5 Post-partum Body Changes You Shouldn’t Ignore

Whether you had a C-section or vaginal delivery, you’ll likely feel pretty darn shaky for a few days or weeks after baby’s birth. You’ll notice some changes in your body. You might lose your hair. You could grapple with issues like melasma and night sweats. And oh, the jumbo-size pads you’ll wear!

Fortunately, most of those issues go away with a little time and rest. But for many mamas, there are lingering pains that don’t which pains experts say women tend to put up with for way too long.

Most of the following issues are things women should broach with their care providers at the (often all-too quick) standard six-week postpartum visit — if not sooner.

SEE ALSO:7 Reasons You May Be Experiencing Pain During Intercourse

1. Painful nipples
There’s a lot of back-and-forth about whether nursing should ever cause pain (“breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt,” La Leche League states).

Most experts concede it’s typical for women to experience pretty significant tenderness in the first few days after they’ve started nursing. However, anything more intense or that lasts significantly longer is a red flag.

“Your nipples have to callus, if you will, because they’re very sensitive,” said Dr. Mary Rosser, an OB-GYN with Montefiore Health System. “But women certainly shouldn’t be in such pain that they’re almost throwing up. If you’re starting to crack and bleed, you need to do something.”

2. Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus, “and the most painful ones tend to be the ones that pop out in a vaginal delivery,” Rosser said. “You know you have them if you see bright red bleeding.”

In her experience, a lot of women think they simply need to put up with the accompanying pain and itchiness, but Rosser said there’s a lot that can be done: For starters, apply Witch Hazel pads, sit in a warm bath (or use a sitz bath), and keep the area clean and dry.

She also recommends staying hydrated and eating a high fiber diet so any bowel movements don’t require you to strain, which can amplify the pain.

SEE ALSO:Why Fathers Ought to Be in The Birthing Room

And if the hemorrhoids don’t go away by your first postpartum visit? Absolutely talk to your doctor about them, Rosser said.

3. Back, hip and pelvic pain
With all of the physical changes that accompany pregnancy, that process can get pretty messed up, affecting the alignment of the joints and overall muscle function. “It really does legitimize this sense of yeah, you can develop these aches and pain of pregnancy and they have a reason for being there. Sometimes they’re minor changes, and sometimes they need intervention,” McKinney said. “Pain shouldn’t be ignored.”

Many women experience a lot of lingering pain in their hips, lower backs and pelvic girdle, she said. A physical therapist can help with exercises and also provide women with simple adjustments in how they walk and sit down, for example, that can go a long way in helping the body heal.

4. Ab separation
Diastasis recti is the technical term for the post-pregnancy pooch a lot of women are left with, which develops when the muscles that stretch and thin to accommodate a growing baby separate.

The problem persists in roughly 15 to 25 percent of women, McKinney estimated, though she said the scientific literature tracking the issue isn’t particularly robust.

The problem with ab separation isn’t just cosmetic; it can affect the whole body, as the deep abs are connected to the pelvis and the low back and play a role in everything from breathing to posture alignment. “It really [creates] a chink in your armor.

SEE ALSO:10 Tips on How To Prevent Your Boobs From Sagging (Part Two)

It’s an area where, if you don’t have everything together and transmitting forces in the right way, it can wear women down,” McKinney said — and right at the time when you need your strength to lift babies, strollers, etc.

5. Incontinence… and gas
Incontinence is one of those things that often gets kind of laughed off, McKinney explained, because women are embarrassed or because they think it’s expected. “But just because it’s common, doesn’t mean it’s normal,” she said.

And it’s important to note that incontinence can refer to leaking of the urinary tract and bowels, but it can also simply refer to trouble controlling gas.

“The more substantial the amounts of leakage a woman has, the more unlikely it is that the issue is going to resolve on its own,” McKinney said. Again, exercises can help, so go see a physical therapist who specializes in these issues, McKinney said. In rare, severe cases, surgery might also be necessary.

Source: huffingtonpost

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