16-Nov-2017.By: Machi Onasanya
Now that the pregnancy is finally over and your little one is born, you can't help but marvel at all what your body has endured in the past nine months. By now, you must have successfully settled into your new daily routine perhaps as a new mom. You probably also want to get back to your normal body size and shape, but because you still feel emotionally and physically weak, achieving this may seem like a far-off dream.
Pregnancy and childbirth cause significant changes in a woman’s body. Sometimes, the postpartum (after birth) body problems you might be dealing with can even make you feel depressed.
Every new mother desires to get her pre-pregnancy body back as soon as possible, but this may not be achievable within the first few days, especially when the baby’s needs are the topmost priority.
Dealing with the postpartum body may not be an easy task, but with a little care and patience, you can get back to your desired self in due time. Here are some common postpartum body concerns women have and how to deal with them.
Stomach Flab: You may be fortunate to lose most of your baby weight soon after delivery, but the bulging stomach may pose a big problem. Because it takes about 6 to 8 weeks before the uterus gets back to its pre-pregnancy size, you will have to live with a bulging stomach for some time before trying to get rid of it.
Also, because the area around your belly was the most stretched-out skin and muscle, getting it back into shape will take time. Any kind of exercise that targets the transverse muscles like the abdominal hollowing will help tighten the loose skin around your belly. Regular cardiovascular exercises will also help reduce overall body fat.
Sagging Breasts: Just like a flabby stomach, sagging breasts is another postpartum challenge that new mothers experience. During pregnancy and nursing, the hormonal changes in the body cause breast tissue to expand and the surrounding skin stretches, making the breasts look bigger and fuller. Over time, the skin tissue shrinks, but the skin loses elasticity and therefore causing the breast to sag.
Exercises that help tone the pectoral muscles around the breasts such as stability ball chest press will help give your sagging breasts a lifted appearance. Regularly massaging with olive oil and regularly wearing a supportive fitted bra can also give the breast a lifted appearance.
Skin Discoloration: Soon after delivery, a woman’s “pregnancy glow” fades away. Your skin may actually look dull and lifeless. In fact, some women experience dark skin patches on the forehead, cheeks and neck. This happens due to hormonal changes in the body that cause the skin to become too dry. It is, however, a temporary issue and goes away completely within few weeks.
To help the process along, apply some warm coconut or olive oil to the affected skin and massage gently before going to bed. You can also apply fresh aloe vera gel to the affected area a few times a day. No matter how you wish to deal with skin discolouration, you must avoid going out in the sun during peak hours.
Stretch Marks: Ugly marks on the stomach, hips, breasts or butt are some things that no woman wants. But it’s very common to have these marks during or after pregnancy, due to the drastic weight fluctuation and ongoing hormonal changes in the body.
To fade stretch marks, you need to keep the skin moisturized. Apply olive or coconut oil to the affected area in the morning after bathing and again at night. Another more effective option is by keeping your body hydrated by drinking plenty of fluid.
Remember! Postpartum body problems cannot be resolved overnight, but with a little care, commitment and patience, you will achieve all your desired goals for your body.
More also, the more you know about what to expect, the better prepared you'll be to cope with the physical and emotional changes that come post-pregnancy.
Last Updated: 16-Nov-2017 09:25 AM
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