By Jessica Wilkerson
I see you Mama… you have just received your new mama cape and have achieved a whole new level of “Wonder Woman “ status.
You’ve just carried a young one in your womb for 9 months, creating life, creating breath, and creating the precious little child you’ve been so meticulously chosen to care for. You’ve labored and breathed your way through contractions bringing you to bear down and bring your little one earthside. No matter if you were unmedicated, had assistance, or birthed your baby via C-section… your body has gone through a marathon. Nine months of hormone fluctuations, bones and body parts rearranging themselves to make room for that precious baby have culminated on the joyous occasion of your baby’s birth day.
Mama don’t rush this beautiful journey.
As new moms, we are put under a tremendous amount of stress to “get back to pre-baby weight” or to “get back to our pre-baby body.” Let me tell you, that body no longer exists. The minute you conceived, that “pre-baby body” started to fade away.
What you are left with, is a body that is capable of so much more than it was before. You grew a human, you birthed a human, and now your body is different. Your “Mom bod” is beautiful, your “Mom bod” is strong and you need to care for it differently.
When you think about that Mommy pooch you’re carrying around, don’t think of it as the last five pounds you need to lose. Think of it as the five pounds that are hanging on so that you can feed your baby and produce enough milk to help your baby grow big and strong.
Mama, don’t rush yourself to get back to that place you once were, you’ll have plenty of time to do that in the future. If you’re not done having kiddos, guess what? You’re in for a whole new round of changes with baby number two.
I’m not saying don’t take care of yourself. You still have to eat right and exercise, so that you are at your best to take care of you and your family. What I’m saying is don’t stress about this societal pressures that come from every direction.
Would you rather spend your time at the gym getting back to where you “once were?” Or would you rather spend that time with your precious new little one, getting to know his face, getting to know his cues, exploring each other and growing together?
There are so many pressures to lose weight after your baby is born. Blogs, Facebook groups, postpartum posts all steer conversation to losing the baby weight. But I saw a post the other day on Facebook from Kindred Bravely that said, “Your rolls are their pillows” and it made me think… We are told not to rush the baby stage; to soak it all in. So why then do we worry so much about losing the weight?
Take it from someone who couldn’t wait to get back to working out once I had my son. I thought that the sooner I jumped right back in, the less chance there was that I would lose all the progress I had made before I got pregnant. But boy was I wrong…
I promised myself that I would wait a full 6 weeks before I started back. I promised myself that I would give my body the time it needed to heal. Fast forward to 2 weeks after I had my son, and due to circumstances as a business owner I was forced back into teaching group fitness.
At two weeks postpartum I was teaching group fitness classes again. Not the place I wanted to be, not the position I thought I would be in as a postpartum Mama. I knew there was a chance I could injure myself and that I could potentially create bigger issues.
What I didn’t know was that starting back so soon; even if I was “taking it easy and not doing the whole class”, was causing me to delay the natural healing process my body should have been going through.
I had hemorrhoids (I know, the not so glamorous side of delivery) and slight pelvic prolapse. I found that these are not two things you want to take lightly. The pressure I was putting on these two areas of my body from the inside was tremendous, even if I did think I was taking it easy. My whole reproductive anatomy had gone through an earth shattering process just a couple of weeks before and I was asking my body to do things it was no longer capable of doing in my delicate postpartum state.
You may be thinking to yourself, what is a prolapsed pelvic floor and how do I know if I have a prolapsed pelvic floor? According to an article published by Crystal Run Healthcare, a minor prolapse may not cause symptoms. In fact, in many cases, a woman’s doctor may discover prolapse during a routine pelvic exam. If you do have symptoms, they may include:
- A feeling of fullness, pressure, or bulging in your pelvis (many women describe this as a feeling of sitting on a small ball)
- Feeling that something is falling out of your vagina
- Difficulty with urination or defecation
- Chronic constipation
- Low back pain
- Painful sexual intercourse and/or bleeding with intercourse
- Discomfort while walking
Symptoms of pelvic organ prolapse often become worse when standing, jumping, or lifting heavy objects. There are also different stages of prolapse ranging from 0-4. A zero would represent a strong pelvic floor with no sign of prolapse, a four would indicate that the entire organ is outside of the vagina.
If you think you may have any level of prolapse, the first step is to get assessed by a professional, either by your doctor or a pelvic floor specialist. After you have been assessed and diagnosed, the next step would be treatment.
When seeking treatment, be sure you find a professional who knows a woman’s anatomy and can give you good direction on how to heal. If you suspect that you may have prolapse, contact someone in your area to assess you for an official diagnosis. If you are not sure of where to start or want to start on your journey to healing, book a consultation with Cassandra (our founder) here: https://square.site/book/RWSTPNNZR77YF/positively-balanced-llc-collinsville-ok
This a way that you can create your game plan and find out what you need to do in order to improve your health.
So Mama remember, there’s no hurry to get back to your pre-baby body. That version of you is a past version of you. Now you have a chance to embrace the new you, the “Strong Mama” version of you.
Another great resource:
As you read “organ falling out of the vagina” you might automatically visualize your bladder or rectum falling out . The actual prolapse is the organ pressing on the vagina which is what is seen upon diagnosis and what is felt when you might feel a bulge. Sometimes it freaks women out as they think their bladder is literally outside everything. It is not. More importantly to note, you can improve over the next 18+months post birth and see a major reduction in your prolapse. if you begin to rehab your body while giving yourself rest. – Cassandra