The miracle of birth!


Ok. Now my body just performed the perfect miracle of creating a human being, growing it to the point where it can live outside of my body and masterfully delivered that human being into the world. What’s next for this amazing body of mine that looks and feels quite different from the one I was living in up until I created that amazing human being?


First…

Take in that miracle. What God designed the female body to do is on a scale of miracle that cannot truly be described or understood fully. Our hope is you can find peace with where your body is at this moment for just having finished this race. Turn off social media for a second and don’t try to compete with unrealistic ideas of where you should be in the next weeks, months, or even year.


Second…

BE PATIENT with getting back to where you were before that baby was created. Your body took approximately 9 months to conceive, provide the perfect environment in which that sweet life could grow, then birth this new life. Your body made some pretty extreme changes in size, shape and weight distribution in order for it to all work. The tissues underwent big changes in length and tension including the muscles, skin, ligaments, nerves, and organs. Your center of gravity shifted and areas of your body that used to provide stability and strength have been temporarily thrown off course. Your nervous system adapted to an ever-changing environment daily. Although this is all natural for gestation, you can still think of it as a series of injuries that occurred so treating it as though you are rehabbing those small injuries may help you set more realistic goals.


Third…

Go slow and be gentle with yourself

Start back slowly and with realistic goals. Here’s a quick list of practical things to think about.
1. Make small, achievable goals. For example, start with walking if you are able. 10-15 minutes a day. Practice taking deep breaths with some focus on bringing the breath into the low back or lower rib cage to help the diaphragm perform as it used to, before there was a squatter living under that roof.  A baby in utero prevents good quality movement of your diaphragm.
2. Keep in mind there will be ups and downs. You may have a few days of great gains with plenty of time for yourself mixed with days where you can barely get dressed without fatigue. Continuing to graciously move forward will allow the gains to eventually outweigh the losses. There’s a reason the tortoise beats the hare by the end of the race.
3. Going slowly with more consistency will help you progress without re-injury or creating problems later down the road.
4. Check your ego at the door when it comes to getting back to working out. As Sarah Duvall taught me relative to recovering from pregnancy, “Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should.”
5. Hopefully you can get into a well-trained PT, OT or exercise professional to help coach you back so you don’t overdo it which can lead to more injury which may then correlate to a decrease in your success or your ability to get to where you want to be physically.


Fourth…

A few signs of overdoing it too quickly.
1. Fatigue and soreness that lasts days
2. Poor quality sleep
3. Decreased milk production
4. Achiness
5. Depression
6. Loss of strength despite increased exercise performance

So, mother miracle maker, take it easy, give yourself some grace in how you look and how much energy you have and surround yourself with supportive and loving people, especially other moms, who can feed your psyche in a positive way.

Tune back in for Part 2 of Postpartum Recovery.