While many well-known changes occur after childbirth, such as weight gain and stretch marks, there are other changes that may come as a surprise to new moms. If you aren’t aware of how childbirth can affect your whole body, you might be caught off guard by these changes. Although not all new mothers experience the same changes, here are some of the more common ones:
The mental impacts of childbirth can be vast and varied. Some new mothers find themselves struggling with depression, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder in the aftermath of giving birth. This can be due to many factors, such as physical pain, sleep deprivation, hormone changes, and the overwhelming responsibility of caring for a new baby. For some women, these mental health challenges can persist long after the baby is born. It is important to seek help if you are struggling in this way, as it is not something you have to deal with alone. Many resources are available to help you care for your mind and your baby.
Effects on Hair
Hair loss is one of the most unexpected changes that can occur after childbirth. Hormonal changes caused by pregnancy and childbirth can affect the hair cycle, leading to a temporary increase in hair shedding, which peaks at around four months after delivery. Another factor contributing to this is the physical stress of childbirth. This can be attributed to nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, and lack of sleep. While this hair loss is usually temporary and will resolve on its own within a year, it is best to speak with a doctor or dermatologist if you are concerned about the amount of hair you are losing.
After childbirth, women experience changes in their hormone levels, especially in estrogen and progesterone. The increased presence of these hormones can impact your gum’s blood vessels, making them more sensitive, leading to plaque that can evolve into gum problems. In fact, about 60 to 75% of pregnant women develop gingivitis. If left unchecked, this can progress into periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease. However, maintaining good oral health can still lower your risk for these dental issues. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit your dentist regularly. If you have any concerns about your oral health, be sure to talk to your dentist.
Decreased Sexual Urges
After giving birth, your estrogen levels will drop. Since this hormone is responsible for maintaining vaginal lubrication and stimulating your sexual desire, its low levels will also result in decreased sexual urges. This will not only give you vaginal dryness but also affect your intimate relationship with your spouse. It’s essential you find an effective method to help manage this concern and restore your sexual urges. You can resolve this issue by getting medication that can effectively enhance sexual stimulation for women. Doing so will help you feel more comfortable and confident with your body and improve your relationship with your spouse.
Pelvic Floor Issues
There are a few pelvic floor issues that can occur after giving birth. One is urinary incontinence, the leakage of urine, and fecal incontinence, the leakage of stool. It’s more common in women who have given birth vaginally than in those who have had a c-section. This is because your pelvic floor can weaken after childbirth and affect your ability to control your bladder and bowel movements. Another pelvic floor issue is pelvic organ prolapse, which is when one of your pelvic organs (uterus, bladder, or rectum) slightly falls out of place and into your vagina. This can be painful and cause further discomfort. Hence, you can ask your doctor for treatment to help manage these problems.
When recovering after childbirth, some women feel great after a few months, while others may take years. Many factors contribute to how you can recover, including your health before and during pregnancy, the type of delivery you had, your age, and your emotional and physical support system. Your postpartum recovery duration will also depend on your lifestyle choices during this period. For example, women who smoke or drink alcohol, don’t eat well, or don’t exercise regularly may take longer to recover than those who make healthier choices. It is important for you to remember that there is no set timeline for postpartum recovery and that every woman’s experience is unique. If you are concerned about your recovery, talk to your healthcare provider. They can provide you with guidance and support.
Childbirth is a major event in a woman’s life, both physically and emotionally. It can take time to adjust to the changes in your body and the demands of caring for a new baby. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to recover.