In Response to Opting Out, Bouncing Back and Leaning In August 21 2013, 0 Comments
A birth recovery quick survival guide turned up to eleven
You know what I am talking about. All the hullabaloo between the Duchess and her postpartum belly bulge, the NY Times article “The Opt out Generation Wants Back in” and the Jezebel article “ Stop Acting Like Bouncing Back is Even Possible”, skyrocketing postpartum depression and c/section rates having babies later in life…. there is a lot of juice here for a topic that isn’t that unique: woman has baby, body falls to pieces, mom and baby are isolated, hormones are flying, mom is depleted, mom returns to work (or not) and decides this is what it must feel like to be new mom! Pants filled with pee, hearts filled with guilt, lack of libido, putting yourself last and burning it at both ends. Isn’t motherhood wonderful?
This guide is turned up to eleven because, well, ten just doesn’t cut it. A little louder, please.
1) Expect that your healthcare provider will do nothing for YOU postpartum unless you end up missing a limb (that goes for you cesarean ladies out there as well.)
2) Leave the hospital with: information on postpartum depression, a belly binder and a prescription for physical therapy- just to have in your back pocket.
3) Expect to need granny panties, feel like a train just hit you and to pee or poop your pants- this may last for a couple of months.
4) Don’t wait 6 weeks to exercise/ move. You can stretch your hamstrings, booty and do gentle movement as early as early as the first week. Go ahead, ask you healthcare provider. The more of you that ask, the more the doctors will feel that they need to have an acceptable answer. The longer you wait, the further you fall behind and as that baby gets heavier, you get weaker- not a good combo.
5) DO NOT expect unlimited joy w/ your new, little bundle. It’s just Not. Going. To happen.
6) Be a little selfish- do what you need to do so that you can be there for your family for the long haul. Practice “family based parenting” from the start as in “We take turns in this family getting our needs met little Joey.” Which brings me to…
7) If you have a partner/ spouse, don’t expect them to be available for you or to be ridding the same replenished wave at the same time. You are tag teaming now which means that their cup will be full when your cup is empty and visa- versa. ( I like to fill mine up with a little wine now and then but that is a different story…)
8) Expect all transitions to be very challenging for you and your children for the next 20 years and allow for extra time and find pauses within the transitions. Life is busy and little’s HATE to be hurried along. You can do this! It’s like the transition during labor, right? You did that?
9) Don’t expect to resurface for 3-6 months postpartum- get your hormones checked when you do. Chances are your thyroid and cortisol levels are all messed up. Especially if you are over 40.
10) If you are having trouble going back to work full time….wait for it….DEMAND PT or job share or, better yet, reinvent your work entirely. Do you really NEED to work at that same job? How much of your income will go towards childcare? Maybe by working PT you are able to make homemade food and eat out less. Doesn’t THAT save you some money? You can do this! After all, you got a BABY out of your BODY! I
11) Once you get your groove back on, lean in ( a little to the left, preferably) and swirl things up. You are woman hear you roar and you have a new perspective, patience and power!
Wendy Foster is a certified Pilates instructor, pre/post fitness specialist and birth recovery expert. She is the creator of the mamalates restorative birth recovery method. She is the mother of 2 boys, having had a c-section and a VBAC. She an outdoor enthusiast and currently obsessed with sensory processing disorder in infants and children and the lack of physical movement in our public schools.
She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NY Times article: