The pregnant term uterus (not including baby, placenta, fluids, etc.)
weighs approximately 1000 g. In the 6 weeks following delivery, the uterus
recedes to a weight of 50-100 g. To elaborate a bit more, the uterus, which enlarges
to reach 11 times its pre-pregnancy weight upon reaching term, shrinks to about
500 grams in 1st week after delivery, then to around 350 grams in
the 2nd week that follows delivery. By the 6th
post-delivery week, the uterus is expected to weight between 50-60 grams.
The return of the uterus to the pre-pregnancy size is known as
involution. Immediately postpartum, the uterine fundus (upper portion of the
uterus) can be felt at or near the level of the maternal umbilicus. The process
of uterine involution begins immediately after the delivery of the placenta and
contractions of the uterus. Thereafter, the bulk of the reduction in size and
weight occurs in the first 2 weeks, the time during which the uterus has shrunk
enough to return to the true pelvis. Over the next several weeks, the uterus
slowly returns to its non-pregnant state, although the overall size of the
uterus remains larger than before pregnancy.
The enlargement of the uterus during pregnancy is driven by the
hormones estrogen and progesterone, which not only cause enlargement of the
muscle cells of the uterus, but also induce an increase in the number of these
cells, in order for the uterus to be better able to support the fetus and the
pregnancy sac. After delivery, the drop in the levels of hormones causes break
down of the enlarged tissues, but the newly formed cells remain, thus
accounting for the slightly larger size of the uterus.
The abdominal wall remains
soft and poorly toned for many weeks. The return to a pre-pregnant state
depends greatly on maternal exercise. It is therefore highly recommended to start performing abdominal
exercises in order to tone up your abdominal muscles, which have been stretched
over a 9 months period by the growing pregnant uterus. This is especially
important if you are not a baseline athletic, i.e., your abdominal muscles are
not bulky and thus are more prone to become “loose”. The most important thing
is to NOT stress about it.
is a number of fitness exercises to reduce the post-partum belly, I liked these