How having a baby changes your body: what to do about it.
You have just experienced the greatest adventure of a lifetime. You gave birth to your precious bundle of joy. You are overjoyed that this miracle has happened to you. You wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the journey you have taken to reach this day. All the highs and lows have been worth it. However, you need to come to terms with the way your body has changed since pregnancy. Don’t worry. You can take back your pre-baby body with time and patience.
Weight gain is normal
While you are pregnant, you are going to gain weight. Part of it is due to the weight of the baby growing inside of you. Your body also accumulates extra fluids. It’s common to gain 25 pounds or more while you are expecting. Once you have delivered your baby, you could be five to ten pounds heavier than you were before pregnancy. The good news is you can shed the weight. The first thing you need to do is listen to your body. Immediately after a natural delivery and in the days that follow, you are going to be sore. If you had a cesarean delivery, the healing process will take four to six weeks. You’re going to be tired as you adjust to your little one’s sleep schedule. Don’t rush into an extreme fitness plan. Begin with walking on a daily basis. You can put the baby in the stroller so you both can enjoy some fresh air. As you heal and regain your energy, you can lengthen your walks. If you’re a runner, add jogging several days a week. Find workouts you can do at home while the baby is sleeping or someone else is on duty. Drink plenty of water and embrace healthy eating. Those pounds will melt away at a safe and steady pace.
Your abdomen is going to look different
Carrying a baby for nine months puts a strain on many parts of your body. After birth, the most significant changes are going to be in your abdomen. You’ll notice a lingering baby belly, a swelling that could be pronounced or slight at your midsection. Stretch marks are common, although yours may not be pronounced if you used moisturizer on a regular basis and didn’t gain that much weight. Your abdomen won’t be as tight as it used to be. You could also find yourself dealing with diastasis recti.
It’s a condition in which the muscles of your abdominal wall separate. If you were to look at a diagram, it will look like a line went down the middle of your abdomen and your abdominal muscles split apart. If it doesn’t correct itself, you could be faced with pelvic floor problems, back pain, and incontinence. You’ll also have a pronounced belly that lingers. You can resolve this problem by doing exercises that target this condition. You should not do crunches or sit-ups. These exercises will only make matters worse.
Your breasts will be bigger
During pregnancy, your breasts will swell in preparation for nursing. If you choose to breastfeed, your breasts will continue to be larger. You can gradually decrease the size of your breasts after you are done nursing. You can take steps to improve your bust. Make sure you buy bras that give your breasts the support they need. Moisturizer can keep your skin hydrated and firm. Exercise regularly and eat well. Cut back on the amount of animal fat you eat. Stand up straight. Don’t go to extremes. If you go on a crash diet or a radical fitness plan, sudden weight loss could result in sagging breasts that look like they are deflated.
Be kind to your body after pregnancy. Remember that you grew a person inside of you, the most important job you could ever do. Embrace the new you. Take your time as you work on getting back to the way you were. In the end, you may not ever have the same body you did before you were expecting. There may be subtle changes that only you notice. Stay strong and healthy. In time, you can look and feel your best again. You’ll be better prepared if you become pregnant again.