Post-natal: What can you expect after a delivery?
“Being a mother should be a joy, not a bundle of worry”, they say. But a lot of new mothers have a lot of different things to worry these days, from weight management to eating healthy and breastfeeding to returning to work.
A mother experiences tremendous changes throughout the pregnancy from the increase of the different hormones in the body. Some of these changes that occur during pregnancy could be permanent, or if treated well, could revert to normal pre-pregnancy state.
So why does post-pregnancy sound stressful? What actually happens during and after pregnancy?
Well, if a new mother is equipped to face the care of herself and her baby whilst recovering from labour and delivery pains, she is probably on the right track for mending, and there is nothing to be stressed about.
Let's look at some of the physical changes that a women goes through during and post pregnancy:
|PRE PREGNANCY||PREGNANT||POST PREGNANCY|
|Breast||Normal||Fuller||Lack of firmness|
|Tummy||Flat & smooth||Larger||Laxity|
|Body Fluid Level||Normal||Retention||Subjective|
One will observe that nothing automatically reverts to pre-pregnancy levels, without a little effort perhaps, which comes in the form of post-natal care and discipline of course. Even breastfeeding, which is supposed to help a new mother lose weight, does not always yield the desired effects as fast as most new mothers would hope.
Perhaps the most disturbing of the lot is that you will be faced with some of the most common yet undesirable effects of motherhood including the lack of firmness in breast, abundance of stretchmarks, enlarged waistline and wider hips. Excess weight and accumulation of fat cells all over the body will be another thing altogether.
What should you do then to make sure you get through these stressful effects of pregnancy and perhaps lose them for good?
Easier said than done, experts advise that one should keep the positive things acquired during pregnancy and target and lose the negative things gained during the same 40-week period. If you have gained fuller breasts, rosy skin, a healthy metabolic rate, a healthy lifestyle and a good blood flow, you should perhaps try your best to maintain and preserve these. If you, however, have gained negative things such as those listed earlier, you should try your best not to overthink about it and only work towards losing them.
Working towards losing them, however, is not as easy as it sounds, again. A new mother, especially one under a good post-natal care, will have a couple of restrictions on what she could do and what she could not. This is even more inevitable if the delivery was by way of a C-section.
Let's look a simple guide on what you could and could not do post-pregnancy:
|DO||DON'T||WHY THE DO'S AND DON'TS?|
|Week 1-2: Rest well
Week 3: Perform gentle exercises
Week 4 onward: Return to normal exercise routine
|Perform strenuous exercises||
|Gradually lose weight.
*Advisable to lose approximate 2kg per month
|Try to attain massive weight loss in a short period of time||
|Change in Lifestyle and healthy eating habits||Consume slimming pills||
|Get balanced nutrients||Go on extreme diet||
|Maintain a healthy weight without losing too much drastically||Overlook the excess weight gained during pregnancy||
Essentially, if you have signed up for a post-natal care programme during your pregnancy, the programme will take care of every concern above including your diet plan, recovery from labour, weight loss and so forth.
Losing excess weight gained during pregnancy is important for your future pregnancies, but losing too much could also be dangerous to your current recovery and even your baby who is relying on your breastmilk. Given the right care and advice, any new mother will be able to mend quickly towards leading a normal pre-pregnancy life with her beloved newborn.