“And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Because on it He rested from all the work of creating he had done.”
God created rest for a reason. He knows our body needs it. This is especially so for the postpartum woman.
There is a lot of pressure these days on body image. You see celebrities 2 weeks after they have had their babies and they don’t even look like they have been pregnant. Then you think that you have to get your post baby body back asap, or you will never lose the weight and will just keep gaining, and so the pressure you put on yourself increases.
The thing you don’t ever hear about out is how those women are when they reach their middle age years. Some of the effects of overstretching include poor bladder control and issues with muscle pain. You just don’t hear about what these women go through because it never gets discussed.
While you are pregnant, your body is changing and getting ready for the birth. The tendons and muscles are adjusting to allow for the baby to be born. After the baby is born, your muscles and tendons have stretched and are very supple. A lot of women who go back to Yoga, Pilates or any form of stretching exercises soon after birth are very surprised at how much they can bend and stretch. Little do they realise they are doing damage to their body by stretching ligaments that should be allowed to heal. Let me explain. If you strain ligaments in your ankle, it takes around 3 months for those ligaments to heal properly. It is the same for all the ligaments and muscles that have been used for the birth of your baby.
I spoke to a pelvic floor physiotherapist, and she told me that she sees many middle-aged women suffering now because they did not do the right types of exercises post-baby. Some of these women have urine and/or feces leakages, pelvis discomfort, joint pain, and even prolapse. I read that we can learn a lot from the cultures around the world that emphasise rest postpartum. Studies are proving that women benefit so much more when they rest especially in the first 3 months postpartum.
Your body is amazing; you’ve just given birth. Give it time to heal. You will benefit so much in years to come. Just think of all the extra time you get to spend with your little one as well. I do know that life gets very busy. Resting can be hard. If you find it hard to rest, then learn to. Go outside, rug up if it’s cold. Sit and look at the natural beauty around you and just breath it all in. Take time to rest, it will benefit everyone, especially you. You deserve it and so does your body. If you are still pregnant, then practice this before the baby is born. You don’t need to rug up though, too much heat is not good for pregnant women.
I read this quote the other day; “A baby is born with a need to be loved—and never outgrows it.” Putting in the right practices postpartum will help you to be the best version of yourself, and better able to provide the love your little one needs.
Note: this blog is meant for general advice and not specific care. Please see a professional if you are needing help.