Reject the ‘Get Your Body Back’ Mentality
It’s fair to say that most people acknowledge how hard pregnancy and childbirth are on the body. But what receives less recognition is how complex and lengthy postpartum recovery is. Pregnancy and delivery are significant physical and emotional events, and it’s time to reject the “get your body back” mentality.
At Jewell Chiropractic, we put your health first. Our staff honors and respects your journey to wellness with all of its hills, valleys, and plateaus. Come and see us in our Portland clinic to enjoy chiropractic care, massage therapy, parent support groups, and more. Schedule your appointment today to get the care you deserve.
Rest and Recover to Reject the “Get Your Body Back Mentality”
Before we go any further here, it’s worth clarifying that healing is not the same as ‘returning to normal.’ Many parents will never look the same as they did before becoming pregnant–and that’s not a bad thing!
As you recover, your body will settle into its new normal to accommodate you and your child. This is something to celebrate, not criticize or ‘fix.’ Regardless of social media’s love affair with ‘getting your body back,’ it’s rarely a realistic or healthy goal. That body served you before getting pregnant. Your ‘new’ body is serving you now. And both are beautiful.
Drastic Changes Demand Significant Rest in the Fourth Trimester
Prior to pregnancy, the uterus is roughly the size of an orange and the shape of a pear. During pregnancy? It expands to nearly the size of a watermelon! When the placenta tears from the uterine wall during childbirth, it leaves a wound almost the size of a dinner plate.
It takes at least six weeks for an injury of that size to heal, and it can take even longer if you underwent a C-section or episiotomy. Postpartum is NOT the time to rush anything. After having a baby, what you need is rest.
The fourth trimester refers to the 12 weeks after delivering your baby, and it is a crucial period for your body’s healing. Our recommended ideal recovery timeline for the first six weeks postpartum looks like this:
- Two weeks mostly staying in bed
- Then, two weeks of moving around the house
- Next, two weeks with excursions in your neighborhood or local community
Non-weight-bearing rest during this early postpartum period helps you recover faster and can reduce your risk of post-menopausal prolapse.
Postpartum Care Is a Social Issue
Along with rest, adequate community support is also vital during the recovery process. We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ Yet our modern US society still makes us feel guilty when we inevitably can’t do it alone.
When you advocate for yourself by asking for and receiving help, your recovery will likely be smoother and more complete. Being a parent can feel isolating without a strong support system in place. It is not a weakness to depend on this help.
There is a devastating and harmful lack of societal support for parents in the United States. Employers rarely offer paid parental leave; if they do, it’s usually not much. Birthing parents often have to return to work long before they’re physically or emotionally ready, creating a recipe for poor postpartum health.
Many cultures worldwide are much more attuned to a new parent’s needs. Supporting a postpartum parent is an intrinsic part of their community rituals, and it’s so helpful in creating a healthy parent, child, and family. Here at Jewell, we advocate for this high level of support for every parent.
Jewell Chiropractic Supports Your Health and Wellbeing
Our experienced practitioners are here to help you thrive before, during, and after pregnancy. We provide in-office treatments and can offer at-home exercises during pregnancy and postpartum recovery. We also have child and infant chiropractic care for your little one, along with classes to help your family get a great start together. Connect with us and book your appointment today.