are a result of themselves being wrong, somehow, rather than the balance of hormones. If you think you have PPD, talk about it. Visit your GP or health visitor. Beyond that, there are plenty of stress and depression relief methods that can help you get back to your old self a little quicker.
There are a lot of little and large biological changes happening to your body both before and after a pregnancy. That doesn’t mean you should ignore anything out of the ordinary. Before and after childbirth, you should be acutely aware of bodily changes and get your doctor or midwife involved to clarify.