Postpartum Tips to Help You Get Your Body Back

Sep 01, 2023
Postpartum Tips to Help You Get Your Body Back
Giving birth can be a beautiful experience with a priceless reward. However, pregnancy and birth can also leave you with unwelcome changes to your body. Here are our best tips to help you feel and look like yourself.

Some women describe the experience of being pregnant as blissful or say they feel like a goddess during that time. But that’s not everyone’s experience, and if you feel more like you don’t have control of your body or don’t recognize yourself, you’re not alone. 

Dr. Stephen Chen and his staff appreciate the wondrousness of motherhood and all that is associated with it. We also understand that some physical changes you undergo during pregnancy and birth aren’t always welcome. That’s one reason we offer procedures like the mommy makeover, which may include such things as a tummy tuckbreast surgery, or other services to help you feel like yourself again. 

Although surgery may be your ultimate solution for regaining feeling comfortable with your own body, the following tips may also be helpful. 

1. Give yourself time

The first six weeks after your baby is born are a time of tumultuous change. There’s so much to adjust to, plus your body needs time to physically recover from carrying a baby for nine months and birth. 

During that time, be sure you’re resting, hydrating, eating healthy foods, getting gentle exercise—following your doctor’s advice regarding when and how much—and, perhaps most importantly, asking for help when needed.

2. Expect some discomfort

Especially in those first few weeks and months, you should expect to feel some discomfort. Your breasts will be sore, and you may experience engorgement. If you’re breastfeeding, you might have some nipple dryness and even cracking. 

Some women experience constipation and/or hemorrhoids as part of the postpartum period, and if you had a vaginal birth, you might have a perineal tear. Ice packs and witch hazel pads or sitz baths may be helpful. 

3. Be aware of possible muscle damage

During pregnancy, your abdominal muscles stretch and may tear. If you think about what six-pack abs look like and imagine stretching them to cover a basketball, you have a good idea of what happens to those muscles. 

In some women, the damage is permanent. Even after you’re fully healed, those muscles may remain separated and unable to effectively hold your organs and abdominal tissues like before pregnancy. You may not like how this looks, and it can also cause back pain because your back muscles are strained.

Doing endless crunches and situps won’t help, so be aware of the possibility before you start adding extra ab work to your routine. 

4. Notice what you do and don’t like about your body

As you continue to recover, start noticing what you like about your body. You may have new soft spots or pockets of fat that change your shape, and you may like the extra curves or wish they were gone. It’s easy to focus on the things you don’t like, but it’s equally important to note what you feel good about. 

5. Come in for a consultation

You mustn’t be planning to become pregnant again before considering a cosmetic procedure, and you need to wait at least six months after giving birth. Waiting will mean you enjoy the long-term benefits of your procedure more successfully.

But, if enough time has passed and you have no plans to become pregnant again, and you’re unhappy with your body, schedule a consultation with Dr. Chen. You may be surprised at what a difference a mommy makeover can bring about!