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Physical and mental health of new mothers

Serena Williams and Lara welcomed their newborns this month after both being open about how they stayed physically fit during their pregnancies.

Two weeks ago, Williams gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. but has admitted over Instagram that the birth wasn't easy.

President Donald became a grandfather for the ninth time after daughter-in-law Lara had her son Eric 'Luke' on Tuesday morning.

Both women were open about staying physically fit during pregnancy, but it isn't always easy for the body to bounce back.  

Pregnancy can weaken a woman's core and pelvic floor muscles and make it hard for them to return to the physical shape they had before having a baby.

Daily Mail Online spoke with Brittany Citron, founder of PROnatal Fitness in NYC, about the challenges women face both physically and mentally after having a baby and how they can overcome them.

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Serena Williams, 35, had her daughter  Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. two weeks ago. She opened up on Instagram about how hard labor was on both her and her daughter

Serena Williams, 35, had her daughter  Alexis Olympia Ohanian, Jr. two weeks ago. She opened up on Instagram about how hard labor was on both her and her daughter

Serena was seen into eight months of her pregnancy doing light workouts to keep her muscles working. Usually, a woman takes six weeks to recover after pregnancy before working out

Serena was seen into eight months of her pregnancy doing light workouts to keep her muscles working. Usually, a woman takes six weeks to recover after pregnancy before working out

How pregnancy impacts the core muscles

A woman's body goes through extreme changes during the nine months of pregnancy in order to accommodate the growing baby.

One problem that occurs in women after the pregnancy is they have weakened core muscles.

'(There is) weakness in the core but potentially even damage,' Citron said. 

Changes in a woman's body that can occur after pregnancy 

A woman's body can go through a variety of changes after nine months of accommodating a baby. 

Women might experience: 

Perineum soreness 

This is the area between the vagina and rectum that is stretched during labor. Kegel exercises, a warm bath or a cold compress can help relieve the pain while it heals. 

Breast enlargement

The will grow as the body prepares milk to feed the baby. It should go away once breastfeeding starts. 

Nipple pain

The nipples are not used to producing milk or being latched onto all the time by a baby. This can cause pain, discomfort and even cracking in the area during the first few days after birth. There is special cream doctors can give to help. 

Exhaustion

This is common because your body just went through a marathon to have the child. And now there is a baby that is up every couple of hours.

It is recommended to always sleep when the baby sleeps and to avoid sweets that can keep you up. 

Skin and hair changes

The skin will get stretched during pregnancy. Stretch marks can occur on the stomach, , thighs and butt. There are creams to help remedy the marks.

Also, some women report hair loss or hair thinning after pregnancy. This can occur because of the dramatic hormone change that happens once a woman has given birth. 

Source: March of Dimes 

The abdominal muscles and pelvic floor are altered during pregnancy to accommodate the growing baby.

Citron explained that the abdominal muscles can separate, which is called diastasis recti or the post-baby pooch. 

The job of these muscles is to help support the back and organs, and by having those spread apart it can cause physical problems for the woman.

Citron recommends when a woman is getting back into exercises that she should work her abdominals from the inside out in order to get them back to where they used to be.

One exercise that women can start right after they have their baby is belly breathing.

'It's a critical foundation for building your core muscles back,' Citron said. 

Belly breathing works the transverse abdominal and diaphragm, both are located in the inner part of the core.

This exercise entails the woman sitting straight in a chair while

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