It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything; having a second child to take care of with completely different needs than my first has been a lot of good and fun work for me.
My intention, several months ago, was to write a post about staying in the Lying In process and how to complete the two weeks, even when your brain (and possibly other people) tells you that you’re all healed and ready to go. This post will touch on that, and I think the more important task at hand is to look at the broader scope of postpartum healing.
After my first pregnancy, and successful home birth, and lying in experience + about 3 more weeks, I got back to my regular movement routine right away. My brain was going a little crazy with the anxiety I felt as a new mom, trying to keep everything together and trying not to rely on any one person too much. Moving my body was my way of being able to process all of that.
Over the last few years, I’ve gained some pretty important tools for myself that have not only transformed my life and my relationships with others, it has completely transformed the way that my preparation for birth, birth, and healing process has happened.
If I start to get into comparison about my body this time and last time, it seems that my body is taking longer to heal than before. It also seems like there is a lot more to heal this time, including something with one of the muscles in my mid back and the left side of my pelvis. When I stay in comparison of my own body now against my body almost 4 years ago, it’s really easy to travel down a rabbit hole and start being angry at my body. Having this relationship with my body, that just grew, carried, birthed, and continues to nourish my sweet boy is absolutely incorrect.
Postpartum healing takes longer than 6 weeks, or even 12. Healing from birth is so much more intricate than healing from a flesh wound, because of the impact that pregnancy has on all of the systems of the body. Here are some tips to helping you deal with whatever your postpartum healing may be:
- It’s ok if you get frustrated with your progress, and notice when you do, and get present to the incredible thing that you have done! And switch from comparison/judgment into appreciation and love!
- Don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself about getting skinny again. (can we start being honest about this please? When we say “Get my body back” isn’t this what we’re really talking about?)
- Do focus on healing scarring, diastasis recti, spinal alignment, and any other physical things.
- Do ask for help from people who love you and want to see you successful in your new role.
- Allow yourself to heal slowly, rest and take breaks from any routine you create for yourself. Remember there is no time frame to finish your healing in.
- Do meditate. Check out the Expectful App for some really amazing meditations for pregnancy, postpartum, couples, and pre-conception.
- Consider adding a collagen supplement to your diet if you don’t already. It takes around 18 months for the female body to regulate collagen production again after childbirth. (collagen is responsible for healing your body, and keeping things like your hair, skin, nails, in tip top shape)
- Do find a chiropractor/massage therapist or similar to support you in healing. I’ve recently switched to a new one, and I can’t tell you the difference it makes to have somebody who will spend time with you, and isn’t afraid to think outside the box. The new doctor I’m working with actually specializes in athletes, not women postpartum, and because he’s willing to ask questions and take his time, it’s working out really well. (Plus aren’t women who have had babies athletes? I think yes)
- Do enjoy this new time in your life! Your baby will only be a baby for a short amount of time, and spending this time watching them grow is so precious.