Four key facts worth noting about the post-pregnancy body

by Alice Stanton

Four key facts worth noting about the post-pregnancy body

As your nine months of baby development begin coming to a close, you might start to wonder what your body will look like after pregnancy. We've all heard horror stories of unsightly stretch marks and skin that seemingly doesn't slide back into place following delivery - but how much of this is true?

If this is your first pregnancy, you're likely a little worrisome as to how you'll look when you no longer have a baby bump. After all, where does all of that extra weight go? Here are some key points to recognize as your due date draws nearer and you prepare for life with your new child.

1. You'll begin to shed pounds immediately after pregnancy
If you're worried about looking a little plump after you give birth, there are a couple of factors to consider. First, your baby is going to account for a loss of about eight pounds as soon as you he or she arrives. Next, your placenta and amniotic fluid will leave your body during labor as well, which amounts to another handful of pounds. Finally, all of the extra water you retained during your pregnancy will begin to make its way out of you during the first few weeks following the birth of your child. Before you begin thinking about fat-burning exercises, consider what your body will already do for you on its own.

2. Your vagina will reduce in size
Many women initially fear that they'll become expanded to the point of no return after giving birth, but this simply isn't true. While the vagina may become larger than its original size if you give birth vaginally, it eventually returns to its normal state. This means you can count on the swelling to go down and your muscles to become toned once again, despite going through intense labor. Many experts recommend Kegel exercises to aid in the process.

3. The postpartum period will become a reality
Discovery Health states that it's important to recognize that you'll go through several emotional physical changes once your pregnancy is over - this is often referred to as the postpartum period. During this time, make it a point to schedule relaxation and deep breathing techniques into your daily routine. This can help you establish a balance between your parental responsibilities and everything else you have going on in your life - your job, marriage and financial situation.

It's also helpful to note that you won't be getting much sleep during the first few months of your child's life (as some other moms might've already told you). For this reason, it's especially important to know when to take a step back, unwind and release tension within your body.

4. Healthy foods are the way to go
Many women undoubtedly face pressure to lose weight once their pregnancy comes to an end (I'm sure you can name a few celebrities). However, it's important to recognize that your body has just gone through an intense experience over the course of nine months leading up to your delivery. That being said, give yourself a break - don't stress over the fact that you aren't hitting the gym as much as you think you should.

If you become concerned about some of the baby weight that's still lingering, opt for healthy foods to get back on the right track. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all great places to start when you're looking to shed a few extra pounds.

How much do you know about the post-pregnancy body? Do you know how to decipher fact from fiction? Leave your tips in the comments section!