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Changes in a woman's body after giving birth are normal things during the recovery period after giving birth. These changes in the body after giving birth are needed to adjust to the condition of the body after experiencing so many changes during pregnancy
Pregnancy and childbirth bring changes, both physically and emotionally. During 9 months of pregnancy, the body will undergo various changes until it is finally ready to give birth to a baby.
There are changes that can return to normal after the recovery period, but some are permanent.
Various Changes in a Woman's Body After Childbirth
The following are some changes in the body that a woman can experience after giving birth:
1. Puerperal bleeding
After giving birth, the vagina will release lochia or puerperal blood. Lochia consists of blood, mucus, remnants of the placenta, and the lining of the uterus. Puerperal blood is initially red, then brown and finally yellowish.
During the first 10 days after delivery, the volume of puerperal blood will be large enough that you will need to change pads every few hours. Generally, the postpartum period lasts for 6 weeks.
2. Difficulty holding back urination
During pregnancy and after delivery, the pelvic floor muscles will weaken due to pressure from the fetus and the enlargement of the uterus. Weak pelvic muscles can cause you to pass a small amount of urine when you cough, sneeze, or lift heavy objects.
To strengthen the pelvic muscles and relieve complaints of difficulty holding urination, you can do Kegel exercises. Also avoid excessive sports activities or movements, such as lifting weights or cycling.
3. Vagina feels wide
After giving birth to a normal baby, the vagina will feel wider and looser. This is normal and usually begins to improve within a few weeks of delivery. However, the vagina cannot return to its original shape completely.
However, you can do Kegel exercises to tone your vaginal muscles and pelvic floor muscles. In addition, the vaginal surgery method can also be an option to re-close the vagina, if deemed necessary.
4. Vagina feels dry
Vagina dry after giving birth is one of the changes in a woman's body that is normal. This is caused by decreased levels of the hormone estrogen in the body. In breastfeeding mothers, hormone levels will be lower than mothers who are not breastfeeding.
A dry vagina will make sex uncomfortable or painful. To overcome this complaint, you can use a water-based vaginal lubricant when having sex.
5. Stomach stretch marks appear
Stretch marks are formed when the skin stretches to make room for the growing baby. Whether stretch marks appear or not, depends on genetics and how fast you gain weight.
These changes in the skin usually go away on their own within a few months after delivery.
6. Big belly
After the baby is born, the stomach does not automatically return to its original shape. It takes about 2 months for the uterus to return to its pre-pregnancy size. However, the stomach may not be as tight as before.
To tighten the abdominal muscles, live a he althy diet and do sports that focus on toning the abdominal muscles, such as sit ups, Pilates, and yoga specifically to shrink the stomach.
7. Swollen and painful breasts
After giving birth, the breasts will produce a lot of milk. This can make the breasts swell and feel painful, especially if the milk accumulates in the breasts.
When your breasts feel sore, you can empty your breast milk by breastfeeding your baby or expressing milk. You can also put a cold compress on the breast to relieve pain.
If the pain persists for a few days and your breasts are getting more swollen or even festering, you should see a doctor as this could be a sign of a breast infection.
8. Feet swelling and pain
When pregnant, the body will produce more blood and body fluids to support the growth and development of the fetus. As a result, parts of the body, such as the hands and ankles, will be more prone to swelling.
This complaint can also occur up to a few days or weeks after giving birth. To overcome this, you can consume foods rich in potassium, drink enough water at least 8 glasses every day, and regularly move or do light exercise.
9. Hair loss
After giving birth, most women experience more hair loss than usual. This is due to the decrease in estrogen levels after childbirth.
However, you don't have to worry. These changes usually only occur during the first few months after giving birth. After that, your hair condition will return to normal.
10. Dull skin and acne
Some pregnant women experience changes in skin color around the eyes or acne that grows more than usual. After giving birth, the dark color or acne will soon decrease.
However, there are some women who experience red rashes around the mouth and cheeks and very dry skin. This condition usually goes away in a few weeks.
You may feel overwhelmed because you have to face the various changes above while taking care of your newborn baby.If you really need help, don't hesitate to ask your partner or family for help. Remember, during the postpartum recovery period, you need to really take care of your he alth, including taking care of your body.
Don't forget to check with the doctor after giving birth, according to the schedule determined by the doctor. During the consultation, you can ask for advice on how to deal with the various physical and mental complaints you are experiencing, as well as how to deal with the changes in your body after giving birth.