Motherhood is an exciting, rewarding, and life-changing journey/experience. A great deal of pregnancy is spent preparing for the baby and ogling at tiny clothes, baby gear, and nursery goods but what about new momdom? Many of us are thrust into this new journey without the foundation to properly care for ourselves postpartum when our bundles arrive and our bodies go into recovery mode. Our bodies go through some pretty drastic changes through pregnancy, and delivery leaves us raw, mentally and physically.
Magazines and social media will have you thinking pregnancy is a walk in the park and once baby is here, you’ll snap back in a week and everyone lives happily ever after. I get it. Some people have uneventful pregnancies, deliveries, recoveries, and chill babies. Some don’t or experience a combo. One thing’s for sure, our bodies change after having babies and it seems that nothing really prepares us for those changes on the inside and outside.
Can we talk about some common body changes that happen after giving birth? From personal experience and chatting with other moms, here are three body changes that we don’t talk about and prepare for enough.
Postpartum Depression – It’s Okay
Postpartum Depression is not a one-size fits all illness. It can be triggered by hormonal imbalances after childbirth or the lifestyle shift that comes along with being responsible for a fragile new life. Postpartum Depression can range from the baby blues, to sadness or anger to the depths of your soul, to feeling extremely overwhelmed, or even having scary and harmful thoughts coupled with anxiety and OCD that starts to get in the way of living your day to day life. It’s one of those things that’s totally unexpected during what’s supposed to be an exciting time. It happens and it’s nothing to be ashamed about. Having a psychiatrist and therapist on deck can help you work through imbalance and uncertainty. Taking supplements can also help regulate moods.
Diastasis Recti (aka the pooch that won’t freaking go away)
I am really in my feelings over this one. These three kids did a number on my core. After having Juicy, I knew that my midsection was toast. Diastasis Recti is the separation of abdominal muscles caused by the pressure placed on the belly while pregnant. About 2/3 of pregnant women experience this. A diastasis can lead to other problems including chronic lower back pain, urinary incontinence, constipation, pain during intercourse, and pelvic or hip pain. It can even make it harder to breathe and to move normally. There are exercise programs like MuTu available to help heal, but in severe cases, surgery may be best. After having Juicy, I was told that I’d need abdominal hernia repair, but I’m not one for going under the knife. So an exercise program it is! High-waisted pants and sulking meanwhile…
Incontinence – It Happens
Dun dun duuuun. Pregnancy weighs on the bladder. Stress incontinence happens and may continue after delivery. I’ve experienced those unexpected trickles while pregnant minding my own business and I’ve definitely had those “oh no, I have to grab my lady parts to sneeze” moments postpartum. Women who give birth vaginally are more likely to experience bladder leaks. Chances are even higher for mothers who have had multiple vaginal births or assisted vaginal deliveries. Consistently doing Kegel exercises help strengthen pelvic floor muscles, but in the meantime, you may need a little something to catch those bladder leaks; a little incontinence protection if you will.
Always Discreet is here for you, babe. You may be tempted to grab a period pad and keep it moving, but Always Discreet provides better protection for light to heavy bladder leaks. They are available in liners, pads, as well as underwear. The liners were my go-to when my bladder was going through some thangs. Did you know that 1-in-3 women experience bladder leaks whether they’ve given birth or not? In addition, 1-in-2 African American women 18 years of age and older experience bladder leaks but only 1-in-9 actually use incontinence protection.
If you are showing signs of an overactive bladder, it may be time to look into Always Discreet. It’s summertime and we’re out here trying to be active, 64-ounces-of-water-drinking-mamas/women each day. The kids/life did a number on our bladders and ain’t nobody got time for leaks.
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