Postpartum is thought to be the first weeks after delivering your baby.
But there are actually three different phases of postpartum lasting up the six months postpartum (PMCID: PMC3279173)
Yet our sleep, stress, invisible mental load, and physical demands are constantly changing within the first year.
It’s safe to say that this is no easy season of life. And a challenging one that demands are on multiple spectrums.
I hope with this post you can have some peace and compassion towards yourself. That you are reminded, it’s not as simple as have the baby and be done.
It’s hard work and work that is always evolving.
Here are a few tips and lessons I have learned in my first year of postpartum (for my second time around).
Each postpartum is different - just like each child is different and unique, each postpartum will be different.
You Continue to Learn - I thought for sure I was going to be a pro with having my babies back to back. I planned on using the same tricks as the first round that I learned. But that didn't last more than a day or two. You constantly evolve and learn, grow, try new things and get down right creative to figure that s**t out to find what works for each baby.
Healing is NOT linear - I think a lot of people think when healing your pelvic floor there are progressions that are linear, or it happens step by step, without ever back tracking. There are so many possible contributors to why you are experiencing pelvic floor symptoms. Each event may be for a different reason (like stress, colic, lack of sleep and nutrition, etc). That's why it's important to be educated and have a well versed team around you to help you through this season.
You Keep Going Back to the Basics - What I have learned is that I continuously use my foundational healing exercises throughout the entire year. I never really stop needing them. Because as I just mentioned, healing is not linear and neither is motherhood. So as the hard seasons come and go, I find myself exploring the basic exercises over and over with different approaches. When I am further along in my training and sport I still use the same exercises, but with different intentions. That is the true beauty of knowing your body and being well informed about what works for you!
It Goes By Way Too Fast - Everyone tells you how fast it goes but gosh dang it, it goes wayyyyy too fast. I have felt that even this second round has gone by faster than ever. It's almost like the first baby helps you slow down a bit and the second one goes into warped speed! There is something so magical in the holiday season, but I also find those to be the biggest tear jerkers because I reflect on how little they were last year.
You Are Going to Mess Up - This is the one I have the hardest time with. I had wayyy more confidence the first baby compared to my second. I think the fact that I felt I was never able to give my full attention or that I feel divided in my attention is what I beat myself up the most for (obviously out of my control). I try to remind myself that I messed up because I am learning and growing as a mother, an adult, and a human being. Something I am working on is giving myself more compassion for being a human.
You Are Exactly Who Your Baby Needs - I have had the insecure thoughts that I am not enough for my girls and soemtimes I still feel that way (working on that one too). But I realized or have been realzing that we all contribute differently to the dynamic family relationship. And my babies love me just for who I am and visa versa. It truly is a beautiful thing.
Phew!!! There you have it! My thoughts as I conclude the first year postpartum with my second baby.
If you are in the first year of postpartum Hats off to you. This can be one of the hardest seasons of your life.
Take a moment to honor all the work you have done and are continuing to do
Give yourself some love and compassion because you are a rockstar mama. We all see it, we just need you to see it too.
Share with a mama who needs a special reminder that she is doing an amazing job.
Your pre/postnatal strength coach