Slow is fast and fast is slow
"Slow is fast and fast is slow" is a common phrase BIRTHFIT reminds postpartum parents. After having a baby, often times there is pressure to get back to your regular exercise routine, back to your prebaby body or pressure to get back to your prebaby lifestyle. What if instead, you realized that you aren't the person you were before having the baby anymore? Your body is completely different now. Your role now as a parent is completely different than before you had a baby. Your identity is different because now you are a parent. In Birthing From Within, we use the Sumerian myth, "Inanna's Descent" to explain how birth is a heroic journey and how the person we were before childbearing dies and how we are reborn new. This concept often times isn't confronted before baby arrives. Having a postpartum plan in place before baby arrives is
just as, if not more important than a birth plan. According to John Hopkins Medicine, postpartum mood disorders occur in 85 percent of women. Make your postpartum recovery plan before birth to better transition your mindset to parenthood. Some things to consider:
How long of a maternity leave do you think you want to have? How long will your partner be able to take? How much time off can you afford? Do you have maternity or paternity leave benefits? Once you head back to work, will your current schedule still be feasible or will you work part time for a bit? If you plan to breastfeed, do you have breaks in place to allow you to pump or allow someone to bring baby to you? Can you work from home to make this happen? If you work in an office setting, do they have an adequate private space with an outlet other than a bathroom where you can use a breast pump?
How are you going to say no to things that no longer serve you or work with your new role as a parent? How are you going to continue doing some things you love? How are you going to nourish yourself in a healthy, nutrient dense way to support yourself and your new baby?
What community of people do you have for support? Who will you call if you are struggling to breastfeed? Do you have a postpartum doula for helping cook, do laundry and clean, or take care of other kids in your household so you can focus on baby and rest?
Do you have pets? How will you introduce them to baby? Who will care for pets if you or baby needs to be hospitalized?
If you regularly exercised before baby are you mentally ready to take the first 30 days after birth to rest and let your body recover before returning to exercise other than walking?
Do you have plans in place to help facilitate healing? Chiropractic care can help with added stressors to the neck, back and shoulders from the birth process, repeated stress of carrying and nursing baby, as well as repeated lifting of baby out of crib or bassinet from the floor, and in and out of car seats. Perineal tearing is a common occurrence with birth and pelvic floor dysfunction leading to bladder incontinence or pelvic pain is a common, but not "normal." Finding a pelvic floor physical therapist to call prior to birth can help with recovery.
No one wants to think about pregnancy or infant loss, but having plans in place incase of this tragic loss can support your healing. Who will be the person you confide in? This person can help arrange meals and extra support on sites like giveinkind.com or mealtrain.com Who is the mental health professional you can reach out to for extra support?
Helping your body heal through sitz baths , postpartum herbs and teas and abdominal wrapping can be ways of providing much needed self care and promote relaxation to restore energy and strength. What products do you want to have on hand to help support you after birth?
Lastly how are you going to support our mental health after birth? What will you do to reduce stress when things become difficult? Who is a friend/family member you can reach out to? Breathing exercises are a simple and effective way to reset your physiology. Meditation using apps like Headspace can send you a daily reminder at the time you choose to help you stick with your routine.
Planning for the postpartum can be a beneficial way to mentally and physically ease into the parenthood transition in mindful way. Contact us at 715-720-2887 for more info on postpartum care and rehabilitation as well as upcoming Birthing From Within Childbirth Education courses.