After your pregnancy, you will experience many emotions and changes. Here are 5 physical things you may experience after you have given birth.
If you are currently pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you’ll want to be aware of some of the changes that you may go through after giving birth. Some changes are temporary and should be considered a normal part of having a child, but other changes could indicate that you’re experiencing complications that should be brought to the attention of a doctor. Here are five things you may experience after your pregnancy.
1. Sweating or Feeling Chilled More Than Usual
Sweating excessively or experiencing chills suddenly even when the air temperature isn’t cold can be normal for some women after giving birth. According to Cleveland Clinic, you may have a condition known as postpartum chills if you find yourself shivering intensely after your baby is born, and this normally harmless condition can occur because of hormone fluctuations or a loss of fluid or heat from the body. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night from sweating profusely shortly after giving birth, you should know that night sweats can also be a normal part of postpartum life because of hormone fluctuations that result from your body getting rid of excess fluids. Even though excessive sweating and chills are usually harmless after pregnancy, you should still let your doctor know about these episodes to make sure there are no serious underlying conditions.
2. Losing Your Hair
Hair loss can be a startling change for some women who have recently given birth, but this change is quite common. When you’re pregnant, the extra estrogen in your body can keep your hair from shedding at its normal rate, and your hair can thin and fall out at a faster pace once your estrogen levels have dropped after pregnancy. You may notice this hair loss soon after your pregnancy or a few months after giving birth, but your hair loss should return to its normal rate in six months to a year after you’ve had your baby as your estrogen levels become normal once again.
3. Abdominal Changes
It’s obvious that the shape of your belly will change as you progress through each stage of your pregnancy, but you should also be aware of some of the changes in your abdominal region that you might experience after giving birth. You may notice that you still look pregnant even after giving birth because of an enlarged abdomen, but you should eventually go back to your normal size after the postpartum swelling has subsided and you’ve lost the extra baby weight through diet and exercise. A condition known as diastasis recti, which results in a gap in the abdomen because of abdominal muscle separation, can make your stomach protrude and can usually be corrected by performing some specific exercises that are designed to reverse the condition.
4. Increased Foot Size
Weight gain and hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy can increase the size of your feet, but you may need to start wearing a larger shoe size for the rest of your life after pregnancy. Hormones that change the tightness of ligaments in the feet can make your feet longer and flatten each foot arch, and these ligaments often remain looser and don’t go back to the way they were before your pregnancy. You may also need to choose shoes that are wider in width to accommodate the extra foot growth. Losing the extra weight that you gained during pregnancy may help decrease your foot size, but you may still need to wear a larger shoe size permanently.
5. Postpartum Depression
Even psychological changes can occur after pregnancy, and you may be one of the women who develop postpartum depression soon after your baby is born. Many women find themselves feeling more depressed than usual and may experience spontaneous crying spells for a while after giving birth, but postpartum depression results in more serious feelings of sadness that may need to be addressed by a mental health professional. With postpartum depression, you may not even start developing symptoms until a year after giving birth. Symptoms of this condition often include strong feelings of anger or irritability and an unusual increase or decrease in sleeping and eating. If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby because of your postpartum depression, you should seek immediate help.
Knowing what to possibly expect after your pregnancy can help you prepare better for certain physical and mental changes that sometimes occur in the post-delivery phase of your life. Consulting with experts and following the right advice can help you navigate through these changes with fewer negative impacts on your life.