Gynaecologist explains enlarged bellies after child birth

Accra, Sept. 2, GNA – Dr Boafor Theodore,
Consultant Obstetrician/Gynaecologist of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, has
explained that the increase in the belly size after childbirth is due to the
stretch in the abdominal walls that occurs during pregnancy.

He said the womb begins to expand especially
in the second half of the pregnancy, as it expands to cater for the growing
foetus, and the growing amount of amniotic fluid around the baby.

“The stretch sometimes becomes so much that
there is a lot of stretch marks called striae,” he said in an interview with
Ghana News Agency, in Accra.

“After the baby is delivered, the womb may
try to return to its original size but it usually doesn’t because of the
stretch that has taken place.

“However there is individual variation.

There are people who have a lot more elastic
muscle tissue so even when they are stretched, they come back a little normal
than others, but for most people the stretch causes the abdominal walls to
become lax.”

Dr Boafor said there is the need for a woman
to do the abdominal wall exercise.

“If a woman had a normal delivery then three
weeks after delivery when she is completely well then she can start the
exercise. After a caesarian session with no complication, it may take a woman
4-6 weeks to be fit to start exercise.”

He added that the results are better if one
starts the abdominal wall exercise early after childbirth.

“The woman should lie on her back and the
neck resting in both hands. Then lift the legs with knees stretched up to the
waist level. This can be repeated a number of times.”

Meanwhile a GNA survey revealed that most
women after childbirth have big stomach and some men have a high regard for
those who are able to maintain flat belly even after childbirth.

Some traders at the Tema station market
explained that after childbirth, they used cloth to tie their stomachs for some
time, but the reduction was not significant.

Most ladies working in the Ministries
explained that they wore corset beneath their clothing, and very few exercised
after childbirth.

There were also the ladies who did nothing
at all after childbirth, but had their bellies return to normal.

From the survey, it was also discovered that
some women were overly worried about their tummies after pregnancy whereas
their husbands didn’t mind.

However, some men were very critical of
young ladies who have not delivered but have visibly big stomachs. They
explained that it is a complete turn off for them.


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