Female Anatomy Changes Post-Partum
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There are some very significant changes your body will go through postpartum . The most heavily affected body organs will be your vagina and breasts. Learn more in the video.
Transcript: No part of your body is harder hit by giving birth than your vagina and breasts. In the several days...
No part of your body is harder hit by giving birth than your vagina and breasts. In the several days following birth, your breasts will produce a yellowish fluid called colostrum. In the several days following birth, your breasts will produce a yellowish fluid called colostrum. When your infant suckles, it will cause the release of hormones that trigger your milk. However, even if you choose not to nurse, your breasts will produce milk for several days to a week. If you want the milk to stop flowing, you shouldn't allow your baby to nurse, nor should you remove the milk in any other manner. However, these drugs come with additional health risks to the mother, so they are not commonly prescribed. You will notice discharge known as lochia from your vagina. This occurs as cells from the lining of your uterus slough off. Lochia starts out as bright red blood, then tapers off before finally stopping. After you give birth, your uterus is 15 times heavier than it was when you got pregnant! For this reason, you'll be able to feel it a few finger widths below the top of your belly button. But by six weeks after delivery, your uterus will return to its old size. Having a baby definitely changes your body, but take comfort in the fact that most alterations are only temporary.More »
Last Modified: 2014-02-03 | Tags »
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Have you just had your baby and ready to get back to your old self? Be patient about shedding the baby weight! Learn more about post-partum weight loss in this video.
Transcript: Supermodel Heidi Klum had a baby, then almost immediately slimmed down to her pre-pregnancy weight, and...
Supermodel Heidi Klum had a baby, then almost immediately slimmed down to her pre-pregnancy weight, and was back on the runway in six weeks flat! If you're thinking you could be like Heidi, RELAX. You're a new mom and a normal person and your weight loss goals should reflect that! While it's admirable to want to shed baby weight, your doctor may ask that you hold off on slimming down until after your six week postpartum checkup. If you delivered vaginally, however, the American Academy of OBGYNs says that you can GRADUALLY begin exercising as soon as YOU feel up to it. Note that women who gave birth via c-section do NOT usually have this option and must wait six to eight weeks to begin an exercise program. Regardless, once you decide it's time to begin a fitness routine, the number one rule is to go SLOW. Try gentle aerobic activity, like brisk walking, swimming, or biking, to lose those pounds quickly and safely. In addition, avoid sit-ups or other exercises that could strain your abdominal muscles post-pregnancy. If you're like most women, you developed a gap in those muscles while you were expecting, and you'll need to go easy on the area for at least eight weeks. As you begin your regimen, have realistic goals-just because Angelina Jolie was back in skinny jeans in eight weeks doesn't mean you have to be, at all! In fact, it's not even SAFE to lose more than a pound or two a week, according to most doctors. You should expect it to take ten months to a full year to lose the 25 or more pounds you put on during pregnancy. This is especially true if you're breastfeeding, as rapid weight loss can release bad-for-baby toxins normally stored in body fat into your milk. But the good news for breastfeeding moms is that nursing will help you lose weight. That's because, during your pregnancy, your body was busy storing up nourishing fat to feed your baby once he or she arrived. Now that your little one is here, your baby will be taking this fat directly from your body, in turn helping you reach your weight loss goals! Also, you require about 500 calories a day simply to produce breast milk. You can use those extra 500 calories to add more healthy food to your diet, or to help you lose that extra baby weight. In fact, svelte celebs like Christina Aguilera and Gwyneth Paltrow credit their rapid weight loss in part to having made the choice to breastfeed. And Jodi Foster even said she "just couldn't stop losing weight" while nursing! Remember, though, that you shouldn't CUT calories while you're breastfeeding, EVEN IF weight loss is your goal. Instead, make sure to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole-grains and calcium-rich foods. Remember that every woman's weight loss goals and post-pregnancy body will be different, so it's best to consult your doctor before beginning ANY kind of weight loss plan.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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If you've just had a baby and you're feeling less than ecstatic, be on the lookout for post-partum depression! Learn the signs.
Transcript: You've just had a beautiful baby, and for some reason you can't seem to stop crying. If this sounds familiar,...
You've just had a beautiful baby, and for some reason you can't seem to stop crying. If this sounds familiar, know that you aren't alone...as many as 80 percent of new moms experience some sadness postpartum. In most cases, these "baby blues" are a passing state of emotions that only last a few days or weeks after delivery. Moms who experience postpartum blues may feel irritable or sad, and have trouble sleeping. Normal post-baby sadness doesn't interfere with a woman's ability to care for her baby. In about 10 to 20 percent of new moms, however, the baby blues are more severe. Postpartum depression is a condition that DOES interfere with a mom's ability to care for her child. This illness was brought into the spotlight in 2005, when model and actress, Brooke Shields came forward to discuss her struggles with postpartum depression. Shields even wrote a book, "Down Came the Rain," to publicize the condition. The symptoms of postpartum depression include frequent crying jags, sleep disturbances, thoughts of suicide, weight and energy loss, lack of interest in anything, and feelings of guilt. An even more serious postpartum disorder is known as postpartum psychosis. This rare condition leads to psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations and delusions, following a baby's birth. Moms with postpartum psychosis are more likely to have obsessive thoughts about their babies and may act upon ideas of hurting them. No matter what postpartum condition a new mom has, a hormone imbalance is thought to play a role. That's because levels of the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and cortisol fall rapidly in the 48 hours after delivery. Women who develop a postpartum disorder are more sensitive to these changes. Women with a history of depression or other mental illnesses, women experiencing relationship problems, and moms who have had a previous postpartum condition, are all more likely to develop one of these illness. But there is help for postpartum disorders! Moms who have the "baby blues," may find that being surrounded with a support network, talking to other mothers, and getting more rest will usually lead to an abating of symptoms in a few short weeks. Women experiencing postpartum depression, however, will probably need a little extra help. Your doctor may suggest psychological counseling, or group therapy. She may also prescribe an anti-depressant medication, like Paxil or Prozac, which will help regulate hormone imbalances. If you're breastfeeding, talk to your doctor about medications that are safe for you AND your baby. If your doctor diagnoses you with postpartum psychosis, your treatment will involve more intense therapy and an anti-psychotic medication. If you are among the women who experience postpartum sadness, remember that you are not alone and that you WILL recover. Above all, do not be embarrassed about this common condition! Please, see your doctor if you are concerned about post-partum depression.More »
Last Modified: 2013-07-23 | Tags »
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