Throughout your pregnancy, your body experiences so many unexpected changes, and you’ll experience even more changes post-pregnancy. While each mommy has her own whirlwind of changes, there are some that are fairly common. Many of our birthing classes at the birth center offer guidance through these changes. Here are a few changes you might experience that are totally normal, and what you can do to help ease the process of change.
Whether you have decided to breastfeed or not, your breasts will be going through a lot of change. They will naturally swell and be sore. You can expect lactation leakage for at least the first couple of weeks postpartum. If you are breastfeeding, your breasts will be producing milk, triggered by the baby’s sucking. Throughout the duration that you breastfeed you may experience engorgement, which includes swelling, hardness, throbbing, and uncomfortable fullness. Talk to our lactation consultants at the birth center if you need help breastfeeding or have questions.
During your pregnancy you probably didn’t experience much hair loss. In fact, the higher estrogen levels kept your hair strong and shiny. Now, hormones will over compensate for your lack of hair loss during your pregnancy and you will start to experience a surge in hair loss for about four months, postpartum. Don’t fret! After about six months, you will be back to normal, losing only around 100 hairs a day.
Stomach Changes & Back Pain
Your uterus is still recovering and it takes about six to eight weeks for it to shrink down from roughly two pounds to about two ounces. Most mommies don’t lose their baby weight immediately and instead rely on birthing classes, such as yoga (offered at the SCV Birth Center), to help recover muscle strength. It takes time for your ab muscles to recover, which causes your back muscles to compensate and can lead to back pain. Your posture changed in order to carry your pregnancy weight and now your body is trying to readjust.
Swollen ankles and feet during pregnancy could lead to a permanent foot size change. The added pregnancy weight of generally 25-35 pounds puts extra pressure on your feet. This loosens the ligaments in your feet, causing you to need a larger size shoe. This is not permanent for everyone and it is common to return to your prenatal shoe size. On the bright side, shoe shopping anyone?
Throughout your pregnancy you probably experienced heightened restroom usage due to the added pressure from the baby. You also may have experienced pressure on your urethra during your delivery which now makes it difficult or painful to urinate. Constipation is also certainly common. A high fiber diet and plenty of water and juice can help increase regularity and decrease pain and discomfort. If you continue to experience inconsistencies, contact a licensed midwife at the birth center for more help.
Being pregnant will take it out of you. Most feel tired and always ready for a nap. Postpartum, some mommies experience a boost in energy while others experience the opposite. The first six weeks postpartum can cause a 20% increase in aerobic capacity, while others argue caring for a new baby combined with the excess body weight can be exhausting and cause moodiness.
Swollen Legs/ Varicose Veins
Swollen legs and varicose veins are very common during pregnancy. Many mommies experience twitching postpartum, which can often times be helped by walking. Unfortunately, spider/varicose veins may lessen but usually won’t go away completely.
While these changes are all pretty common amongst postpartum women, everyone has their own experience. If you have questions about your postpartum changes, rely on the years of experience and extensive knowledge from our licensed midwives or sign up for one of our many birthing classes at the SCV Birth Center.