My New Body

Pregnancy involves so many changes to a woman, both physiological and emotional. Everyone expects pregnancy to bring about an expanding waistline but many are surprised by the myriad of other changes to their body. Physical changes are good in that they help care for and nurture the growing foetus. That doesn’t of course mean that there aren’t some things you can do to reduce symptoms or pain.
Physiological Change Reason
What can I do
Fatigue (esp 1st and 3rd Increasing progesterone levels Increase in number of glands that produce Increase in resting HR Cardiovascular System
from approx 70 bpm to Heart works harder to pump blood to Increased size of uterus interferes with normal return of blood from legs and pelvic Rest frequently Renal System
Activity of kidneys increase when lying down Increased breathing rate Respiratory System
Increased progesterone levels tell brain to Digestive System
Philip Wood Physiotherapy - My New Body Fact Sheet PHYSIOTHERAPY
Physiological Change Reason
What can I do
Joints and ligaments in pelvis loosen and
A woman’s body undergoes tremendous changes during pregnancy. As soon as the baby is out of womb, the body begins its physical healing process, so as to restore its pre-pregnancy state. The uterus, which contains four-and-half litres of water during pregnancy, begins to reduce in size almost immediately after delivery. In about six weeks time, the uterus reverts close to the pre- pregnancy weight of about 50g from a weight of 1000g. The lining within the uterus crumbles and is drained away as Lochia. This is the blood that is lost over a few weeks after delivery. Important organs like the heart, lung and circulatory system that were burdened during pregnancy get back to functioning normally. The vagina slowly returns to its former shape.
Postnatal Care For Mother
Wounds to the uterus, perineum (the area between the vagina and anus) and vagina heal rapidly. Exercising the vagina will help it regain its original shape quickly. After delivering the child, the levels of the hormone progesterone are restored to normal. Hence, a number of problems related to pregnancy disappear on their own. Heartburns vanish, varicose veins get better and constipation is reduced. Piles take a longer time to get better. During pregnancy, hormones soften the joints of the pelvis and spine, and these take time to return to normal. You can have trouble with your back for many months after delivery, so one should avoid lifting and carrying things that are very heavy. The stomach muscles that have been stretched to twice their length, regain their Philip Wood Physiotherapy - My New Body Fact Sheet


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