There is so much to say about postpartum. Much more than can be said in one post. Or even ever really can be said in words. So this is my first shot at it. There will be many more.
Postpartum is such an important, life changing, magical time. We are getting to know our baby for the first time outside the womb. We get to see all the sweet little movements we’ve spent the last few months feeling. It’s pretty incredible. It’s also hard and overwhelming. Very few new parents I’ve spoken with don’t have a sense of complete inadequacy. We focus so much on birth prep and pregnancy and kind of assume things will fall into place when we bring the baby home. Make no mistake, knowing what’s going on during pregnancy and prepping for birth IS important. But so is what happens after. Today I’ll start talking about that shift.
Our culture puts so much emphasis on youth, beauty, and our bodies. We assume that once the baby is born and gone from our body that we will revert back to our normal selves rather quickly. Or we hope and strive for that at least. But the thing is, even for those whose bodies do recover quickly, there is no reverting back to our pre-pregnant selves. We’ve been through an experience, both physical and emotional, that changes us forever.
Physically, even our skeletal structure has changed enough that a scientist looking at our skeleton years after we’ve passed will be able to tell that we’ve had a child. For nearly all of us, our bellies carry signs of the life changing event for the rest of our life. Signs of healed stretch marks. Our belly buttons just a little bit wider. The skin just a little looser than it used to be. For others, the signs are obvious and never leave. Even Jennifer Garner has had to explain her baby belly.
My point is, we do ourselves a disservice thinking we’ll go back to our old selves. I read an article recently that we all bear scars as a result of becoming mothers. That really resonates with me. It’s true. Our bodies are never the same because WE GREW AND GAVE BIRTH TO A WHOLE NEW HUMAN! Our lives will never the the same because we now see everything through the lens of a parent. Nothing will ever be the same.
Read about my own postpartum challenges here.
Adina Nelson, CD(DONA)
I am a birth & postpartum doula and chlidbirth educator practicing in North Idaho.
She was there every step of the way for me and my husband...I thank Adina for everything she helped us with. She truly is a special person and we will be forever grateful for her! ~Erin