Post-Pregnancy Body Changes

post-pregnancy-body-changes

Sure, childbirth throws your body for a loop. But the good news is, you can get your groove back – just be realistic. Attaining the post-baby bod of a celeb like Halle Berry or Kate Middleton is anything but. They’ve got a crew of pros they pay to train, feed, buff and polish their postpartum bodies to perfection. Bah: who needs that?! Here are some cheaper, smarter and better ways to look and feel your best.

MOMMY PART #1
Hormones & libido

Postpartum Aftershock

  • Estrogen drops after delivery, often suppressing libido
  • Prolactin and oxytocin (“breastfeeding hormones”) can alter sex drive
  • Sleep deprivation, stress and post-delivery body image can all hurt libido

How to Handle It

  • Be patient. It can take anywhere from weeks to years to get your mojo back, sometimes not ’til you wean your baby.
  • “Don’t feel rushed into sex,” says Ottawa-based Dr. Vyta Senikas, an OB/GYN and vice-president of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada.
  • But don’t wait too long: sex can help revive your libido.

MOMMY PART #2
Breasts

Postpartum Aftershock

  • Larger breasts: enjoy them now, they’ll return to themselves once you’re no longer breastfeeding
  • Some experience reduced perkiness, whether you breastfeed or not
  • Possible stretch marks

How to Handle It

  • Weight training targeting pecs, plus cardio for a more toned appearance overall. “Exercise so that you lose weight from your midsection and firm it,” says Dr. Senikas.
  • Sagging is a reality. The extreme option: a breast lift*.
  • Nix stretch-mark cream. “It doesn’t work,” says Dr. Senikas. “Or I’d be a millionaire.” Lighter marks might fade over time. (Consult a dermatologist about treatments for deep marks.)

MOMMY PART #3
Vagina

Postpartum Aftershock

  • Possible widening of vaginal canal
  • Potential loss of “traction,” meaning you can’t feel your partner’s penis inside you
  • Some dryness and/or soreness

How to Handle It

  • Kegels and hip-rolling exercises (like belly dancing or Strippercise) strengthen the pelvic floor, says author Lou Paget.
  • If exercises don’t help, pelvic floor surgery* is the last resort. Ask an OB/GYN for a referral to a urogynecologist.
  • “Use a lubricant and go easy at first,” says Dr. Senikas.

MOMMY PART #4
Tummy

Postpartum Aftershock

  • Dreaded mommy fat on torso, hips, thighs and/or butt
  • Maybe some excess stomach skin
  • Some experience stretch marks
  • Possible scarring from C-section

How to Handle It

  • Do cardio plus weight training to burn calories, tone muscle and blast that fat!
  • Exercise alone can’t eliminate trouble spots, a well balanced diet and proper nutrition can do wonders!

 

This story is part of our Parent’s Guide to Sex & Intimacy. Check it out for loads of advice—on how to manage, recharge and enjoy your sex life.

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