What happened to my body? It’s a question millions of women have asked after pregnancy, labor, and delivery. From pelvic pain to perineal tears, vaginal delivery takes its toll on the body. The good news is that you don’t need to suffer through post-pregnancy healing. Learn how pregnancy and vaginal delivery change your body—and how you can help it recover during post-pregnancy healing:
Abdominal Separation (Diastasis Rectus)
This common pregnancy condition occurs when the growing uterus thins and widens the connective tissue that links the two sides of the rectus abdominus muscle. Pushing during labor can aggravate this abdominal separation, causing the muscles to pull further apart. The result is weakened abdominal muscles unable to properly support the abdomen, and may lead to discomfort, pain, and a reduced ability to do everyday activities.
Pelvic Floor Weakening
The pelvic floor, made up of muscles, ligaments, and nerves, takes the brunt of pregnancy and labor. Labor and vaginal delivery create strain on this area, which is often already weakened due to pregnancy. The symptoms of pelvic floor weakening aren’t pleasant: urinary and/or bowel incontinence, organ prolapse, in which an organ like the bladder drops into the vagina, and pelvic pain, which may lead to discomfort during intercourse (Note: all of these symptoms may also occur in women that have had a C-section delivery, especially if the C-section occurred after a vaginal delivery attempt). Research has pointed to an increased occurrence of stress urinary incontinence in women that have had a vaginal delivery (especially when forceps or vacuum-assisted) or a C-section after attempted vaginal delivery. Stress urinary incontinence is the involuntary loss of urine when a stress is applied to the bladder, such as sneezing, coughing, lifting or with exercise.
To help the labor process, the body produces the hormone Relaxin, which, as you might guess, relaxes the ligaments and gives them more stretch to allow for birth. But sometimes Relaxin does its job too well. Loose ligaments don’t provide proper joint support and are the culprit for several common post-pregnancy healing complaints, including:
Pelvic Girdle Pain : Over-relaxed pelvic ligaments no longer keep the pelvic bone in place. The joint becomes unstable, triggering back pain as well as discomfort in the hips, abdomen, groin (pubis symphysis diastasis/separation), and legs.
Hip Widening: Oh, if only this were an old wives’ tale! Pregnancy hormones loosen ligaments and relax joints, such as the sacroiliac (SI) joint. This loosening allows the expanding uterus more room in the pelvis and widens the hips (pelvis) so the baby can pass through the birth canal; but it can also leave a woman with a permanently wider hip measurement.
Perineal Tears & Episiotomies
Taking care of a newborn is even more difficult when a mom suffered a perineal tear or episiotomy. A tear in this area may result in pain, making it difficult to do simple acts, like sitting or walking.
Postpartum Support garments facilitate healing after Natural Deliveries
The Angelica Postpartum Recovery garment supports the areas where moms need it the most during post-pregnancy healing. It makes the task of going about new mom business easier by stabilizing the abdomen with gently supportive panels and by relieving conditions like pelvic girdle pain. What’s more, it protects and supports the pelvic area to allow perineal tears and episiotomies to heal. You can help your body during post-pregnancy healing. A safe, fast, and comfortable way to recover from a vaginal delivery is to provide your abdomen, lower back, and pelvis with the support they need.