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Sunday, November 2, 2014

When Does The Uterus Return To Normal After a Pregnancy

The uterus returning to a normal size after delivery generally takes 6 weeks, it could take 8 weeks. At that time the bleeding has resolved, the lining has returned to a quiet state, and it has become the size it will remain until pregnant, medical changes (growth of fibroids) or menopause. This process is called uterine involution and it occurs after miscarriages or terminations of pregnancy. If a pregnancy only lasted a month the involution sequence can occur at a much more rapid pace. After the placenta is expelled from the uterus, immediately the walls made of a muscle layer known as the myometrium begins to contract, so that process of returning to normal size begins immediately. The contraction of the muscle layer helps to seal blood vessels that fed the placenta and are a critical step in reducing the bleeding after delivery. This is why administration of medications that enhance this muscular contraction, such as pitocin or misoprostol, helps a woman to lose less blood after pregnancy.  The top of the uterus reaches the bottom of the rib cage at full term, but with in the first day it's located around a woman's belly button. Since the uterus is a bit larger if you have already had a baby, and the muscles of the uterus contract better when you breastfeed, lots of factors will actually impact the final process of uterine involution. One more good reason to breastfeed your baby! The uterus weighs about 60 grams before pregnancy, about 1000 grams at full term, and it shrinks back to about 70 grams. The amount of bleeding and the exact size of the uterus do not always go hand in hand.

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