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Does A "Natural" Birth Change My Vagina? Here's What You'll Want To Know

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There's nothing more exciting for a mom-to-be than the arrival of her new baby. As your baby grows inside your belly, however, you may become a little nervous about how she's going to make her way to the outside world. I mean, you know you aren't the first woman to push a seven-pound human out of her vagina, but that doesn't make it any less terrifying. Especially because, when all is said and done, you're not sure how your lady parts will be affected. Which is why you've likely wondered, "does a 'natural' birth change my vagina?"

Believe it or not, your vagina is actually made to accommodate your baby during childbirth, even if he weighs nine pounds. As a baby grows inside of you, those infamous hormones estrogen and relaxin are released to help your body relax and loosen your ligaments to allow baby to make his way through the birth canal, as What To Expect explained. And with each subsequent pregnancy, your vagina will stretch a little more.

If you deliver your baby vaginally, your lady parts will undoubtedly change as a result. Immediately after birth, you can expect to feel some discomfort as a result of the stretching and bruising your vagina has experienced during delivery, according to What To Expect. According to Glamour , it can take at least six weeks for a woman's vagina to heal after giving birth. This includes time for postpartum bleeding to stop and any lacerations you may have incurred to heal. During the healing process, sitting in a few inches of warm water, applying ice packs to your vagina, and cleaning yourself with a squirt bottle filled with warm water can make things a little more bearable, as WebMD advised.

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Along with the pain, you should also expect to experience some vaginal dryness after giving birth due to a decrease in estrogen production in your body, as Parents noted. This is particularly true for breastfeeding mothers.

But fear not. Although your vagina will never be exactly the same as it was before you gave birth, it will get pretty close. As you recover, the vaginal opening begins to shrink. By doing Kegel exercises regularly, you can tighten those pelvic muscles into tip top shape, according to Baby Center. For the best results, doctors recommended going Kegels in sets of ten, working up to three or four sets at least three times per day. Before you know it, your vagina will be better than before.