17 October

You May Expect These Changes After Pregnancy

Post-Partum changes in a woman's body are usually reversible. but, after pregnancy, along with your newborn, there may be some changes which are more long-term.  From wider hips to losing your teeth, here are a few changes in your body you would expect after pregnancy.

The loss of bladder control after delivering the baby is not associated with every mother. The risk of incontinence or loss of bladder control is due to weakened muscles needed for the bladder control during vaginal delivery which damages bladder nerves and supportive tissue, leading to a dropped (prolapsed) pelvic floor. Some women may feel incontinenece in the first few days but, it will usually decrease gradually. The risk of incontinence is also associated with C-Section. Kegel exercises can strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Make sure you practice these exercises in your free time.

 Vaginal changes:

It's no surprise to notice vaginal changes post-pregnancy given the average dimension of the baby's head squeezing through the vaginal opening. Vagina usually contracts back to its original size after birth in most women. Some women may have a permanently wider vagina. Type of delivery, size of the baby, genetic factors, being over weight can also affect the vaginal changes.

 A few extra pounds:

You will be shocked when you look at your weight on the weigh scale when the scale shows the extra numbers to your weight after pregnancy. Do not give it a long depressing thought as it is the same for almost all the women and it doesn't have to be permanent. On average, a woman may stick to 4-5 kgs weight gain up to a year after giving birth. And after having a baby, a woman will be, on average,1 to 2 kg heavier than she was prior to pregnancy.

 The foot size:

Weight gain and hormones are the two main reasons for the change in your feet size.

The weight gain of nine months which has a direct effect on your feet flattens the feet's arch. The same reason leads for many women to gain about half a shoe size. The hormone 'relaxin' helps relax ligaments and bones in the pelvis, so the body can be elastic during childbirth. But relaxin also affects ligaments all over the body, including in the feet, which can make a woman's feet looser and more spread out.

 The tooth tale:

A study of 2,635 women in 2008 in the American Journal of Public Health found that the more children women had, the more likely they were to have lost teeth. Women between the ages of 35 and 49 with one child had lost an average of two teeth, while women with two children lost an average of four. Meanwhile, women with four or more children had lost an average of seven teeth. It's not clear exactly why, as the frequency of dental care didn't seem to be tied to this association. You may have enlarged gums and more bleeding from gums during pregnancy because of increased blood flow. Acid from vomiting, if women have morning sickness, can also wear away the enamel on teeth. Women with a bad dental health are at risk of preterm delivery and it is important to visit your dentists during pregnancy to get your teeth cleaned.

 Breast size:

Expect changes in the size of your breasts during and after pregnancy. After pregnancy, to prepare for breastfeeding your breasts gets bigger because the dormant fat tissue in the breast gets replaced by functional tissue. Once you stop breastfeeding, the functional tissue atrophies, because it's not being used anymore and you breasts are back in normal size.

 Sagging breasts:

Ptosis is the technical word for the sagging of your breasts after pregnancy. And once breasts droop, they will not perk up again, because the cause of breast drooping is the stretching of the ligaments and elastin that hold the fatty tissue in place. Remember, breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for you and your baby. Don't give an ear to people who say breastfeeding can make your breasts saggy. It has been proven from studies that multiple pregnancies, smoking and age can cause saggy breasts but not breastfeeding.

 Lower breast cancer risk:

Breastfeeding may lower the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. For every 12 months a woman nurses a baby, her relative risk of breast cancer drops by 4 percent.  Breast cancer risk can be cut if women will have many babies, and two-thirds of that risk reduction is due to breastfeeding.

 Stretch marks:

Stretch marks are pink or sometimes purplish streaks on the belly which appears in the last stages of the pregnancy due to the rapid expansion of the belly to dwell the growing baby. Stretch marks can appear on your thighs, buttocks, thighs, hips and breasts. The skin becoming thin and pink and itchiness around an area are the first signs of getting stretch marks. Remember, they are not harmful in any way to your health and there isn't a specific treatment for them. After the birth of the baby, the marks should gradually fade into white-colored scars and become less noticeable. They probably won't go away completely. If the woman gets pregnant again, or gains or loses a lot of weight again, they may become more noticeable. 

Abdominal separation:

Diastasis recti abdominis: When the abdominal muscles separate, creating a gap between the stomach muscles. All women will have this separation at the late stages of pregnancy to make room for the growing belly. But by a year postpartum, somewhere between a third to more than two-thirds of women will retain some separation between their abdominal muscles, various studies suggest.

Orgasmic intensity:

Fatigue, pain, breastfeeding and less desirable to sex due to body changes may alter the intensity of the orgasms. Stretched-out pelvic-floor muscles during the vaginal delivery is that the contractions associated with orgasms may be weaker than before. While this may be not be universal, for many women.

Wider hips:

Do not imagine your hip bones getting wider. Wider hips are probably due to deposition of fat into areas of the body that have extra fat cells. But exercise and regular walks can help you in going back to your original size. 

Last modified on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 16:26
Venkatesh Rathod

Venkat handles content management for MedHealthTV.

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