Thursday, 4 February 2016

Having children can change your body

You might now have stretch marks (wear them proudly I say!) and even with the best will in the world your pelvic floor muscles might not be what they used too.  Then your boobs can become very painful and swollen you might find a cold fresh cabbage becomes your new best friend!  I also had problems with my stomach muscles coming apart, the kindly midwife gave me exercises to follow but when you’re handling a newborn it can be difficult to see beyond the next bottle-feed and nappy change never mind schedule in anything else…

But I did my best and tried to focus on improving my stomach and pelvic floor muscles, the pelvic floor muscles you can do quite discretely whilst relaxing of an evening or if you have any downtime in the day whilst the baby naps try and squeeze the muscles and release them again.  Your pelvic floor muscles are the muscles around your bladder, vagina and back passage so you need to focus your attention on squeezing that area as if you’re stopping yourself going to the toilet but do not squeeze longer than 10 seconds.

The chances of urinary incontinence are increased with pregnancy and giving birth vaginally according to the NHS but do not be disheartened there are always methods to improve your condition.  Cutting back on caffeine and alcohol can also help along with the all-important exercises.  In the meantime it is also surprising how discrete continence products are for the amount of fluid they can hold.  

The MoliMed Comfort Mini from Hartmann has a working capacity of 140ml but is not much thicker than your average sanitary pad brand.  So whilst you try and resolve the problem you know you can still go about your business and no one (other than who you chose to tell) need know.  Plus these look great to handle the initial blood loss after giving birth, I had some big blood clots, which was quite alarming, but as it happened in the first few days after birth it was nothing to be concerned about apparently.  If it did continue its probably best to seek the advice of a doctor.

The time after giving birth can be a big strain emotionally, feeling very up and down but if you tackle the issues one by one they can become more manageable.  Stock up on Incontinence products if you need to but do continue to have a healthy diet, following the midwives exercise recommendations and remember most women have been through the exact some things before.  Keep at the back of your mind that it’s taken nine months of pregnancy to get to this point so your body might not spring back immediately.

The biggest surprise for me was the pain of the postpartum cramps as my uterus shrank back to size for the first few days after I gave birth, I needed to take some pain relief to take the edge off!  Fortunately most changes to your body are temporary and this one was over quite quickly.

For all the changes you might well face I would not have it any other way because being handed your newborn is worth any amount of pain and discomfort, everything else is a distant memory.

14 comments:

  1. Its amazing isn't how the discomfort vanishes the minute you hold your baby. Gorgeous baby photo x

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  2. Women are so strong to endure all the pain of childbirth. But you are right with time all heals.

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  3. It is amazing the pain we go through during childbirth but seeing that little person just takes it all away like it didnt happen.
    I had 2 c-sections for health reasons but I do remember the after pains, oh my goodness. so so worth it though :)

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  4. That photograph is adorable! I had my last baby 4 months ago, I think it will take ages to feel normal again! :D

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  5. That picture is adorable and I am aching just looking at it. I had such a hard time being pregnant and was just relieved to be over and done. I had 2 sections in the end

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  6. Ahh what an adorable photo, just gorgeous. Thank goodness we love our babies unconditionally heh! My poor bod isn't quite the same - think its on sabbatical with my pelvic floor LOL :)

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  7. Yes, it was a bit of a shock the first time after giving birth about all the after effects. What I didn't realise is that the post partum cramps are worse after each child

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  8. Ah yes the lovely after cramps, they just got worse with each child. Gorgeous photo! I'd love another x

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  9. Ah yes, the boob pain how could I ever forget that! Although the best relief always comes when you hold your new baby in your arms :)

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  10. I was a bit surprised by the after cramps - I wasn't really expecting them.

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  11. No one seems to tell you all the horrid bits about childbirth. I mean, we know it's going to hurt but the pain after (I had so many stitches after my first!) and the sore boobs... ouch, not nice. But of course it's all worth it x

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  12. Aw what a lovely photo.

    I must admit that pregnancy was different to what I was expecting - I didn't enjoy being pregnant at all x x

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  13. I dont have children and as a man cant emphasise much with the issues raised but I do hope it is all worth it.

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  14. I remember being given exercises by the midwives and health visitors to help my pelvic floor muscles and stomach muscles, but found it was much said than done when you're sleep deprived and focusing all of your time and energy on a newborn!

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