If you’ve ever given birth, you already know that your body undergoes changes in those early weeks. Sometimes you lose all that weight you gained and other times you are almost immobilized after the trauma you experienced during delivery. Make no mistake about it. Few women fly through childbirth without suffering some degree of pain and discomfort, so that is only normal.
What you might not know is how your body changes once you’ve had a baby and if you expect your body, mind, and spirit to bounce right back to where it was before conception, you are sadly mistaken. Having said that, it’s important to learn to recognize certain changes and then you can begin learning how to deal with them. Here are some of the most common post-delivery changes to be aware of.
Drastic Changes in Hormone Production
Just before childbirth the levels of certain hormones such as progesterone spike at the highest levels you’ll ever experience. Just after childbirth, those levels drop drastically. These major fluctuations in hormones can cause anything from high levels of stress to insomnia and even an inability to keep your body temperature at the right level.
The thyroid is almost always affected and, as a result, several bodily functions are affected. Don’t be dismayed if you find that all of a sudden you are losing too much weight or unable to lose even a single ounce. Thyroid imbalance is quite common but will typically resolve itself within a few months.
Iron Deficiency Quite Common
Another huge issue in the early days is a new mom’s inability to keep up her levels of energy. Quite often this is the result of the loss of red blood cells during and after delivery. Many OB/GYN practitioners will automatically prescribe iron pills after delivery to counteract this common complaint. However, companies like Thorne Research Products available on the Blue Sky Vitamin website provide natural iron in vegan capsules, which are safe and devoid of any chemical additives.
As a leader in the industry, Thorne Research Products have developed a natural product called Iron bisglycinate, which is formulated to counteract fatigue and the loss of energy resulting from post-partum iron deficiency.
Mood Swings Don’t Always Indicate PPD
Many women don’t understand why they feel depressed immediately after giving birth. As a result, they, along with the entire family, immediately assume they are suffering from Post-Partum Depression. As mentioned above, the reason for this is almost always a temporary hormone imbalance once the body is no longer producing hormones necessary during pregnancy.
You can expect mood swings for the first days and maybe even weeks after delivery, but if you notice that you are not ‘bouncing back’ within a month or so, it’s time to talk to your doctor. You may, indeed, be suffering from PPD, but you may not as well. Once you find out the cause you can formulate a plan to address it.
Sore Joints and Bone Pain
Hormone levels can alter more than just mood. Did you know that during pregnancy the body produces copious amounts of a hormone called relaxin that serves to loosen up your joints? It could be so that the hip bones are better able to spread during delivery to safely accommodate safe passage for the child, but in any event, these joints may not snap back for several months.
In an effort to regain that pre-pregnancy body, you may be tempted to engage in high-impact exercise. That is a definite no-no, especially if you are experiencing high levels of joint or bone pain. It took months for that hormone to loosen your joints, give those joints a few months to return to stasis. As the old saying goes, everything takes time and so it goes with those post-pregnancy days, weeks and months.
Every Woman Is Different
Finally, it is important that you understand that every woman is different. Where the neighbor next door only suffered a few hours labor, you might have endured 24 or more hours of contractions and pain. The same holds true for post-pregnancy. Some women simply ‘recover’ quicker than others. If you find that you are experiencing abnormal amounts of pain over a prolonged period of time, it’s important to talk to your doctor at your earliest convenience.
Much of what you are experiencing is due to a lack of vitamins, minerals, and hormones, but those can be easily dealt with. The main point is that you can’t expect the same ‘recovery’ as your neighbor or family member, but if you find that your symptoms are keeping you from enjoying or experiencing everyday life, it’s important to seek professional help before things get out of hand. Don’t wait too long or you may be compounding the problems. Remember, every woman is different but few are untreatable. Seek aid sooner rather than later and all should return to normal before that baby can even sit up unassisted. Help is out there, so don’t be afraid to ask!