Problems after childbirth. Pregnancy and yoga – my recovery experience
I never dreamed that my pregnancy and childbirth would go smoothly. My health, and especially my “women’s” health, had a lot of prerequisites for problems before and after childbirth:
- Painful menstrual periods when I was young, which were impossible to get through without pills;
- “heralds” of diastasis and prolapse of internal organs – flat feet and protruding bones;
- varicose veins – serious loads on legs were strictly forbidden;
- Crooked posture “question mark” – the right shoulder was difficult to move back, after work my back and lower back hurt;
- Gastrointestinal problems, hence diathesis, pimples and other “charms”, such as bloating.
Not to mention my emotional state – the tendency to blame everyone around me for everything, depression, apathy and stress. Something had to be done! Preferably, taking into account the fact that long cardio workouts and classes with weights in the gym were contraindicated to me.
In this article I will tell you exactly why I stopped at yoga, and what health and emotional problems it solved. We will also discuss the major changes that you should be prepared for even before you make the important decision to give the world a new life.)
How the body changes after childbirth
Let’s understand what happens to a woman’s body and condition after childbirth. During the period of childbirth, mothers gain an average of 10-20 kg. Getting back into shape turns into a whole adventure – to some it is given easily, and to some with great difficulty after months and years. Here are the main reasons:
- Stress on the musculoskeletal system
Changes occur in the spine, pelvis and lower extremities. Some have changes in posture, girls begin to hunch over. Some women’s knees hurt after childbirth, and their feet become swollen and flattened. In general, a bunch of new “lovely” sensations, especially if the body was not prepared. In this case, yoga in pregnancy can help.
- Changes in the appearance of the abdomen
Abdominal muscles after natural childbirth recover in 6-8 weeks (if there is no diastasis), after a cesarean section longer. Full recovery with regular physical activity occurs within a year. If there is a large diastasis after childbirth, surgery may also be required (depending on the distance of the divergence).
- Uterine recovery
At about 6-8 weeks, the uterus contracts and takes its place in the pelvic area (generally, the entire period may be a discharge of lochia from the uterine cavity).
- Breast Ptosis
Breasts during the lactation period can increase by 2-3 times. But there are also disadvantages – tissues stretch, the skin thins, and after cessation of lactation often occurs omission of the breast (ptosis).
- Hormonal readjustment
After childbirth, the levels of progesterone and estrogen drop drastically, it leads to a decrease in the intensity of metabolism. Women can gain weight.
So, even if you were active, the full recovery of the body takes up to a year.
Bad mood from stress after childbirth
Immediately after the birth of the baby, almost all girls experience an emotional lift (many even euphoria). But on the second or third day the mood drops, there is uncertainty, confusion, and some sadness. Some want to cry for no particular reason, some feel annoyed.
Many begin to feel depressed, overwhelmed, anxious and sometimes even aggressive.
What may be the cause?
- Hormonal restructuring strongly affects the sensitivity of the nervous system, increasing neuro-psychological load. A woman is sensitive not only to the baby’s needs, but also to everything going on around her (you may have experienced exaggerated reactions to insignificant events, this is it).
- The new status of “mom” and the enormous responsibility. Inexperienced mothers have anxiety and worry, insecurity about their abilities, knowledge.
- Physical fatigue after a few weeks and months from constant lack of sleep, caused by the baby’s regimen and household chores, from chores.
- Stress due to the environment (discord in the family, no support from loved ones, advice from relatives “the right way” and “you’re doing it wrong!”)
All of this can add up to a state of stress and even lead to depression.
What kind of “bad” moods need to be treated?
Not all moms are lucky – our great-great-grandmothers, if they experienced fatigue and moping, simply glossed over it. Complaining or asking for a break wasn’t the way to go. People did not visit the psychologist’s office, and spiritual and physical practices that helped to survive this condition (like yoga) were not used.
If there was silence about this condition, it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen at all!
What usually happens?
The easiest version of a bad mood, the so-called “Baby Blues”
– short-term deterioration in the first weeks, can last up to a month.
Symptoms are similar to PMS: irritation, nerves, unwarranted tears, mood swings. There is no need to treat it – ask your husband and family to give you more attention, to give you free time to recover and rest.
If the symptoms have lingered and you’ve been in this state for a long time, look carefully at the signs below and seek help (there’s no shame in that!):
- Postpartum depression is a dangerous condition when you don’t want anything and motherhood brings no joy. It begins around the third to fourth month of the baby’s life and lasts for years, depending on the severity. According to statistics, postpartum depression is experienced by about one in seven women.
- Anxiety disorders – neurosis, social anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic attacks.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or obsessive-compulsive neurosis. Occurs in 10% of women after childbirth.
Example: Mom is constantly experiencing unwanted and unpleasant thoughts, images, or urges that cause anxiety and the desire to do something ten times over. For example, the mother is afraid of hurting the baby, worries about the quality of sterilization of the bottle, often wakes up at night to check if the baby is breathing.
- Postpartum psychosis – sudden mood swings. Feeling depressed one moment and very happy the next, strange beliefs and delusions (delusions), hallucinations (sounds, images, smells and sensations), loss of connection with reality, confused state of consciousness. It is rare.
As you can see, the effects can be both almost imperceptible and quite noticeable. Be attentive to any manifestations and changes in behavior, because the well-being of not only the mother, but also the baby, and the family as a whole depends on it.
How yoga helped me to overcome my health problems?
After we’ve talked at length about how serious problems can occur during pregnancy and after having a baby, I want to add a drop of honey to this barrel of tar.
The good news is that problems, if they are not hereditary, can be prevented on their own. Given all of the above in two parts, I was in for a painful pregnancy with a bouquet of back pain, bad moods, whining and apathy.
Childbirth, I can’t even imagine, would have been a living hell. And I think the first baby was the end of it. Well, after delivery, I would have been embraced by diastasis with its companions in the form of back pain, additional digestive problems, and, of course, the prolapse of internal organs. My back would have twisted even more and I would have been embraced amicably by postpartum depression.
What changed after I started doing yoga while pregnant:
- Menstruation stopped being painful.
After starting regular yoga classes, the number of pills began to decrease and before my first pregnancy, I noticed that I stopped taking pills altogether and could comfortably endure mild lower abdominal discomfort.
- Increased mobility in my toes
After my regular yoga sessions, the podiatrist was amazed that
A person with this kind of foot had good mobility in their toes! Usually people with bulging bone in the foot cannot move their toes separately.
- Got rid of varicose veins
After the second birth, my legs were not covered with a terrible mesh of vessels with bulging veins. Moreover, with proper training, I could even run a marathon.
Constipation during pregnancy and hemorrhoids after delivery also bypassed me. They were supposed to be my companions during this period. Varicose veins on my legs were associated with aesthetic discomfort, but the real problem was hidden in the pelvic area.
- I straightened my back and got rid of pain.
Because of regular exercises to strengthen and stretch my back muscles, of which there are a lot in yoga, as well as asanas to open my chest and work on the lower back, I managed to keep my back in a healthy state.
- Avoided postpartum depression.
Of course, it can be hard now too, but I know where I get my inspiration, trace the true cause and get back on track. Nutrition from the postpartum recovery program, self-care and regular breathing and meditation practices played a huge role.
Yoga in pregnancy: conclusions
Thanks to yoga, sports, and a healthy diet, I had no problems with both conception and postpartum. My two pregnancies were so easy that even my husband sometimes forgot that I was pregnant at all! The delivery was natural, without any anesthesia or ruptures, and at the visit to the gynecologist after the examination I heard the phrase: it was as if I had never given birth, how well everything was tightened and restored inside.
Dear moms, I really want all the symptoms and problems of pregnancy and postpartum to go almost unnoticed for you. I believe that pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood are a special light mission for women. In the next article, we will take a closer look at the topic of postpartum depression and how to help yourself with this condition.
On my Postpartum Mom course, I share my other tips on how to benefit not only myself, but also the baby.