Your Post-Partum Body
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Every woman goes through various physical changes after giving birth to a baby. Click here to find out what they are and how to deal with your post-partum body.
Transcript: You expected to lose weight after your baby was born, but not your hair... After you give birth, you'll...
You expected to lose weight after your baby was born, but not your hair... After you give birth, you'll notice a lot of changes! For starters, even though you won't lose all your pregnancy weight immediately, your body will get you off to a good start. Immediately following the birth, on average, you will shed a seven-pound baby, two pounds of placenta, and two pounds of amniotic fluid. Plus, all the extra water that you retained during your pregnancy will now be looking for a way out. For this reason, you'll produce a HUGE three quarts of urine a day, causing more weight loss. Because you're producing so much urine, you'll probably urinate more often than you're used to, although this won't last for long. Post baby, you may also notice that you're losing a lot of hair-even handfuls of it! Rest assured, however, that this temporary side effect is just the result of your decreasing pregnancy hormones. The first couple of months with your new baby can require a real adjustment. Hang in there though -most of the post partum effects will subside within the first year.More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-02 | Tags »
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Your baby is finally here, but your body probably did not go right back to normal... Whether you are breastfeeding or not, post-partum life is not always a walk in the park. Tell us what your post-partum life is like, in this survey!
Last Modified: 2011-01-18 | Tags »
Pregnancy, post-partum, home, delivery, help, midwife, doula, newborn, breastfeeding, baby, birth,
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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If you have a new baby there are tips for new moms on how to relax. Check out this video to learn more.
Transcript: "Being a mother is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be a bit scary at first. Dr. Mom is a physician...
"Being a mother is incredibly rewarding, but it can also be a bit scary at first. Dr. Mom is a physician and has also raised two children. Here are Dr. Mom's top three tips for new mothers:First of all, she should take a deep breath and relax. Babies are not fragile, they get sick, they have rashes, they have earaches, they cry. All of which can be handled usually at home, with no unusual measures. You need to be aware that a doctor may be needed, but don't jump to the worst conclusions. Breastfeeding is really good it's nice for the mom and for the baby, but it's not absolutely the only way to feed your baby. Even if you breastfeed, it's very important to get your baby ready to take a bottle. You need the time and the flexibility that having somebody else feed your baby occasionally will allow you. The most important advice I can give new mothers is: remember you are your baby's lifeline and you need to take care of yourself. That means taking some downtime, getting some rest, getting proper nutrition, occasionally leaving the baby and entertaining yourself with a movie or a book or friends. You're still a partner, you're still a member of the social world, and you still have interests outside the house. Take care of yourself and be good to your baby."More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-17 | 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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Getting busy after baby might seem impossible. The road back might seem rocky but it will be worth it. Find out more about this by watching this video.
Transcript: You've got a new baby to cuddle and hold...but what about cuddling and holding your partner? Even if...
You've got a new baby to cuddle and hold...but what about cuddling and holding your partner? Even if sex seems like nothing but a memory, you will have it again. After all, most of us have siblings! Before you get busy, you will need to wait the amount of time your doctor recommends-usually about six weeks. This allows for any tears to heal, post-partum bleeding to stop, and your cervix to close. Other than the required wait, however, you should let your emotions and body guide you. Some women are ready to have sex very quickly, while others deal with shifting body image, general fatigue, or postpartum depression that puts them off sex. When you do decide you're ready, go slow and be easy on yourself. Oh, and don't worry about sex feeling different after baby. Enlist a few Kegel exercises and you'll be back to normal in no time!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
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Are you worried about those ugly stretch marks on your body? There are a number of ways in which you can get rid of these marks. Watch our video to learn more.
Transcript: Having a baby may be your biggest accomplishment yet, but that doesn't mean you'll want a physical reminder...
Having a baby may be your biggest accomplishment yet, but that doesn't mean you'll want a physical reminder of the experience! During pregnancy, the skin on your belly is stretched and pulled to accommodate your growing baby. Skin does not bounce back if it's been stretched by rapid growth due to pregnancy, weight gain, or extreme weight loss. But there are other factors that affect the integrity of the skin, like: genetics, nutrition, overall health, and whether or not you are a smoker.Instead, it can become decorated by a form of scarring called stretch marks, or striae. Stretch marks often start off as reddish or purplish in color, and then fade to glossy skin that appears streaked in silver or white.Research has shown that the formation of stretch marks begins with a breakdown and stretching of collagen located beneath the top layer of skin. When a person experiences the skin being stretched over a short period of time, the natural order of collagen fibers is disrupted. The fibers are stretched, and we see what we know as stretch marks--small, depressed streaks on the skin, which affect more than 50% of pregnant women. While most women notice them on their stomachs, you may also see stretch marks on your buttocks, hips, thighs, or breasts. Although the marks initially appear pink, reddish or dark brown, they WILL start to fade within 6 to 12 months of your baby's birth. Unfortunately though, stretch marks never COMPLETELY disappear, which may be why so many women seek to prevent them in the first place. While there is no proven way to do so, it can help to not gain excessive weight during your pregnancy, and to make sure to drink a lot of fluids and to exercise regularly. Some women also swear by over-the-counter stretch mark prevention lotions, like Reviva, while other women rave about cocoa butter and Vitamin E oil! Please remember though, that there is no conclusive scientific proof that any of these creams work. Still, rubbing lotion into your belly each night WILL prevent itching, and may improve elasticity! Several factors play into the development of stretch marks. So even your best attempts to prevent them, after you have already become pregnant, may minimize, but not completely avoid this issue. Luckily, you may be able to reduce the appearance of the scars by applying a topical ointment, like Retin-A, post-pregnancy. But be sure to discuss this with your doctor if you're breastfeeding.And if your stretch marks REALLY bother you, you might consider laser treatments to help restore skin's elasticity and alter the color of the marks to better match your skin. But because these costly treatments are considered to be cosmetic, they are rarely covered by insurance. That's why most women choose to let time do its effective fading work on their stretch marks.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that takes place when your bladder, rectum, or uterus shifts from its proper location. Check out this video to learn in detail about childbirth and pelvic organ prolapse symptoms.
Transcript: More women than ever before are showing up at the hospital in labor and asking for a cesarean section....
More women than ever before are showing up at the hospital in labor and asking for a cesarean section. Between 1996 and 2007, the rate of cesarean section delivery rose by 53 percent, with nearly one-third of babies born that way in 2007, according to a new government report. So why has 'cesarean on demand' become so popular? Mainly because today's mom-to-be believes avoiding a vaginal birth will reduce her risk of incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse down the road. Pelvic organ prolapse is a condition that occurs when a woman's bladder, rectum, or uterus shifts from its proper location, and moves into the vaginal canal. But giving birth via cesarean section is NOT NECESSARILY the prolapse protection that some women and their doctors think it is. There's even research to prove it. A new study published in the International Urogynecology Journal examined the impact of a woman's first pregnancy on pelvic support and found that less than one year after giving birth via c-section, 21% of women experienced moderate prolapse and 5% experienced severe prolapse. Since cesarean delivery did not necessarily prevent prolapse, the study's authors suggest that simply BEING PREGNANT can increase a woman's likelihood of prolapse, regardless of delivery mode! This coincides with data showing that 50% of women who have borne children will experience prolapse at some point. That's compared with just 30% of ALL women. It IS important to note that women who gave birth vaginally DID experience higher rates of severe prolapse, according to the same Urogynecology Journal study. But the numbers weren't significant enough to warrant cesarean for this reason alone. Especially since maternal mortality rates from cesarean are THREE TIMES higher than in vaginal delivery. Moreover, Birth magazine reported that babies are more than twice as likely to die when delivered by cesarean. Knowing this, it makes sense NOT to opt for c-section delivery unless there is a legitimate medical reason for a woman to do so! Once the uterus heals from cesarean, all future pregnancies are at risk for uterine scar separation that can be deadly for the baby, and for problems with placenta previa, where the placenta is low and can hemorrhage at any time, further risking the life of the baby. These are two good reasons to take cesarean section very seriously.More »
Last Modified: 2012-10-12 | Tags »
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Are you excited about becoming a dad? Staying with your wife during delivery can be an exciting experience. Watch this video to learn about dad, sex, and the delivery room.
Transcript: Ian: You know, guys are really happy to be in the delivery room. We want to be part of the joyous experience...
Ian: You know, guys are really happy to be in the delivery room. We want to be part of the joyous experience of the birth of our child but there can be some posttraumatic stress. Some guys claim to have seen' Logan: I'm rolling eyes at you by the way. mIan: I know, women don't like' you went through it, right. You had to deliver the baby. How dare we feel any trauma or stress. Logan: And no, it is not so much a how dare you. It's if you don't talk about these things in advance. Guys, you have to talk about this thing in advance. Where you're going to stand in the delivery room. Because you don't want to hurt your partners feelings if you're delivering this baby and he says, 'Ew, I'm not going in there.' Ian: I think that every couple should watch a video of a birthing of a baby. Because there really is a big difference between sort of standing next to your wife, holding her hand, which I did one time. And the other side where you're with the doctors, and I did that too. I loved that part, it was definitely intense. I mean this is a real issue. One patient of mine was like it was like Apocalypse Now in there. Logan: Oh my goodness, it's not like Apocalypse Now. Ian: No, its not. But it can leave residual traumatic memories if a guys not expecting it. Logan: If you're not prepared for it. The whole idea is that ideally the partner is there throughout the pregnancy to have these check ups, talk to the doctor about what the expectations are. Ian: Like I said, I think just watching the video. And its really important for all the guys out there, your wives, your partners they really did go through a lot having that baby. They have a lot of things to worry about in terms of getting their sexy self esteem back. Logan: So don't make them feel badly. Ian: I agree. You have to buckle up, get back in there, maker her feel sexy, and have some sex. Logan: All of that and I would say know that you can change your mind. My husband and I had this debate if he would stand above or below the Mason Dixon Line. He might have started by my head but you want to be involved, you want to be part of it. If you don't that's okay too but talk about it in advance. Ian: It is an amazing experience wherever you ate watching the birth. And for more on sex in the baby years, go to goodinbed.com, check out the book Sex During the Baby Years, or watch more in this video series.More »
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New moms are going through a lot, emotionally and physically. Check out these tips for boosting her post-partum self esteem and libido.
Transcript: Logan: When you've been peed on, puked on, and you have a baby surgically attached to your breast, the...
Logan: When you've been peed on, puked on, and you have a baby surgically attached to your breast, the last thing you want to do is have sex. I speak from personal experience. But it doesn't really mean we don't want loving, it just means we're not feeling all that good about ourselves. Ian: It's funny that you say peed on, puked on' I think a guy is still like, 'All right, let's get it on.' Logan: Well, that's nice to hear because we kind of think at that moment that we're pretty disgusting. Ian: I know. I really know this from experience. My wife constantly said, 'Well, I just don't feel sexy. I want to want sex. I want to feel sexy.' And I think that's where guys can really help by supporting their partners, little things like helping with chores but really reminding your partner just how sexy she really is. I think it is also really important, Logan, for a woman to let us know what she needs. Logan Oh yes, there is no question that we need to own some of this too. This is definitely our own psychological and also hormonal issue. You know, we have this rollercoaster hormonal ride, we don't know if we're coming or going. The body parts that used to make us feel sexy are now used for something else like breastfeeding. It's our issue too. We as women need to speak up and tell our partners that we still want to be intimate and we still love you but we need some help in that area, too. Ian: Right, it is a process regaining your sexual self esteem and balancing being a mom and being a woman. I think that is something that is essential for a couple to get through together. Logan Absolutely. For more information on sex in the baby years, check out more videos in the series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-11 | Tags »
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New dads can often feel like a third wheel to their partner and their newborn. Find out how to talk through Dad feeling like a third wheel.
Transcript: Ian: You know a lot of guys after the birth of a baby we really start to feel like a third wheel. Especially...
Ian: You know a lot of guys after the birth of a baby we really start to feel like a third wheel. Especially when you're not having sex with your partner. And when you have a baby, you can't have sex for the first 6 to 8 weeks. A lot of guys feel emotionally disconnected. We see mom, mom she seems fulfilled. Logan: We're very fulfilled. Exhausted but we're fulfilled. Part of this is our fault because we really aren't thinking about you that much. It's not deliberate. We don't mean to leave you out or make you feel like you're not important in this family. But we're so consumed with this new life that we forget about you. Ian: Some women say, 'I feel like having a baby is like having an affair will a smaller man that smells better than my husband.' But you know, the thing is it really is a fraught time because a lot of guys will feel like a third wheel. They feel emotionally disconnected and when you feel emotionally disconnected you seek to get those emotional needs met elsewhere. Logan: Often times women don't even realize this because they are so consumed in this baby world that they're living in. They don't even realize that their husbands are needing and emotional outlet and intimacy elsewhere. So it's really important that we communicate, ongoing, communication all the time. We don't want you to feel resentful of us either especially because this is a new tricky time we're all trying to figure out. Ian: I think a guy needs to continue to stay in there and continue to be like, 'Hey, you need to give me some attention. You need to come back into this relationship a little while.' And if you're a guy and you feel like you are throwing yourself into work, your developing flirtatious friendships, or your spending all your time on Facebook, you know you need to look for some trigger signals. Logan: Also this is when we talk to our doctors about what to expect afterwards. That your partner's breasts might not be the same. The things she found pleasurable before might not feel the same now which is why she's spending so much time in this other area and with this baby. The baby is filling some of those needs for her too. Ian: I think the big takeaway is that you need to get emotionally connected with your partner. Guys, women, get emotionally connected. And if you want more information about sex in the baby years you can go to this video series, you can go to goodinbed.com, and there's also the book Sex in the Baby Years.More »
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The topic of after pregnancy sex can be an uncomfortable and sensitive one. In this video you can learn about postpartum sex facts and fictions.
Transcript: Logan: We get a lot of information about sex during pregnancy, before pregnancy, but what about after?...
Logan: We get a lot of information about sex during pregnancy, before pregnancy, but what about after? Time to dispel some of those myths. I think the biggest myth out there is that a woman's vagina will never go back to the same size after she's delivered a baby. Ian: That's a myth. Logan: Definitely a myth Ian: The vagina, as you have said, is an amazing organ and will return to its pre-pregnancy size and stay. Logan: So we definitely don't have to worry about that. Also, there is this myth that you have to have sex in certain sex positions after you've give birth, after you've been given the 6 to 8 week okay. Ian: Well, I don't think you have to have sex in certain positions but I do think you need to be careful about sex. Sex can be painful and there can be lubrication issues especially if your head's not really into the sex, your not completely aroused or you're a little nervous about returning to sex. So I think it's a great time to have some personal lubrication on hand, personal lubricant. Logan: Definitely, and if you're having sex at this point consider yourself lucky that your feeling good to try again. But it can be very painful. The vagina can be very sore and you want to just make sure that you're well lubed. Ian: Exactly. First of all there will be some leakage from breasts as well. That is typically common. Logan: Yes, breast milk will leak at the most inconvenient of times -- when you're in the throws of passion. So I think the best thing there is to wear a bra. Ian: What about the myth that breast feeding reduces libido? Logan: It certainly can because especially if breast were your go-to erogenous zone and now they're being used for feeding. But it's important to talk about that. Ian: And I've heard it said that so much oxytocin gets release during breast feeding that it can inhibit certain hormones that can inhibit testosterone production. So there is certain truth in that. Logan: You're less likely to want to engage in sex at that time. And what about the myth that the penis can actually damage the cervix after sex? Ian: I think that that's a myth. You know guys love to think that they're too big all the time. I think the main thing is it's a return to sex. Logan: A slow return to sex. Ian: A slow return to sex. Take it slow, use a lubricant, and lots of foreplay and lots of connection. Logan: And lots of talking, too. For more information about sex in the baby years check out goodinbed.com or the rest of the videos in the series.More »
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