Pregnancies - Coping with the effects of your pregnancies
Pregnancies place a huge amount of stress on women's bodies and over time this can manifest itself in a number of ways. Perhaps the one most people think of is incontinence and whilst it is true that pregnancies can cause the muscles in the pelvic area to weaken, this is often eased, if not remedied by carrying out regular pelvic floor exercises (also known as Kegel exercises) both throughout and after your pregnancies.
If pelvic floor exercises are not working, despite regular workouts, then you may need some medical treatment. Some women have a small operation to correct any problems causing incontinence due to pregnancies and this corrective operation is often very successful. In other cases, medication may be prescribed, although sometimes it can cause unpleasant side effects.
If you think your pregnancies have contributed to a lack of control of either iour bladder, bowel or both, it is important to mention it to your gp becasue the sooner it is investigated, the sooner it can be treated.
Another effect of pregnancies is than many women feel they are less desireable than pre-pregnancy. After all, their body may have changed beyond all recognition and may take quite a while to return to anything close to resembling the way it was pre-pregnancies! Even then, lots of women are left with permanent reminders of pregnancies such as stretch marks, flabby tummies and less than pert breasts! Whereas some new mothers accept these changes as part and parcel of their pregnancies and even cherish them as reminders of a very special time in their lives, others sometimes find it more difficult to accept the changes they've been left with.
Because of the enormous stress women's bodies undergo during their pregnancies, it is not really surprising that women can sometimes feel somewhat despondent. Hormones have a huge role to play here as the levels of feel-good hormones plummet after pregnancy leaving many new mothers feeling a bit down and some even suffering from post-natal depression.
Breastfeeding can help control falling hormone levels as serotonin is released during each breastfeed, making breastfeeding mothers feel relaxed and according to some researchers, less likely to suffer postnatal depression.
If you're feeling that your pregnancies have taken their toll on you both physically and mentally it can be good to try to get out and about with other mothers to share your feelings. Even just chatting to other mothers on an online pregnancy forum can be a great source of help. You could also maybe try joining a mother and toddler group, a breastfeeding support group or an exercise club.
Exercise helps increase your serotonin levels as well as help your body return to its pre-pregnancy state. However, if you're not really a club type person, then walking or swimming are fabulous exercises for both physical and mental well-being.
If you find that you're still feeling low, then speak to your gp to rule out other causes and to discuss your options.
Treat Yourself to Me Time!
Or, if you're currently struggling with a busy lifestyle and the added demands of parenting, try our Perfect Relaxation for Parents mp3 - take time out for yourself and awaken refreshed and ready to face whatever life throws at you!
Also by BreastfeedingMums
Books We Love!
Write for Us
If you would like to contribute a pregnancy or breastfeeding poem, story or photos, or a miscarriage poem or story, just contact us and we'll add it to the site. Thanks.