The human body is extraordinarily wonderful and complex, especially for those who experience pregnancy and childbirth. Your body undergoes a variety of changes before and after giving birth. Nursing benefits the mother and baby, but postpartum can be an especially exhausting, uncomfortable, and trying time.
The post-baby body of a breastfeeding mother is a boosted powerhouse. But what exactly does lactating after birth do to your body? Uncover the most common changes that take place.
Tender, Leaking, and Engorged Breasts
After giving birth, you’ll notice a change in the look and feel of your breasts. This flux occurs due to physiological changes in the breast tissue. As the body adjusts to making milk, breasts generally become weightier and firmer. Breasts also swell as they fill with milk, which leads to hormonal engorgement, tenderness, and leakage.
The discomfort of milk production typically fades once new mothers begin breastfeeding regularly. However, you may see stretch marks due to growth and visible changes in size and structure throughout feedings. This transformation demonstrates the body’s incredible ability to adjust to current demands and provide proper nutrition for your baby.
Bone Density Loss
Another major bodily effect to note is indistinguishable from the outside. After giving birth, new mothers experience changes in their bone density. During breastfeeding, your growing baby’s need for vital nutrients leads to calcium being taken directly from your bones into the breastmilk. Studies have revealed women lose 3–5 percent of bone mass on average while breastfeeding.
While this bone loss is not extreme, the information is important to know to keep your bones in optimal health. Fortunately, lactating mothers begin to balance calcium levels and regain that lost bone density within six months after weaning.
Wrist, Shoulder, and Back Pain
What does lactating do to your body after birth? For new moms, lactation can catalyze painful effects in various body parts besides the breasts. The reasoning lies in poor positioning during breastfeeding. The greatest defensive strategy is to lean back while sitting, support your back, rest your arms and baby’s head on pillows, and relax your grip.
The goal is to avoid increasing tension or bending body parts at awkward angles. Ensure the best holding practices and latching techniques to successfully feed your baby without causing further aches or future health woes.
Lactation Support and Supplies
If you experience excessive pain or difficulty as a breastfeeding mother, reach out to your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant for guidance or support. You can invest in a variety of beneficial supplies to also help ease the process.
Look no further than Cascade Health Care for lactation equipment for educators and new breastfeeding mothers. We have a wide array of handy tools and supplies in stock on our website. Browse our selection of professional products designed to meet your needs.