Renee writes for OHbaby! magazine and this article was featured in the 2014 spring issue.
Pregnancy and birth really put your body through its paces. Follow OHbaby! expert and physiotherapist Renée Vincent’s checklist to ensure you’re on the road to a speedy recovery ￼By the time you’re holding your newborn, your body will have been through two major transformations – a significant increase in size followed by a sudden reduction when you give birth.
A lot of my patients say they didn’t fully appreciate how much their body was going through during pregnancy as they were too busy working, setting up a nursery or looking after older children. For many women it is not until months after delivery that they stop and take stock of where they are at physically. Sometimes the changes can come as quite a shock.
There are four key factors that contribute to the physical challenges of pregnancy:
- Your connective tissues are made more elastic by pregnancy hormones.
- Your total blood volume increases along with the blood flow to your uterus and kidneys.
- Your uterus increases to the size of a large watermelon to accommodate your growing baby.
- Your body weight and size increases.
In other words, all your joints and ligaments become stretchier, your organs are moved aside and your abdomen stretches to make room for the baby, your posture is completely transformed and all of your body’s life-supporting systems are put under strain as they work to support you and your growing baby. A pregnancy warrant of fitness (WOF) is one way of keeping in tune with your body as it changes.
With the right knowledge, and by checking in with your body throughout your pregnancy, you can reduce the negative impact these physical changes might have on your overall wellbeing.
Click here to download and read the article (pdf)