Friday, October 22, 2010

What happens to my body after pregnancy?

Third trimester to birth


In a previous post, we explored what happens to your body during the first two trimesters of your pregnancy. In this post, we talk about changes in your body during the third and final trimester as well as the changes you might notice after you give birth.



The Third Trimester


In the third trimester, you will see that the signs of pregnancy become more obvious to other people. As the baby continues to grow, your uterus continues to stretch to accommodate the growth and your stomach protrudes further. You may also see stretch marks on your breasts, stomach, thighs, hips, and/or buttocks as your body changes and grows.

Many women also notice that they are sweating more and attribute this to their larger size, but in reality the additional sweat production is probably a result of changing hormone levels and not physical growth.



After Pregnancy


In many ways, your body will begin to return to pre-pregnancy form almost immediately after childbirth. But the changes that took nine months to occur cannot be undone overnight, so you will notice gradual shifts in most cases.

Between the baby, the placenta, and the water weight lost during childbirth and the following five to seven days, you will see that you have lost a significant amount of weight.

However, it will take your uterus a little longer to begin contracting back to its normal size, so your stomach may appear pregnant for several weeks. Exercise (when doctor-approved) and breastfeeding have been shown to help the uterus contract more quickly.

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