Hey mom, you reached the 6-week mark postpartum. Now you are free to go on your merry way and return to all the “normal” things, right? Not so fast, pretty lady?
So many of us, myself included, yearned for the six-week mark like it was the point in the magical timeline that would mark the return of normalcy. During the postpartum period when A LOT of change is happening, physically and emotionally, lack of sleep, hormones are having a party, we want something to grasp onto that feels normal. Normal being defined as what it was like before pregnancy.
The truth is, the magical six-week mark is only a time point in the recovery process, it is ongoing.
Take it from me, a physical therapist who should have known better. I was eager to reclaim my body and have a little “normal”. So, I signed up for a marathon only a few months after my first babe was born.
At my six week check-up, I received the “Thumbs Up” from my doctor and went home and immediately started training. (It was the middle of winter in Wyoming so the treadmill and I became good friends).
My body was anywhere but normal! Leaking when I ran, heaviness in my pelvic floor, pain developing in my knees, feet, and hips due to lack of strength. I knew better…but did I listen?
As the weeks went on I continued to push through…3 miles, 5 miles, 8 miles. My body then forced me to stop. My brain had yearned for normalcy and comfort but my body was telling me I had just endured a really rough pregnancy/delivery. I had ignored the fact I had been on bed rest for three months, sicker than a dog, perineal tearing during labor, and hemorrhoids the size of mini snickers (too much info?). My body had gone through some trauma.
It has been a journey friend. This journey has led me to help other moms postpartum. The truth is, you don’t have to wait until six weeks to start healing your body. In fact, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology now recommends that postpartum care should be an ongoing process rather than a single encounter. I mean think about it. If you tore your ACL, would you just wait 6 weeks and jump back into sport? No, you would spend some time rehabbing and getting stronger.
You can start the rehab process postpartum much sooner than 6 weeks. In fact, you can start doing gentle movements shortly after having the baby. Need more guidance, check out my FREE Postpartum Recovery E-book here!