Motherhood is a beautiful journey, but it can also take a significant toll on a woman's body. Pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum recovery can bring about several side effects that can affect a mother's physical and mental health. To regain their pre-pregnancy body and confidence, many women opt for a 'mommy makeover' after delivery. In this article, we will discuss some common side effects of pregnancy and how to tackle them after the delivery, along with some tips for postpartum recovery.
AFTER DELIVERY WOES AND HOW TO TACKLE THEM
Pregnancy can cause several side effects, including mood swings, hair fall, stretch marks, and weight gain. While some of these effects may fade away on their own, others may require some effort to be tackled.
Hormonal changes and sleep deprivation can contribute to postpartum mood swings. To tackle these, it is essential to prioritise self-care. Get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet, and engage in some form of physical activity. Don't hesitate to reach out to your partner, family, or friends for support. You can also talk to your doctor or a mental health professional if your symptoms persist.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause hair loss, but it is usually temporary. To prevent hair fall, avoid tight hairstyles and use a gentle shampoo. Eating a diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals can promote healthy hair growth. You can also talk to your doctor about supplements that may help.
Stretch marks after delivery are among the most common concerns for many new mothers. These reddish or purple lines can appear on the abdomen, thighs, hips, breasts, or buttocks as a result of the skin stretching during pregnancy. While stretch marks are not harmful, they can be unsightly and affect a woman's self-confidence. Applying creams or oils that contain vitamin E or cocoa butter can help moisturise the skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can also help improve the elasticity of the skin.
Losing weight after pregnancy can be a challenge for many women. However, it is important to do it gradually and in a healthy way. Eating a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity can promote healthy weight loss. Breastfeeding can also help with weight loss, as it burns calories. Consult with your doctor before starting any exercise or diet programme.
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POSTPARTUM RECOVERY AFTER DELIVERY
Postpartum recovery refers to the healing and adjustment period after childbirth. It is essential to take care of yourself during this time to speed up your recovery process.
Childbirth can cause changes to the vagina, such as looseness or dryness. Vaginal rejuvenation is a cosmetic procedure that can help improve the appearance and function of the vagina. However, it is important to wait until your body has fully healed before considering this procedure. You should also talk to your doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for vaginal rejuvenation. Some common vaginal rejuvenation treatments include the following:
Vaginoplasty: This surgical procedure is designed to tighten the muscles and tissues of the vagina. It is often performed to address vaginal looseness.
Labiaplasty: This surgical procedure is designed to reshape or reduce the size of the labia minora or majora. It can be helpful for women who experience discomfort or self-consciousness due to the size or shape of their labia.
Laser treatments: These non-surgical treatments use laser technology to improve the appearance and health of the vaginal area. They can be used to address issues such as vaginal dryness, itching, or discolouration.
Pelvic floor exercises: These exercises, also known as Kegels, can help strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor, which can improve bladder control.
Breast care is an important aspect of postpartum recovery for new mothers. After delivery, a woman's breasts may become swollen, sore, or engorged as they begin to produce milk for the baby. Here are some tips for taking care of your breasts after delivery:
Wear a well-fitted bra: It is important to wear a bra that fits well and provides proper support for your breasts. A nursing bra can be a good option as it has special features such as easy access for breastfeeding and adjustable straps.
Breastfeed frequently: Breastfeeding your baby frequently can help relieve breast engorgement and prevent complications such as mastitis. It is important to ensure that your baby is latched on correctly to avoid soreness or cracked nipples.
Apply heat or cold packs: Applying heat or cold packs to your breasts can help relieve swelling and pain. A warm compress can help stimulate milk flow, while a cold compress can help reduce inflammation.
Practice good hygiene: It is important to keep your breasts clean and dry to prevent infection. Wash your breasts with warm water and mild soap and avoid using harsh chemicals or perfumes.
Seek Medical Help: If you experience any pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant.
Taking supplements can help you recover faster after childbirth. Common supplements that are usually prescribed for post-partum recovery are iron, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, it is important to consult your doctor before taking any supplements especially if you are breastfeeding.
MOMMY MAKEOVER AFTER PREGNANCY AND C-SECTION
A mommy makeover refers to a set of cosmetic procedures that can help women regain their pre-pregnancy body. These procedures can include breast augmentation, tummy tuck, liposuction, and vaginal rejuvenation. However, it is important to wait until your body has fully healed before considering these procedures. You should also talk to your doctor to determine if you are a good candidate for a mommy makeover.
CONTRACEPTION WHILE FEEDING
Breastfeeding can provide some level of natural contraception, but it is not fool proof. There are several contraceptive options available that are safe to use while breastfeeding, including condoms, progestin-only pills/ injections, and IUDs. Talk to your doctor about the option that will be best for you based on your individual needs and safety.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL AFTER DELIVERY?
The healing process after childbirth can vary from woman to woman. It may take several weeks or even months for your body to fully heal. It is important to listen to your body and take things slow. Don't hesitate to ask for help from your partner, family, or friends if you need it.
HOW EARLY CAN YOU GET INTIMATE WITH YOUR PARTNER?
It is important to wait until your body has fully healed before engaging in intimate activity. This can take anywhere from four to six weeks or even longer in some cases. Talk to your doctor about when it is safe to resume intimate activity with your partner.
In conclusion, pregnancy and childbirth can bring about several side effects that can affect a mother's physical and mental health. It is essential to prioritise self-care and postpartum recovery to speed up the healing process. A mommy makeover after delivery can help women regain their confidence and pre-pregnancy body, but it is important to wait until your body has fully healed before considering any cosmetic procedures. Remember to listen to your body and take things slow, and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it. Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing mothers out there!
(This article is authored by Dr Vaishali Sharma, Senior Gynaecologist)