During pregnancy, you can expect your body to go through plenty of changes as your baby begins to grow and develop. For first-time expectant mothers, it can be exciting to prepare for the baby’s arrival, but there are many changes to your body that can be left once the baby arrives.
Here are a few main changes to expect and how you can fix them after going through childbirth.
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1. Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are extremely common on different areas of the body as your skin quickly stretches in a short amount of time when making room for the baby.
The most common areas of the body where stretch marks develop are on the belly, hips, and breasts. The dark marks can be disheartening, but there are many natural creams and products that can reduce their appearance and cause them to fade faster. Massage coconut oil and jojoba oil onto the affected area to reduce the appearance.
You can also talk to a dermatologist about obtaining prescription medication to fade the marks. Hyaluronic acid and tretinoin are known to be the most effective and can prevent the scars from growing over time.
Chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion are more intensive treatments to consider that can deliver better results than topical creams.
2. Diastasis Recti
Many women who have multiple pregnancies or deliver a child after the age of 35 experience diastasis recti, which occurs when the abdominal muscles separate. This is when the connective tissues in the abdomen start to stretch, sometimes causing a gap of up to an inch to be present between the abdominal muscles. You may notice that it makes your belly button protrude and stick out more than normal.
Although diastasis recti can’t be cured, it can be treated by performing different types of exercises. Yoga and swim exercises are proven to be effective. Avoid performing sit-ups, front planks, or pushups, which will make the abdominal separation to become even more noticeable.
You also want to avoid straining during a bowel movement, which strains the connective tissues. Try to increase your fiber intake to avoid constipation.
3. Weight Gain
Not only is weight gain common during pregnancy but it’s recommended by medical professionals. Healthy women gain an average of 25 pounds during their pregnancy, which your body stores in preparation to help you care for your baby.
Give yourself several months to shed the excess weight. Besides, Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to burn fat and can allow you to burn 500 calories each day. Try to eat clean food and start exercising to ensure you can slowly return to your original weight.
4. Darkened Nipples
You may start to notice that your nipples become a lot darker during the second trimester as your body begins to prepare for your child’s delivery.
This is to be expected and is caused by changes in your hormone levels. Although you may not enjoy the change in your appearance, it’s only temporary and will return to normal several weeks or months after delivering your child.
Your body will prepare to breastfeed your child, even if you plan to only feed your little one formula. This is also true of the linea nigra, which is a vertical line under your belly button but is only temporary.
5. Pelvic Muscle Trauma
Pelvic muscle trauma occurs during childbirth for women who deliver their babies vaginally. C-sections can also cause damage to some of the pelvic muscles that are present.
It’s important to talk to your medical professional about undergoing physical therapy, which can restore the function of the muscles and restore their strength.
This can work well for treating incontinence issues that you may be experiencing, which is common when you sneeze or exercise too hard. Working with a physical therapist will prevent further damage from developing and can help you to experience better results quicker instead of attempting to try different exercises on your own without the help of an expert.
By understanding all the changes that can occur to your body after pregnancy, you can understand what to expect and avoid feeling discouraged. There are many ways to restore your body to your pre-baby figure and correct current issues that may have developed during your pregnancy or childbirth