Hey mama, first of all congrats on your new addition and here’s to you for bringing new life into our world! Being pregnant and then delivering a baby no matter how you do it – C-section, or vaginal is no easy feat. There are challenges to both and listen you are a warrior princess that deserves to be honoured because you grew and birthed a tiny human. Bravo girlfriend!
And since giving birth I’m sure you have had all of the care and attention you need just like when you were pregnant right? Those monthly and weekly visits to make sure you are healthy (and baby too of course) right? Oh wait, no you aren’t seeing your doc or midwife that frequently anymore? Yeah, I know…after giving birth the focus on moms totally switches to focus on baby. And so, welcome to motherhood where you have become a care provider for everyone else. This is why I’m here; to tell you that YOUR health is still just as important as it was during your pregnancy. And you need to know that all of those postpartum joys (such as diastasis recti, incontinence, back pain, pelvic pain, etc) don’t have to be and shouldn’t be your new normal. There is such a thing as postpartum rehabilitation where you can resolve those problems. Here’s what you need to know:
- Rest & Heal – depending on the type of birth it is important for you to get the green light from your doctor before you begin to exercise which can be 6 weeks or longer.
- Core Weakness – your abdomen has stretched in order to accommodate your baby and their rapid growth and this can leave us with abdominal separation or diastasis recti (aka – the “mom pooch”). And the problem with this is truly not your appearance but what having a weak core will do to your body long-term…hello chronic back pain! Um, yeah no thank you.
- Pelvic Floor – most of us assume that having pelvic floor dysfunction is just a rite of passage after becoming a mother, and of course we laugh about it and pee a little. But this doesn’t have to be associated with motherhood. Imagine saying
adios to your incontinence and feeling confident again?
- Nutrition – okay so maybe we didn’t eat the best during our pregnancy, or maybe we couldn’t eat due to nausea. These habits end up following us into those early days because now you are responsible for the life of another. It is important to
nourish our bodies too with the right foods that will leave us feeling satisfied so that we can recover properly.
- Support – perhaps this is the most important piece (because many of us don’t even know where to begin) is to see a health care provider that can help you identify these problems and guide you through a rehab program. Girl, it is so important
that you regain your strength and function after all of the immense changes your body has seen in the past year. AND it actually doesn’t even matter if it’s been a year or 2 or 5 or 15 since you had your baby! To me postpartum is after giving birth, period. It is never too late to start and there is a lot that can be done to help heal core and pelvic floor dysfunction and to assist thick scar tissue at incision sites.
From one mother to another, I am asking you to prioritize your health now so that you can continue to be the most incredible mama that I know you already are, just without the ache!
Dr. Chelsey Spano