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Impact on your body of 4 births (or more)

(32 Posts)
paddypants Wed 24-Jan-18 19:54:48

Am about to have DC no.4 and am wondering how those who have given birth a number of times have found the effect to be of each additional birth on their body.

Not so much weight gain or change of body shape but more so issues like pelvic floor strength and core strength.

Having suffered a bad cough for last couple of weeks I am all to aware now how weak my pelvic floor muscles are and it concerns me.

I don't want to feel that I will be entering middle age weakened physically and more susceptible to certain problems.

Do you feel your body has recovered well and if so, has anything in particular helped in your opinion?

annie8417 Thu 25-Jan-18 20:45:35

I've been wondering this myself, I'm on my 4th pregnancy (19wks) and I'm definitely feeling pressure down below and I'm worried about the impact of a 4th virginal birth.
My 1st birth ended in a 3rd degree tear and I know they said it could affect me later in life.
I'm seeing a consultant at some point before the birth and I'm wondering if I should suggest a section x

broken4 Thu 25-Jan-18 20:54:12

I've got 4.
3 sections and 1 normal birth.

I was 31 when I gave birth to my youngest so still pretty young to have 4 kids.

I was so tired after my 4th that I couldn't do basic exercises. Yes I was running about looking after 4 children and considered myself pretty fit but my core was destroyed. 5 years later I've just started building it up.

I've got back problems and arthritis starting. Really low iron and low vit d.

I consider myself healthyconfused great BMI and I eat well. But I think I just put my body through too much in a short space of time.

directsunlight Thu 25-Jan-18 20:55:50

I have six children. I really don't have any issues. My vaginal muscles aren't as strong/tight, but my pelvic floor is fine. I do have a habit of doing kegals throughout the day every day, more or less, however. I do have one rather embarrassing issue of skin tags leftover from hemmerhoids but it doesn't cause pain or discomfort. Just a nuisance. My youngest is 12 months old and my core strength isn't great right now, but I'm working to get it back. I have some diastasis recti but it isn't bad enough to be referred to physio or anything. I have had pretty straightforward and simple pregnancies on the whole. My last pregnancy was one of my best actually.

elQuintoConyo Thu 25-Jan-18 20:56:38

I'm fucked and i have had 1 child. Sil is in robust health and has had 5 by cs. I think it all depends on so many factors.

Congratulations on #4 flowers

Wizzwazzwas Thu 25-Jan-18 20:58:44

Only real issue is the saggy tummy skin. I think 4 pregnancies made that progressively worse. Stretch marks etc were there from baby 1! Pilates is awesome for pelvic floor and core. May take a while and persistence, but perfectly doable to put it right.

OddBoots Thu 25-Jan-18 21:03:36

I've had 5 (2 of my own and 3 surrogacy), I was 29 when I had the youngest of them and that was 10 years ago - all seems to be in good working condition.

About 5 years ago I had a slight uterine prolapse but the consultant thinks that is more because I have spina bifida so I use the swing of upper body muscles to propel me along, it hasn't got any worse and it doesn't bother me though.

I have booked a 'well woman' ultrasound of my abdominal and pelvic organs next month so I will have a better look at how things are then.

ProfOf Thu 25-Jan-18 21:05:26

I had 6 children by age 32. 53 now and no child bearing related health problems. Do pelvic floor exercises most days. I think, as a PP says, depends on many factors so not really possible to generalise.

Afreshcuppateaplease Thu 25-Jan-18 21:05:34

Ive had four weighing between 7lb8 and 8lb9

Never torn or had any stitches

My pelvic floor is fine

I am slim but my stomach is like jelly

JaneEyre70 Thu 25-Jan-18 21:06:21

I've had 4 pregnancies and 3 live births (1 stillborn at 26 weeks). I had 2 normal deliveries and 2 c sections. I've had terrible issues with my back, bladder and bowels - urge incontinence and adhesions like to let their presence be known. I've got a horrid overhang, and a lot of faded stretch marks. I was advised not to have any more after my 4th as my uterus was shot to pieces, so was glad in a way the decision was made for me as I don't know when I'd have done so. But I wouldn't change any of it apart from having lost more weight in between each baby!! They were all worth it, thankfully grin.

directsunlight Thu 25-Jan-18 21:10:45

Oh I have a jelly belly too. Didn't think to mention it, because I should think a firm, toned belly after six children would be quite the aberration. ;) I have big babies, as well - 2 just over 10lbs, 3 9lbs+ and one 8lb-er. Nobody's midsection can recover from that.

Shouldileavethedogs Thu 25-Jan-18 21:14:43

5 babies and wanna piss myself when walking. Hold it hold it hold it. I'm 45. I have a 23 year old 19 18 1 and 2. It's the 1 year old ironically that fucked my body.

paddypants Thu 25-Jan-18 22:15:28

Thanks all

Interesting to hear different accounts. I had never heard of a well woman ultrasound - that sounds useful, if even just to push myself into seeing necessity of pelvic floor exercises daily. It's like flossing my teeth - I know I should do it but just can't ever be bothered. Having this cough though has really opened my eyes to what it would be like dealing with the incontinnce on a daily basis.

HanaK88 Sun 04-Feb-18 12:28:54

I had 5, vaginal births, all during my 20s and seem unscathed! Got away pretty lightly with stretch marks too although my boobs have seen much better days. I think the ageing process in general has a lot to do with it.

FlurkenSchnit Sun 04-Feb-18 14:13:17

I have 4 and had 3 vaginal births and a section. I developed diastasis recti after the middle 2, severe enough for physio and wasn't improved at all by said physio. My last baby weighed 10lb 15.5oz and my abdominal muscles are definitely kaput now - was classified as "extreme" diastasis recti by hospital but apparently "there's nothing to be done" for me surgically...
My pelvic floor, however, is in tip top shape which is good news - is just a shame about my ruined abdominal area!

MelanieSmooter Sun 04-Feb-18 14:16:44

I’ve had 4, all by 25. In all honesty I think my pelvic floor is healthier now than it was at 18! I had confidence issues as a child that I definitely no longer have.

kaz86 Mon 05-Feb-18 10:10:51

I have had 3, and my bladder, unterus and bowel fall when I cough 😱😢, also have a small rectocele :/.
That's after 3 🤷🏼‍♀️. All natural needed stitches after them All.

lljkk Mon 05-Feb-18 21:35:39

I don't have prolapse.
I don't dash for loo any more often now than when I was 20.
I had back problems 7 yrs before I had kids so I guess core was shot before. Doesn't seem worse now.

Babyroobs Sat 14-Apr-18 15:51:55

I've had 4 births ( 1 C-section, 3 VBAC's ). It definitely takes it's toll on your body and pelvic floor. I also have back problems, not sure whether that's to do with 4 pregnancies or 30 years of Nursing or both. Boobs are saggy from years of extended breast feeding.

Alright1613 Tue 17-Apr-18 23:06:06

4 VBs here, no issues so far but youngest is only 2.5. I do have to brace myself to go on a trampoline and my stomach is liable to bloating but overall i’m fine.

My poor breasts, however, are a bloody flat pancakey mess.

JacintaJones Tue 17-Apr-18 23:12:27

I've had five by c section.
Vagina/pelvic floor fine as you would expect, however babies three and five were 8.10 and 8.15 at birth and gave me the most horrid haemmorhoids which still flare up from time to time.

I breastfed all five but my boobs have held up so well that I'm often asked if I've had a boob job. I think genetically we just have big, firm boobs in our family as my mum's are the same.

Despite being a size ten my stomach is decimated from the navel down to the scar. No stretch marks its just a jiggly mess.

SleightOfMind Tue 17-Apr-18 23:41:25

4DC, all VBs, last one when I was 39.
Flattish but crepey-skinned belly and some pelvic floor weakness. Boobs ok despite feeding them all till around 18mnths/2yrs.

One lower back issue from having to give birth in stirrups in theatre and midwife doing something horrific to me after the birth 😡

steamboatwilly123 Tue 17-Apr-18 23:46:13

5 babies, all vaginal births. Pelvic floors fine as I've been a bit militant about exercises since first born. Breastfed 4 out 5 for various lengths of time, boobs look pretty much the same as before (but they weren't that great before so...) My back is buggered though, have 2 dehydrated discs and a herniated one and my stomach muscles have never knitted back together again (well at least feels that way).

MercuryRising Wed 18-Apr-18 21:41:10

JacintaJones can I ask about your sections. Was the recovery any worse after 3? I have had 3 sections and I'm pregnant with dc4. I am really nervous that the recovery this time will be a lot more difficult.

Hideandgo Tue 01-May-18 10:52:42

I’ve had 4 pregnancies and births in 5 yrs. I was fine after the first three but this last one did me in. I could barely walk or move for weeks after he arrived with sore pelvis, back, hips etc. I feel like it really took its toll.

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