Pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood are some of the most amazing and challenging experiences a person can go through. If you need to treat your body with physiotherapy, you can always contact a physiotherapist in Adelaide.
Unfortunately, all of these life events can take their toll on your body, both physically and emotionally. Here’s a look at how pregnancy, childbirth, and parenthood can affect your body.
Physical Effects Of Pregnancy
The physical effects of pregnancy can be divided into three categories:
- Changes to your breasts
- Changes to your abdominal area
- Changes to your pelvic area
Changes To Your Breasts
During pregnancy, your breasts will grow as they prepare to produce milk for your baby. You may also notice that your nipples become darker and larger. The areola (the dark area around the nipple) may also enlarge.
Your breasts may feel tender, itchy, or sore during pregnancy. This is due to the increased blood flow to your breasts and the stretching of your skin. You may also notice that your veins become more visible.
Changes To Your Abdominal Area
Your abdominal area will expand as your baby grows. This can cause stretch marks and a dark line (called the linea nigra) to appear on your skin. The linea nigra results from increased pigmentation in your skin during pregnancy. It usually fades after pregnancy.
The extra pounds you gain during pregnancy can also lead to back pain and varicose veins (enlarged veins).
Changes To Your Pelvic Area
During pregnancy, your pelvic bones will loosen to allow your baby to pass through during childbirth. This can lead to pain in your lower back, hips, and legs.
Your joints and ligaments may also be less stable during pregnancy, which can cause you to feel clumsier than usual.
The process of childbirth can be divided into three stages:
- The first stage is when the baby is born.
- The second stage is when the placenta is delivered.
- The third stage is when any remaining fluids are expelled from the uterus.
The first stage of labour is usually the longest. It begins with contractions that help push your baby down the birth canal. Then, when your baby’s head begins to emerge, you may feel a burning sensation (called crowning).
The second stage of labour is shorter compared to the first stage. It starts when your baby’s head has been delivered and ends when the placenta is delivered.
The third stage of labour is the shortest. It starts when the placenta is delivered and ends when any remaining fluids are expelled from the uterus.
After childbirth, you will likely experience vaginal bleeding (called lochia) for up to six weeks. You may also have soreness in your perineum (the area between your vagina and anus). These effects are normal and will resolve on their own over time.
Physical Effects Of Parenthood
Parenthood can be physically demanding. Nurturing a baby or young child can lead to sleep deprivation, fatigue, and stress. These effects are compounded if you are also working outside the home.
The physical demands of parenthood can take their toll on your body in many ways. For example, sleep deprivation can lead to irritability, anxiety, and depression. It can also worsen chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
Fatigue, for instance, can make it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. It can also lead to accidents and errors.
Stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, and digestive problems. It can also weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
The physical effects of parenthood are not all negative, however. Caring for a baby or young child can also be rewarding and fulfilling. The experience can strengthen bonds between parents and children and foster a sense of purpose and satisfaction.
Even though parenthood comes with its challenges, the rewards often outweigh the difficulties. If you are struggling to cope with the physical effects of parenthood, talk to your doctor or seek support from family and friends. You can talk to a physiotherapist in Adelaide if you need physical treatment.