Please Stop Commenting on My Body

https://www.mothering.com/articles/please-stop-commenting-body/

Pregnancy and childbirth bring a lot of changes to a mother’s life. This goes without saying. Your body changes. Your family increases by one. Your brain changes. Your heart changes.

I found, that with these changes, something else happened: people felt like they could comment on my body.

I know. Pregnant women are beautiful. And there is something so exciting about a woman on the verge of becoming a new mother. I find myself smiling at pregnant moms or moms with newborns. And I enjoyed being smiled at when it was me with the large belly or the wee baby in a sling.

The reaction is automatic. I want to say: “You look GREAT!”

Some better things to say would be: “How are you feeling?” “You seem so happy/calm/excited!” “How about this weather?” Even “That’s a cute shirt.

I also felt beautiful when I was pregnant. And in many ways I loved hearing “You look great.” But it also somewhat diminished how I felt. I felt vital and strong and happy and nervous. I loved my taut belly and my growing breasts. I secretly hated the stretch marks that took my once smooth, white belly and zigged it through with dark purple.

And people did say I looked great. And one family member good-naturedly told me my butt was getting big. (Which actually really hurt my feelings, despite the fact that I enjoyed my bigger butt.) But comments on butts aside, I liked hearing how good I looked.

But the postpartum period is problematic. Look at how we treat celebrities. We all marvel at how quickly they get their “pre-baby bodies back.” No one needs to say that it is unrealistic to expect anyone to present with washboard abs mere weeks after delivering. And even if I know intellectually that that is an impossible standard and that surely no small amount of photoshopping or working out or dieting or styling helped achieve that enviable postpartum look, it doesn’t change the fact that women’s bodies are routinely objectified.

(click link at the top to read blog on mothering.com)

New Study Reveals Moms Need a Full Year for Recovery After Giving Birth

http://redtri.com/new-study-reveals-moms-need-a-full-year-for-recovery-after-giving-birth/

Growing a baby a beautiful experience, but it’s also demanding on your body. New mothers may be told by books and doctors that they’ll be back to “normal” within six weeks of giving birth, but a new study has found that most women take much longer to recover.

Dr. Julie Wray, a researcher at Salford University in England, interviewed women at different stages of post-partum life. She found that the standard six-week recovery period is a “complete fantasy,” and it can take a full year to recover from childbirth.

It’s not just physical recovery that’s needed, but mental as well. Many feel the pressure to get back on their feet soon after childbirth and feel it may be necessary to head back to work as early as six weeks.

Wray found that recovery should start in the hospital. Back in the day, women spent more time in the maternity ward learning how to take care of their infant and getting breastfeeding advice. Now, some women are discharged as early as six hours after giving birth and expected to just go with it, according to Wray’s research.

“The research shows that more realistic and woman-friendly postnatal services are needed,” Wray concluded. “Women feel that it takes much longer than six weeks to recover and they should be supported beyond the current six to eight weeks after birth.”

Recovery after childbirth is different for everyone, but the general consensus is that a full year to heal the body and mind is much better than a month and a half.

New ‘postpartum house’ in Calgary believed to be one of first of its kind in Canada

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/moss-postpartum-house-setl-open-in-may-1.5027012.

Being a new mom can be overwhelming, even if everything goes smoothly with the labour and delivery.

But many new moms find themselves driving all over the city for followup appointments or seeking help for postpartum issues after the baby arrives — from complicated labour, breastfeeding problems to postpartum depression.

Paige Barlow wants to change that by bringing all that support under one roof.”I noticed there was a big disconnect after parents had their baby with support,” said Barlow, who has worked as a postpartum doula for about seven years. “And it was very difficult for a new mom. They’re often breastfeeding in the car and having to put in multiple locations for multiple appointments.

“So I thought by putting everyone under one roof it would make it more convenient and easier for moms to support their new baby, and families in general.”

Barlow plans to open Moss Postpartum House this spring, and it may be the first postpartum house in the country.

“I noticed there was a big disconnect after parents had their baby with support,” said Barlow, who has worked as a postpartum doula for about seven years. “And it was very difficult for a new mom. They’re often breastfeeding in the car and having to put in multiple locations for multiple appointments.

“So I thought by putting everyone under one roof it would make it more convenient and easier for moms to support their new baby, and families in general.”

Click link above to read about this amazing new place for new moms on cbs.ca

After Birth: How Motherhood Changed My Relationship With My Body

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/opinion/pregnancy-babies-birth.html

I love my baby. But I was unprepared for how childbirth would change my body.

I thought I was pretty well prepared for the birth of my son. I had loads of friends with kids, I was an aunt, I’d attended a prenatal course, read (bits) of the many books recommended to me. And yet I discovered afterward that I was completely unprepared for the physical changes my body went through in pregnancy and the recovery that would follow. Obviously giving birth is one of the most extreme things your body can ever go through. So why was the aftermath also such a shock?

(Click link at top to read this op ed piece on nytimes.com)

I WENT TO A “VAGINAPRACTOR”—HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/what-is-a-sexological-bodywork-kimberly-johnson-wmn-space/

When I met Johnson at WMN Space, my first question was how, exactly, she started doing this kind of work in the first place. (I mean, it’s not something you can major in at college.) The former yoga instructor and bodyworker told me she found her calling while dealing with a serious pelvic-floorinjury brought on by childbirth.

“I started researching [treatment], and all I could find were tens of thousands of entries on postpartum depression,” she recalls. “But I was like, ‘Of course I’m depressed.’ I was pooping in my pants, sex was impossible, my low back was killing me all the time—and I’m someone who was totally fit and healthy [before giving birth.]

(Click to read about pelvic floors on wellandgood.com)