Sorry, dear friends for being MIA the past couple of weeks. Evidently taking over a new business you know nothing about can be a bit more challenging and time-consuming then I expected. My heart is full when I share and help women navigate life postpartum. So today I will share with you a common question I get from women, “Will my body ever be the same?”
I remember days after I had my first, I looked in the mirror and was horrified with the image staring back at me. My body was unrecognizable…my belly looked as if I were still six months pregnant but instead of being firm from carrying a baby inside, it was now squishy. My legs were swollen, my eyes puffy, and not to mention the mini snicker snack-sized hemorrhoids I was sporting after childbirth (I can’t believe I just compared them to the mini snack sized snickers but heck, that is what they were!)
Our bodies endure so much when we are pregnant and give birth. Our bellies stretch out to make way for the growing baby. The rest of our body recalibrates to take on this growing load by shifting or stretching. Then…it all happens. We birth this baby by either having a vaginal delivery or C-section. We sometimes forget that this is a major trauma or injury to our bodies.
Similar to having a rotator cuff repair or ACL repair (or any other surgery or injury), our bodies heal but they are not EXACTLY the same. Having a baby will always be part of our medical history but not a death sentence. Yes, they are different but they can still be beautiful, strong, functioning bodies. Our bodies grew, carried, and delivered a baby! That is pretty incredible!
Those of you who have had a baby know that sex is a bit different postpartum. Although lacking mojo to actually have sex is completely normal after baby, sex should not hurt. Right after you have a baby it may be uncomfortable but if it doesn’t improve, it may be time to seek help.
This one is so common but again, not normal to leak when you sneeze, cough, or jump, etc. These symptoms are often associated with a pelvic floor that may not be operating in tip-top shape.
This can be very frustrating for women. I have often treated moms who do not even want to leave the house in fear they may pee themselves in public. With a little bladder retraining and pelvic floor assessing, this can also be helped!
Heaviness in your pelvic region may be lending to a possible prolapse. There are many options for women now to help with POP or pelvic organ prolapse.
Pelvic pain (like any other pain) can really start to wear on you. This is something you do not need to just “deal with”. A pelvic floor PT can take a look at the big picture and determine which factors are playing a part in the pain and what treatments to perform.
The number one thing I have women ask me is, “How do I get a flat belly? I still look like I am 6 months pregnant.” My first question would be to you, did you have a flat belly prior to having kids? Having a flat belly leans on genetics, nutrition, and proper firing of the abdominal muscles. Obviously, we can’t do much for genetics but you can cut processed food and sugars and we can help “retrain” your abdominal muscles on how to fire correctly.
Not sure about you but my toosh really took a toll when I was pregnant. First of all, I was sicker than a dog the full 9 months and physical activity really wasn’t on my radar so I lost a lot of muscle mass. The second thing, oftentimes we start tucking our toosh under when we have a growing belly to counterbalance the weight. This toosh tuck doesn’t allow us to use our gluts through their full range of motion. There are many exercises you can do to improve your gluts. Check out my blog post to get some ideas.
In the world of “bouncing back” and perfect Instagram pictures of women who are .5 seconds postpartum in a bikini, we have this false conception that our bodies should do just that…bounce back. The saying “once postpartum, always postpartum” means just that. We will always have postpartum as a part of us just like you would if you had a knee or shoulder surgery. It does not have to be the end all be all to life as we once knew it.
If you are struggling with any of these common, but NOT NORMAL symptoms, even if it is years postpartum. Reach out to me for help. We can do a virtual consult or I can help you find a provider near you.
Have a blessed day!