During pregnancy, the uterus gradually expands as the fetus develops. After childbirth, the uterus needs time to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. However, the postpartum mother's belly may still feel loose, which may be due to muscle and skin damage caused by stretching and tearing during childbirth. In addition, factors such as breastfeeding and lack of exercise as the baby grows may also lead to a larger and looser belly. This is a common problem that many postpartum mothers face, but there is no need to worry as there are ways to improve the situation through TCM.
Why doesn't a postpartum mother's belly change?
During pregnancy, as the fetus grows, the uterus gradually expands. To accommodate the fetus and placenta, the muscles and tissues of the uterine wall gradually relax and eventually stretch out. After delivery, the uterus needs to shrink and return to its original size. This process typically takes weeks to months, and the muscles and tissues of the uterine wall also need time to regain elasticity. Additionally, childbirth may cause rupturing of the uterine muscle, further contributing to muscle relaxation.
In addition, changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can also affect the elasticity of the skin and tissues. Pregnancy hormones promote the synthesis and secretion of collagen, but at the same time, they also reduce the quantity and quality of elastic fibers, causing the skin and tissues to lose elasticity and become more prone to sagging and wrinkles.
All of these factors can contribute to postpartum maternal belly relaxation and the formation of "stretch marks" and other problems.
Why do some mothers have a bigger belly after giving birth?
After giving birth, a woman's uterus needs some time to shrink back to its original size. This process typically takes 6-8 weeks, but for some women, their belly still looks big, which could be due to the following reasons:
Accumulation of fat: During pregnancy, a woman's body fat reserves increase to support the growing fetus and prepare for breastfeeding. If too much fat is gained during pregnancy, this excess fat can remain in the body after childbirth, making the belly look bigger.
Diastasis recti: The rectus abdominis muscles are a group of muscles that connect the ribs and pelvis. During pregnancy, these muscles may separate due to the uterus expansion and increased pressure, making the belly appear larger.
Uterine prolapse: During the delivery process, the uterus may be stretched and damaged. If the uterus does not fully recover, it may prolapse, making the belly look bigger.
Edema: The body may accumulate excess fluid during pregnancy, which can cause edema. If edema is not relieved after childbirth, it may make the belly look bigger.
Diet and lifestyle habits: Postpartum diet and lifestyle habits can also affect the size of the belly. Excessive carbohydrate and fat intake and lack of exercise can make the belly appear bigger.
It is important to note that the recovery time for each woman's body is different, and some may require more time to recover.
What are the ways in which Traditional Chinese Medicine can help mothers tighten their stomachs?
Below are some common methods, their principles, and effects:
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a common therapy in Traditional Chinese Medicine that can adjust the body's Qi and meridians to regulate the endocrine system and enhance muscle elasticity. For postpartum mothers, acupuncture can stimulate abdominal muscle contraction and improve blood and Qi circulation in the abdomen, thus achieving the effect of tightening the stomach.
Fuyang Tou Jiu: Fuyang Tou Jiu is a special acupuncture therapy that uses heat to warm the meridians and tonify Yang Qi, activating the body's vitality. By applying moxibustion to the waist and abdomen, this method can improve the postpartum mother's blood and Qi circulation and metabolism, helping to restore abdominal tightness.
Chinese Herbal Medicine: Chinese herbal medicine also has a good therapeutic effect on postpartum mothers' stomach tightening. Commonly used Chinese herbs include Guizhi, Huangqi, and Ren Shen, which all have the functions of warming Yang and dispelling cold, tonifying Qi and nourishing blood, and activating the body's vitality. By taking Chinese herbal medicine, the body's immunity and metabolic levels can be improved, achieving the effect of tightening the stomach.
Magnetic Therapy: Magnetic therapy is a traditional Chinese medical treatment that applies pressure and heat to the abdomen to promote blood circulation, stimulate muscle vitality, and remove dampness in the body. Magnetic therapy can stimulate abdominal muscles and meridians, thus tightening the stomach.
These Traditional Chinese Medicine methods can effectively help postpartum mothers tighten their stomachs. However, it is important to note that these methods should be selected and applied based on the individual's physical condition and specific situation. Additionally, adjustments should be made to diet, exercise, and lifestyle as well.