As much as I hate admitting it- I am a recovering comparison addict. I am too good at holding myself to unrealistic standards and feeling annoyed by how easy other women have it. Anyone with me?!
Thankfully women are speaking out against this internal battle more and more. Culturally we are getting away from super skinny models and embracing body positivity for all shapes and sizes. Thank goodness! BUT I know most of us haven’t escaped self-criticism entirely. And this holds true during and after pregnancy too.
I want to address 5 myths about postpartum healing to put you on the right track for self-love as you adjust:
Myth #1: You will lose all of your baby weight if you breastfeed.
All women respond differently. Some women lose all their weight and others retain extra weight until they stop breastfeeding. There are a lot of variables that dictate how quickly you lose the pregnancy weight. Don’t fight it and don’t worry about it! You might need those extra pounds to be able to produce milk for the baby and to help nourish your body so it heals properly.
Myth #2: You’ll want sex right away after the postpartum period.
Umm, no. Soreness from vaginal or c-section delivery will be around for a bit. And then there’s the sleep deprivation and wacky hormones. Restoring lubrication could take time as well.
Tip: Have an honest discussion with your partner about this subject before the moment arrives where someone may feel rejected. Try less intense forms of intimacy like snuggling, napping together, or holding hands on a walk. These acts can keep you connected with out the pressure or pain of sex too soon after childbirth. Looking for a book? Check out Reviving your Sex Life after Childbirth.
Myth #3: Your body will bounce back to how it was before.
Nope, it will definitely be different and you can embrace the change. It’s amazing how much our bodies adjust based on what’s required of it. Your breasts might remain bigger or feel like they shrunk. Your pre-pregnancy jeans may just not fit you the same way. And that’s ok. You can still look and feel sexy. Go ahead and put away the tight-fitting clothes for a while and don’t bother trying them on. Keep your looser fitting clothing and pick up some new items that compliment your curves. Absolutely no body-shaming.
Tip: If you have diastasis recti (aka abdominal splitting) causing a pooch, check out this video where I demonstrate an exercise to help it heal.
Myth #4: Leaking urine is part of being a mom.
I can’t tell you how many times my friends have laughed/coughed/sneezed and said “Oops! I just leaked a little urine! Oh well, guess that’s what happens once you become a mom”. While leaking urine is common, it does not need to be your new normal and may be a sign of pelvic floor dysfunction that can be corrected.
Myth #5: Taking care of yourself is indulgent and selfish.
During pregnancy hopefully you understood on some level the importance of treating yourself well. You got a pedicure, meet with a friend, or got a massage. Now that baby is here don’t stop making the effort for self-care. It’s not selfish, it is immensely important and allows you to be your best self.
Mamas, be kind to yourself. You just carried and delivered a beautiful little person into this world. Listen to your body, give it what it wants and tune out the negative body talk.
I think we should talk about the postpartum period as the 4th trimester. This is a time to nurture your body, take part in self-care rituals and listen to what your body needs, not what others think you need.
Looking for more postpartum and/or pelvic floor guides? Grab my free guides to help you plan for postpartum, diagnose and selt-treat a diastasis recti, and learn how to do kegels! Check out my homepage to download each of these super helpful resources to help you regain control over your pelvic floor.