Ah yes, the wonders of pregnancy and bringing new life into the world. The process of becoming a mother is something undeniably admirable, and most women are focused on getting through the delivery process safely and finally having their bundle of joy in their arms.But something no one really talks about is what happens to your body after giving birth. That’s right, postpartum changes.
After labour and delivery, your body goes through significant changes. While there is enough information in books and on the internet regarding your developing belly on a weekly basis, your health and physique after birth are often overlooked as you deal with the major challenges of caring for a baby and operating on little sleep.
That’s where a good postpartum care programme steps in to save the day, but more on that later.
Read on to learn about common and yet unexpected issues many new mothers face.
Postpartum Issue #1: Your mind and hormone levels
Your estrogen and progesterone levels plummet immediately after giving birth, which can lead to & “baby blues”, or in some serious cases, postpartum depression. This drastic shift can cause stress on your mental health in the form of mood swings, anxiety, sadness, or irritability– some of which dissolve on their own within a week or so for some individuals, while others might go through this for a longer period. Ultimately, it’s pretty normal to have mood swings for several months while your hormones balance themselves out.
Solution: If you find yourself in a rut, the best way is to reach out and let someone know; be it a friend, family member, or your confinement nanny. Positive social interactions go a long way in shifting your mood and combating the sense of isolation you may feel.
You could also join support groups and online communities for new parents. Create “me time” for yourself every week to decompress using activities you enjoy – whether it’s just reading, listening to music, or going for a walk.
If you feel like your situation has not improved after a couple of weeks, seek help from a counsellor or mental health professional.
Have a nagging pain in your back after giving birth? This could be due to a number of reasons; including hormones, strained abdominal muscles, as well as the ups and downs of handling your little one. For many new mothers, postpartum back discomfort is an inevitable part of the postpartum healing process. It’s not enjoyable, but don’t worry: the agony won’t last forever. In
the meanwhile, try to be kind to yourself.
Solution: One trick to alleviating this pain involves light exercises to help strengthen the muscles, without adding too much strain. Try not to stand for too long a period at a time and take warm baths to help relax those tired muscles, as well as elevate your feet while feeding your baby.
Postpartum Issue #3: Tired bones and joints (and wider feet?!)
Additionally, not just your brain and hormones are affected, but joints and bones too!
During pregnancy, your body produces a hormone called relaxin, which relaxes the ligaments in the pelvis, in addition to softening and widening the cervix. It might take up to five months for your bones to return to their previous stability, so if your joints are hurting, we recommend sticking to lower-impact activities. Relaxin, combined with pregnancy weight gain, might also cause your feet to increase in size (for the time being) as well as widen your hips.
Solution: Try putting a warm compress on your knees and ankles to help with any swelling or pain. Additionally, foot massages and soaking your feet in warm Epsom salt water will also help with managing the pain.
Postpartum Issue #4: The dreaded “Pooch”
Almost all pregnant women experience diastasis recti, which is a separation between the left and right abdominal wall muscles, caused by the thinning out of muscles due to hormones. The result is a belly that sticks out or protrudes for months or years after giving birth, aka the dreaded “pooch”. How these muscles tighten up in the months following delivery depends on the genetics and posture of the individual, as well as how much skin and tissue expanded during pregnancy. Back pain and weakened core muscles are also part and parcel of this experience.
Solution: Take proactive steps by getting into a regular exercise regime, focusing on the core muscles, as well as eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Belly wraps are also a good option – do consult with your doctor before going ahead.
Postpartum Issue #5: Stuffed Bowels, Weakened Pelvic Floors, and Leaky Bladder
While you’re coming to terms with your postpartum body, some things that we take for granted – aka normal bowel movements and peeing – might not go exactly as you might have imagined.
Postpartum constipation is rather common in the first week or two due to dehydration, epidural side effects, the stress of pushing a little human being out of your body, and more. If sneezing, laughing, or exercising causes you to pee yourself a bit in the days, weeks, and months following birth, it’s a sign that your pelvic floor needs some well-deserved TLC.
Solution: We recommend drinking lots of fluids, eating plenty of fruits, and taking short walks around the house to get things moving along. Urinary incontinence is a result of all that stretching your pelvic floor has to do to support your bladder and uterus during pregnancy, and the good news is, these muscles can be trained and strengthened again postpartum– usually with the help of a good physiotherapist!
Now that you’re caught up on some of the most pressing issues that come along with your postpartum body, where do we go from here?
How you can accelerate your recovery after childbirth?
Giving birth is a life-changing experience for many women, and many have unrealistic expectations about how quickly they can (and should) return to work; However, keep in mind that you are going through a big life transition as well as a massive path to recovery.
If the methods above aren’t giving you the results you’re looking for, consider engaging an experienced physiotherapist specialising in postpartum care. When it comes to regaining strength, alleviating pain, and getting back in shape, physical therapy is the answer.
At Ready Fit Physiotherapy, we make certain that our clients are thoroughly taken care of using a perfect balance of body analysis, recovery treatment, and technology (HI-EMT) to effectively
restore your body’s condition.
Experience our cutting-edge Winback Tecartherapy treatment–a non-invasive technology that utilises WINBACK energy (a high-frequency current that stimulates our body’s natural repair mechanisms and promotes cellular exchange). It helps to tighten loose skin, reduce the appearance of stretch marks and contours your body. New mothers will especially benefit from Winback Tecar therapy as it promotes faster healing, thanks to it being a physiological bio-accelerator.
Our physiotherapists will then customise an exercise plan for you during this 5-week programme, and walk you through how to execute these workouts during your session as well as at home.
We also employ our revolutionary non-invasive treatment that involves the use of High-Intensity Electromagnetic Therapy (HI-EMT) to specifically target problem areas such as the abdomen and hips. The electromagnetic field produced by HI-EMT can efficiently stimulate muscular contractions equivalent of up to 20,000 squats or crunches in one 30-minute session–ideal for muscle development and closing the Diastasis Recti gap.
Not sure if you want to commit to a full 5-week programme with us? We offer a Post Pregnancy Care First Trial Package at a promotional price of $199 (UP$298) for a 90-minute session,where you will get to experience the following:
– 1-on-1 Consultation
– WINBACK TECAR Therapy
– High-Intensity Electromagnetic Therapy (HI-EMT) Treatment
– Exercise Prescriptions
Book an appointment with us today or find out more at our link here.