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Six ways to heal your body after having kids – from coping with baby brain to losing teeth and incontinence

SUPERMODEL Ashley Graham has shared her personal experiences about the healing process after having a baby.

The 32-year-old, who gave birth to son Isaac last month, posted a photo of herself wearing disposable underwear, saying it is “not all rainbows and butterflies”.

It is no secret that women’s figures change hugely after giving birth – and it can take a lot of time to get back to normal.

Lynsey Hope offers advice from experts on how you can help your body recover.

Losing teeth

“THERE’S an old adage that for every child a woman has, they lose a tooth,” says dental expert and founder of Spotlight Oral Care Dr Vanessa Creaven. There may even be some truth in it.

She says: “A pregnant woman will often find her gums more inflamed, due to increased hormones and blood flow, while higher levels of progesterone increase the mobility of certain teeth.”

FIX: Dr Creaven says: “Regular trips to your hygienist will help. They will remove any tartar build up, which will help to allow the gums to heal.

“We also recommend Spotlight Oral Care Toothpaste for Gum Health, which is pregnancy friendly."

Brain fog

BABY brain is real, meaning mums become forgetful after having kids.

“Hormone changes and alterations to lifestyle such as sleep deprivation can all have an effect on the memory of new mums, especially in the first few weeks after having a baby,” explains consultant neuroradiologist Dr Emer MacSweeney, of memory clinic Re:Cognition Health.

FIX: She says: “Try to focus on doing one thing at a time. Plan your day but don’t overload it with things.

“Try to sleep when the baby is sleeping as rest is so important for cognitive function. Aerobic exercise is also a great way to boost memory and lift mood.”

Dodgy knees

WOMEN’S health physiotherapist Emma Brockwell says: “Bending down to pick toys up can result in knee and hip pain. Pregnancy and childbirth alter our posture and ability to use our body as effectively."

“Muscles therefore get weaker. Hormonal changes also make us more susceptible to joint pain. Put repetitive movement into the mix and this can create pain in the knees.”

FIX: Emma says: “Try some lunges or squats to strengthen the hips and bottom."

“If you have a nice strong bottom, that gives you stability around the pelvis and that helps with the deep kneeling position and should protect you from injury."

Thinning hair

“TYPICALLY, up to six months after having a baby, women notice that their hair may start to shed,” explains dermatologist Dr Anton Alexandroff.

“It’s called telogen effluvium and is a type of alopecia. It can be linked to hormones and may affect head hair or leave you with patchy eyebrows or lashes. In some cases it may be related to iron deficiency and, in rare instances, thyroid changes.”

FIX: “Anxiety is a common trigger for this type of hair loss so the more you worry the worse it will get,” Dr Alexandroff says.

“Usually new hair will grow to replace the shed hair. If it seems severe, speak to your GP or see a dermatologist.”

Incontinence

“THE biggest problem for most women after they become a mum is the risk of incontinence,” says Emma Brockwell. “One in two are thought to suffer.”

FIX: “Don’t suffer in silence,” says Emma. “Speak to your GP or book an appointment with a specialist physio.”

Pelvic floor exercises, which you can start as soon as you have given birth, will also help. Try the lift trick, where you imagine your pelvic floor is a lift.

Squeeze the muscles as you go up to the first floor, then release – so let some people out, close the doors and then repeat until you get to the third floor before going back down to ground level. Oh, regular sex is also a great pelvic floor strengthener.

Dry hands

HARLEY Street dermatologist Dr Anton Alexandroff explains: “Lots of mums suffer with dry skin on their hands. This is often down to the hours bathing small children and washing up."

“Water dries skin out as it strips away protective lipids from the upper epidermal layer of skin. If you use shower gels, this will remove lipids even faster.”

FIX: Dr Alexandroff says: “It will help if you fill the bath with lukewarm rather than hot water. And where possible, avoid soaps and shower gels."

"Instead, use bath oils, moisturising creams and ointments to wash the body. Apply moisturiser after a bath to lock in moisture.”

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