What happens to your body after childbirth?

Any mother who has given birth will vouch for the beauty of bringing life into the world.

But there are many bodily changes that new mums don’t know about. Particularly the toll that giving birth takes on your body. Your pregnancy will see your body undergo a massive amount of change and after giving birth, your body will begin to alter one again. This can take both a physical and emotional toll, leaving you looking different to how you did before the baby.

Breast engorgement

A few days after you give birth, your breasts will begin to swell. They may grow even bigger than they were during pregnancy because your hormones are preparing your breasts to begin producing milk to feed your baby with. Once your milk comes in, they will also feel quite hard and likely feel tender and sore. Once you begin breastfeeding regularly, the discomfort usually goes away. You will also likely get stretch marks on your breasts because of all that swelling that they are doing.  If you are not breastfeeding, this pain may last until your breasts stop producing milk which will usually take a few days. Once the milk is gone, whether you breastfeed or not, it is likely that your breasts will lose density and tissue size, resulting in an aesthetic that is quite different to what you are used to.

Weight gain and loss

Pregnancy does literally require eating for two. Some women also do naturally put on weight during pregnancy due to hormones. As soon as you give birth, your body will begin changing and during the first week you are likely to lose 1 – 2 kilograms of just water weight alone due to increased perspiration and urination. Breastfeeding will also add to your weight loss, burning an extra 300 – 500 calories a day. Though you may feel hungry, to compensate for this energy burning, you will still likely lose weight from the breast feeding.  You may also have stretch marks on your belly from where your skin was stretched during the pregnancy. They may also occur on your thighs, hips and bottom and will usually fade over time.

Excess skin

For the first two weeks after giving birth (sometimes longer) your belly will look quite baggy. This is because it needed to expand to accommodate your baby and now no longer needs to be that stretched. Again, breastfeeding is especially helpful as it can help to tighten the loose skin and as your uterus contracts, your stomach will begin to return to its old shape. A healthy diet and with the OK from your physician, some gentle exercise will help you to get your muscles back to the way that they were before. Some moms are unfortunately unable to be rid of the excess skin which leaves them feeling unhappy with their appearance and unable to remove it through any other form but surgery.

This is where Gold Coast Plastic Surgery can step in.

Mummy Makeover

Ideal for women who are done having children and are at their ideal weight but still battling the after-effects of childbirth, a Mummy Makeover is a package deal that combats all of the problem areas that new moms may be struggling with.

The surgery will be customised to your needs but will typically include:

  • A breast lift (often combined with breast implants)
  • Liposuction
  • Tummy tuck

Breast lift

Once you have finished breastfeeding, your breasts will likely have loose skin and sag a little more than they did before. A breast lift is the ideal solution to be rid of any drooping and obtain that nice natural shape once more. If you have lost a lot of volume or would like a fuller breast size, then breast implants are recommended. Dr Doyle will work hard to ensure that they look as natural and as beautiful as possible.

Liposuction

The weight loss that occurs after childbirth is not always enough or as much as women would like to see. Sometimes there are more stubborn areas of excess fat that even exercise can’t get rid of. This is where liposuction would become an option, to remove that layer of fat below the skin. We do suggest that you first reach your goal weight or as close to it as possible as this is not a sole fat-loss solution but rather a tool to assist you with the more difficult areas.

Tummy tuck

As can be expected, your belly will have undergone a lot of stretching during pregnancy. For most women, the stomach will return back to its previous shape but there are instances of excess skin that cannot return back to normal. The ideal solution for this loose skin is a tummy tuck wherein the skin will actually be removed and sewn back together to help your belly return to its normal shape. This is not a weight-loss technique but rather the solution for excess skin that cannot return back to its old position.

Obviously, these procedures will all be selected according to your personal post-birth needs and dependant on your end goal.

Your appointment

Once you book an appointment with Dr Doyle, he will be able to accurately assess your needs and discuss the most suitable options available to you. You will spend about 40 minutes with Dr Doyle and also see his Client Advisor who will go into more details with the procedures that have been recommended. If you would like further information on the “Mummy Makeover” or would like to arrange a consultation head over to our enquiry form or call us on (07) 5598 0988.