There isn’t a woman on earth who has given birth that doesn’t know what childbirth can do to your body. Even though you’d gladly trade that youthfully slim and healthy body for the joys of motherhood, it would be nice to regain some of what you’ve lost during pregnancy, wouldn’t it? Here David Ghozland, Board Certified OB/GYN Specialist in Vaginoplasty Los Angeles, looks at some ways in which childbirth can alter your body and what you might be able to do about it.
1. Stretch Marks
This is, perhaps the most common complaint among women who’ve given birth and one that isn’t always easy to ‘fix.’ Stretch marks are caused by rapid weight gain. In other words, your skin stretches too far over too short a period of time.
There are a number of creams often recommended which can help soften the scar tissue, but short of plastic surgery, there is really no way to remove them perfectly 100 percent of the time – and even then, some scarring will remain.
2. Leaky Bladder
Many women experience what is referred to as a “Leaky Bladder” after childbirth, and multiple births can exacerbate the condition. However, in most cases, that dribbling of urine after exercising or even after sex will correct itself with 12 to 18 months. If not, there are medications which can help to control incontinence as well as corrective surgeries.
It can be a hassle to go out with this condition to do errands, meet up with friends, or when you just want to get fresh air. So start wearing disposable underwear to help your temporary incontinence. There are several brands out there to choose from, and the most important thing is that you can go about your day with confidence and peace of mind.
In the meantime, put those Kegel exercises to work – you know the ones you used to assist in easy birthing? That should help strengthen the muscles in the pelvic floor region which will, in turn, help you to control your bladder.
3. Sagging Stomach Muscles (Diastasis Recti)
Weight gain is to be expected during pregnancy but the real issue here is that some women don’t seem to be able to take off those pounds easily (or at all!) after giving birth. Sometimes your stomach muscles never go back into shape which leaves you a few options.
Exercising can help to tighten muscles in the abdomen. It’s not often discussed, but most women experience diastasis recti after giving birth. There are many exercises that you can do to help close the opening and essentially knit your stomach muscles back together again, but it takes consistent work. Natalie Hodson is an authority on the subject and has a great program that can help you achieve great results at home. A more aggressive treatment would be a tummy tuck cosmetic surgery. However, you may want to wait until after you’ve finished giving birth to children because you may just need to repeat that surgery all over again.
4. Vaginal Relaxation
This is where muscles in the vaginal wall have, just like those stomach muscles, literally lost their tone. Reconstructive outpatient surgery can help to correct the issue, in much the same way as a tummy tuck works, which will also enable you to experience the full joy of sex once again. That is the most common complaint due to the symptoms of vaginal relaxation. Rapid weight loss, multiple births and aging are all common causes.
These are just 4 common complaints among women who have given birth and some suggested ways you can correct them. While you wouldn’t trade motherhood for the body of the highest paid supermodel, it would be nice to get back some of what you’ve lost. Don’t lose heart yet moms – modern medicine and corrective surgery to the rescue.