For 9 months, your uterus has been expanding to make room for your growing baby. Your uterus was basically the size of an orange before pregnancy and situated deep in the pelvis. By the time you are in your first trimester, the uterus is the size of a grapefruit but still fits within the pelvis (the case might be different for twins/multiples). And by the time you hit the third trimester, your uterus is now the size of a watermelon. It is an incredible organ if you think about it. It can expand and shrink depending on the needs of our body.
Usually, it takes about 6 weeks for the uterus to return to its normal size after delivery. However, there are times when women have a hard time to get their uterus to their pre-pregnancy size.
Why It’s Important For The Uterus To Contract
Of course, we all want our pre-pregnancy body soon after giving birth. But there are more important reasons as to why your uterus needs to contract after birth. Soon after birth, the uterus continues to shrink to expel the placenta. If the uterus is not able to contract strongly, the blood vessels will bleed continuously causing hemorrhage. It can be a life-threatening condition. But a quick detection and treatment of postpartum hemorrhage can lead to a full and healthy recovery.
We have mentioned earlier that our uterus will shrink on its own over a 6-week period of time. But there are a few things that might help you to heal and shrink your uterus.
1. Breastfeed If You Can
Breastfeeding your baby stimulates a chemical in your body that helps the uterus to shrink. So, breastfeeding can help the uterus to return to its normal size quicker, and also reduce postpartum bleeding.
Breastfeeding also puts you at a lower risk of getting ovarian or breast cancer in the future. It helps you to get back into shape more quickly too.
For the non-breastfeeding mommies out there, don’t worry as there are other ways to help shrink your uterus.
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