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3 Physical Changes Women Experience After ChildBirth

Pregnancy is amazing. Women grow a tiny human being within their abdomen and carry them for nine months. During those months of pregnancy, their body undergoes many physical changes. While many of them disappear a few days after birth, others, like your little one, remain.

Of course, the few extra pounds you gained during pregnancy and the belly bulge are there to stay, but beyond that, there are lots of changes that might surprise you. Knowing about them beforehand or in the early postpartum days will help you cope with all the changes better than you would otherwise.

Here’s a look at a few ways your body changes after delivering a baby:

#1 Vaginal Discharge

Vaginal discharge is a common phenomenon, and every woman experiences it right after giving birth to her child. Postpartum vaginal discharge, also known as lochia, consists of mucus, blood, uterine tissue, and possibly bacteria.

For the first few days following childbirth, lochia will be dark or bright red, and you will experience heavy flow. However, the flow will become light and watery and transition to a pinkish-brown color within a few days.

Whether you had a normal delivery or a C-section, lochia lasts for about 20 days to one month. In rare cases, it may extend to two months, but not beyond that.

Using internal menstrual products and tampons is a big no-no! Using them can cause pain and irritation and result in infection. Instead, opt for heavy-duty pads.

As the flow is usually heavy in the first few days of childbirth, you will have to change your pads every few hours. Once your flow decreases, you won’t have to change your pads so frequently.

#2 Urinary Incontinence 

While not all women who give birth suffer from urinary incontinence, most of them do.

An observational study observed that 25% to 55% of women experience urinary incontinence symptoms during pregnancy. Most commonly, women experience stress urinary incontinence (SUI) the first time after vaginal delivery, which accounts for 3.7% to 19% of cases.

Childbirth weakens the muscles that control the bladder. It can also damage the bladder nerves and supporting tissues, resulting in a prolapsed pelvic floor.

While women who have vaginal delivery are at two-fold risk of urinary incontinence, those who undergo cesarean section can also experience loss of bladder control.

Surgery such as the sling procedure helps treat urinary incontinence. A strip of mesh, i.e., synthetic material, is used to create a pelvic sling underneath the urethra and the bladder neck in this surgery.

However, we advise you against this because many women have experienced painful complications after the surgery. Vaginal scarring, chronic pain and infection, vaginal bleeding, and neuromuscular problems are a few complications associated with vaginal mesh, reports TorHoerman Law.

Thousands of women harmed by transvaginal mesh have sued mesh manufacturers. In their transvaginal mesh lawsuits, women claim that defective devices resulted in injuries and complications. Some medical device manufacturers named in the lawsuits are Ethicon, Coloplast, American Medical Systems, and C.R. Bard.

Currently, litigations over pelvic mesh rank among the biggest mass tort cases in the history of the U.S.

Seven medical device manufacturers, including Boston Scientific, have agreed to pay over $8 million to settle the claims of more than 100,000 women. While the amount of compensation that plaintiffs can receive depends on the strength of the case, lawyers estimate that transvaginal mesh settlement amounts could range from $150,000 to $400,000.

Instead of surgical procedures, practice kegel exercises. This exercise strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which helps with urinary incontinence.

#3 Hair Loss

Many women notice excessive hair growth during pregnancy, especially towards the end. You must have noticed that, too. But do you know why that happens? Hormonal change is the answer.

Individual hair strands don’t thicken. But as estrogen levels rise steadily, the hair remains in the growing phase of its cycle for a long time.

Post-pregnancy hormone levels dip, meaning they return to their pre-pregnancy levels. That is why women lose their luscious hair. But relax– you are not as bald as you feel. In fact, you’re just shedding the extra hair that grew during pregnancy.

It’s normal for women to lose hair for about six to eight months. Thereafter, the hair returns to its previous state.

However, if your hair starts thinning out, consulting a dermatologist will be the best bet. You might be losing hair due to other conditions, such as thyroid disease or iron deficiency.

Wrapping Up

Women go through a lot of physical changes post-pregnancy– this list doesn’t encompass all of them. Discomfort in the perineal area, breast engorgement and discharge, and incision drainage are other changes that you might notice following childbirth. Mainly, women go through physical changes after delivering a baby due to changes in hormones.

Doing some gentle exercises such as walking can help you feel better and boost your confidence. You can also start high-impact exercises after your six-week postnatal checkup. However, consult your doctor before you indulge in them to be on the safe side.

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