I finally feel strong enough to discuss this subject which isnt discussed enough between new parents who have recently had a baby. I can honestly say it took my body over three months to recover from birth and pregnancy (the fourth trimester). I also think it’s going to take a lot longer to get my pre pregnancy body back – this may be due to my age, elasticity in my skin or other reasons that I just dont want to think about.
The main point I’m trying to make is having a baby changes your body. Some things may never be quite the same again, but other changes don’t need to be permanent.
You can tighten your tummy with exercises and any weight gained will gradually drop off when eating healthily. It won’t happen overnight but when I look at the mirror and see the disgrace looking back. I remind myself that it took nine months to make my gorgeous, perfect little Tobias and it could take at least that long to get back into shape again.
Some women have physical and mental problems after having a baby. I am one of these people, I experienced a leaky bladder for three months and worried that it would never return to what it was. After help from physio it returned but this is a continuous excerise on my pelvic floor that I will have to do for the rest of my life.
Back pain can often be helped by exercise. I didn’t experience this (thankfully) but if something’s bothering you, don’t hesitate to ask your GP or health visitor for help. They can advise you and refer you to a specialist if necessary. Some people who have had a c-section experience other problems after pregnancy. After all there is a reason why the hospital advise to take it easy up to six weeks after the birth.
Piles – nobody wants this but a very high percentage of women who have had a vaginal birth will experience this. Once you get them it’s hard to get rid as they usually are inside your rectum and only pop out when you push excessively (TMI). Randomly you can push them back in! Creams are available but these are hard to administer due to the location. I can honestly say I wasn’t aware of this, I’m glad I wasn’t but nothing can prepare you for them, they are itchy and down right ugly! No man will want to come near me again now!
During the first month once your baby has been born, your body goes through the transition of getting back to normal inside. For the first two weeks I used to wake up in the middle of the night with extreme cramping. It felt like my insides had been in a boxing fight, I think I lost the fight (badly). I don’t know if this is right but it felt like all my organs were going back into position.
Stress and those baby blues. I am no expert in this but I can tell you that every person cries in the first week of having a newborn. For some people it only lasts a week but for others it can develop into something darker and that’s when you need to seek advice. Many factors can make you feel low in mood, money, the responsibility of looking after someone else, not having time for yourself. All these can build up, thankfully what I have found is having a close knit of like minded people going through the same as you, really helps.
It wasn’t until I went to my first fitness class where the teacher felt my stomach and said that I had a small break in my stomach muscles, I was just unaware of this. It’s common for the two muscles that run down the middle of your stomach to separate during pregnancy. The amount of separation varies from one woman to another. It happens because your growing womb pushes the muscles apart, making them longer and weaker. Regular exercises can help to reduce the size of the separation between your stomach muscles. It’s also important to stand up tall and be aware of your posture.
The postnatal check is around six to eight weeks after the birth and is a good time to talk to your GP about any physical or mental health problems you’ve had. Luckily for me I had fully healed where I had had to be cut and was already dealing with the hospital to get my other problems sorted so I was all clear when I went to my check up.
I also wanted to touch on my experience of Hypnobirthing in practise. The training course was set over two days, it touched on all aspects of labour and I felt enthused, ready to use my new found knowledge when the day came. However even though it was inevitable that Tobias was going to come on 23rd November 2016 I didn’t think it would happen in the way that it did. I was expected to be inducted and then the process start from there. Instead I got a wake up call at 6am (two hours before I was going to call the hospital to see if it was ok for me to go in to start my induction). Because of this I was all out of sorts and what I had learned about positive thoughts, having a music playlist in place and going with the pain just went out the door. I forgot all I had learned and just went “into” myself. Gavin said I seemed spaced out, however I can confirm I was in my head, talking to myself (I’m not crazy, I promise). Telling myself I could do this and to take the pain as I was one contraction closer to meeting my new baby. I don’t regret going on the course saying all this as I may use what I learned in the future, it doesn’t just relate to giving birth!