9 Physical changes after birth of which no one has told you

After childbirth, you may notice some strange physical changes that no one has ever told you about. ""Why did not anyone ever tell me that I'm going to lose urine unnoticed,"" you'll ask yourself. Or, ""Why has not anyone ever told me that my feet are getting bigger? ""

It's time for the truth. We have listed the most typical post-natal horrors and give tips on how best to deal with them. But it is by no means the case that all young mothers are affected by all these changes!

Incontinence

It's so unfair - in addition to changing your diaper, you'll also need to change your underwear or panty liners all the time! Fortunately, this does not happen to everyone, but postpartum incontinence is normal and transient for most mothers. The birth of the pelvic floor is very stressed and greatly stretched. Sometimes it takes a while for the nerve endings around the bladder to heal and until then you do not get clear signals from your body when you need to go to the bathroom or when you're done with the toilet. These muscles and nerves need time, and sometimes some help, to function again as before.

The good news first: Often it only takes a few days, at most a few weeks, until you have dry underwear again. Until then, just use bandages (they will need you for the weekly flow anyway) and go to the bathroom more often, even if you do not feel you have to.

Unfortunately, incontinence can also occur after a cesarean section, but then it is not quite as common. Because even the weight of your baby has stressed your pelvic floor during pregnancy and stretched the muscles.

Read our article on how best to take care of your pelvic floor in the first 6 weeks after pregnancy. There you will find more suggestions.

If you still lose urine after a few weeks, talk to your doctor or midwife. You may have a condition called stress incontinence caused by weak pelvic floor muscles around the urethra. This problem can be treated with pelvic floor exercises.

Incontinence is not normal, even if it is widespread. So, talk to the experts in a pelvic floor physiotherapy practice near you. Your doctor, midwife or even a friendly mother may also be able to give you tips.

Bleeding

After nine months of menstrual pauses, the bleeding is now surprisingly heavy.The discharge is only thick and deep red and after a few days rather dark red-brownish. Unlike a normal period, the discharge lasts several weeks.

How to best handle it: The Weekly Flow, also known as Lochien, consists of blood and dead cells from the innermost layer of the uterine wall. The flow of the week gradually becomes lighter and less - after five to six weeks you will have very little white or pale yellow discharge. With tampons you run the risk of infection, so you should use bandages. Do things slowly, recover and as the bleeding gets worse, put your feet up and rest.

Swollen Feet

If you look down, you'll probably wonder - your legs are thicker and your feet are much bigger than usual!

How to best handle it: Get out your most comfortable shoes, at least for the next few days. These swellings, also called edema, are absolutely normal. During pregnancy, blood vessels have widened under the influence of hormones and become more permeable. The amount of blood has also increased. After the birth, your body will be reversed again and it may be that some liquid in the feet or hands ""dangling"" temporarily. The swelling should, however, go back within a maximum of 10 days.

Some women notice that their feet remain a little larger after pregnancy and childbirth than they did before, even though the swelling has already gone down. This is due to the loosening of the ligaments during pregnancy, which also causes the feet to get bigger.

Some women's feet are bigger - but not all. So take a little time before cleaning out the shoe rack!

Stagnation

A few days after giving birth, you will notice that your breasts are not only as big as they have ever been, they are also as hard as stone.

How best to deal with this: A stagnation of milk can occur if more milk flows through the milk production in the direction of the breast. Some women do not find their full breasts uncomfortable while others feel painful.

When you breastfeed, you and your baby will gradually find the balance between supply and demand. For very full breasts, before breastfeeding, you may need to pump something out or stroke your chest a bit, otherwise your baby might struggle to dock on your full chest. If you do not breastfeed, the trick is not to empty or stimulate your chest - which, unfortunately, is sometimes easier said than done. Instead, chill your chest with cool packs or even cabbage leaves. More tips on how to alleviate discomfort can be found in our article on Stagnation.

If you do not feel better after a day or two, go to the doctor.Because you could also have a breast infection instead of a stagnation.

Hemorrhoids

Even if you've made it through pregnancy without any hemorrhoids, you might also get hemorrhoids through childbirth!

How to best handle it: It's true - even if you've been around for hemorrhoids during pregnancy, you still can get some from birth. But there are many ways to relieve hemorrhoids: you can make cold compresses, take a bath or even a sitz bath and use wipes soaked in hamamelis water after bowel movements. Also be sure to treat a constipation immediately.

See the doctor if the hemorrhoids do not go away in a week or two or if they bleed. Hemorrhoids are a common problem and nothing to be mute.

Hair Loss

No, you do not fancy that - you have hair loss.

How to deal with it: Normally, about 85 to 95 percent of your scalp hair is in the growth phase, 5 to 15 percent rest, drop out, and be replaced with new ones. During pregnancy, estrogen ensures that even more hair grows and less fails. Hence, the luxurious hair that you had just before birth.

Estrogen levels drop after birth and more hair returns to rest - that is, they stop growing and fall off. This usually happens about 12 weeks after birth.

Although dermatologists believe that hair can return to its old fullness within six to 12 months, many mothers do not believe it. The most important thing is that the hair loss eventually stops. So, move the wig purchase and console yourself with a new haircut instead. Back and Hip Pain

Even though pregnant women constantly complain, many women do not realize that they can suffer from it even after birth.

How to best handle it: After a birth, there are many different reasons for hip and back pain. A common reason is the loosening of the tissue (muscles and ligaments) during pregnancy. Talk to a pelvic floor physiotherapist / pelvic floor physiotherapist, your doctor or midwife about your pain. They will be able to recommend a physiotherapist in your area.

The Little Tummy

In a touch of optimism, have you packed your pre-pregnancy jeans into the hospital bag, only to leave the clinic in the same pregnancy clothes? Many of us had the great hope that the abdomen will be as flat as before, right after birth - the reality is that most women look a bit pregnant for months after birth.

How to best handle it: be patient. First, her uterus has just stretched for nine months; it's not exactly fair to expect her to contract completely right away. After four to six weeks, she should be back to normal size. However, your tummy may take up to nine months or a year to regain the condition that you would call it ""normal."" Also read our article on how to care for your pelvic floor in the year after birth - there are even more tips on how to start abdominal exercises without risking injury.

But even after some time, many women realize that the little belly is stubborn. Sport can help to tone up muscles and burn calories. But do not forget: No matter how you feel with your little tummy, your body has done wonderful things.

Laxity Down There

Some women are worried because they no longer feel comfortable in the vaginal area. ""Two and a half weeks ago I had a baby and now I feel like my body - especially my lower half - is falling apart,"" says a BabyCenter mother. ""I do not know if it will ever be the same again. ""

How best to handle it: No, you're not just imagining it. Your uterus, bladder, and rectum can lower slightly after birth. Some mothers feel particularly limp or feel a significant reduction. Fortunately, this usually happens within a few weeks.

If these feelings persist with you until your 6-week check-up, then go to your doctor or midwife. You can examine your pelvic floor and assess if it is a subsidence. Until then, you can read our tips on how best to take care of your pelvic floor in the first 6 weeks after birth.

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