The pregnancy journey is not particularly a walk in the park for most women.
You have to deal with so many body changes due to the surge of hormones and as if that’s not enough, the pregnancy culminates into labor which can be intense for most women and even dangerous for others due to complications that may arise. The interesting thing about child birth is that while you get to bring to life another human, the effects of it on your body can take a toll on you. You may think that the storm is over but surprisingly, it may just be beginning. Here’s how giving birth affects your body.
1. Postpartum blues.
This is common in almost 60-80% of women. It’s a mild and temporary form of depression with symptoms like mood swings, frustration, irritability, unexplained crying and insomnia. This is the reason you sometimes come across videos of women harassing their young children on social media and try to fathom what is going on. The new mum is simply just going through a mild depression – it gets so bad for some women to a point where they feel the urge to kill the baby or commit suicide. What you need to do if you experience these feelings is get help and have someone like a trusted relative live with you and help where necessary till you feel better.
2. Vaginal dryness.
Many women suffer from vaginal dryness after child birth and also experience this during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. Fret not though because this goes away on its own after a few months. Simply drink a lot of water throughout the day to keep your body hydrated and avoid douching.
3. Vaginal bleeding.
After child birth, you may experience never-ending bloody discharge from the vagina. This vaginal blood with small clots is called lochia and it’s a common problem regardless of the form of giving birth. Use heavy duty pads and change several times a day. Do not use tampons to prevent introducing bacteria into your still recovering uterus and genital tract.
4. Night sweats.
After giving birth, you may find yourself sweating a lot after the first few weeks. You may get dehydrated due to this so ensure you drink a lot of water throughout the day.
5. Post labor pains.
With all the pushing and contortions of labor, it can be natural to feel tired and even pain. Pain can be felt in the ribs, abdomen and back as well as near your private parts. Get as much rest as you can and give your body enough time to heal and avoid doing strenuous activities.
6. Painful breasts.
Painful, large and swollen breasts are common among new mothers. Initially, the breasts are soft as they contain little colostrum – the rich, creamy first milk full of antibodies that helps protect your baby from infections. However, if you have a fever and your breasts are red and warm, do not ignore it as it can be a sign of mastitis which is a painful infection that needs to be treated.
7. Post baby belly.
Once your baby is born, your stomach will not go back to being flat immediately. Even after giving birth, most women still have a round belly. Breastfeeding and physical activity play an important role in the weight loss process.