5 Postpartum Myths
You do not have to pee yourself because you had a baby. Incontinence may be common, but it is not normal and you can get help. If you are experiencing leaking I encourage you to see a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist and work with a coach. You can still work out! You may just need a few strategy adjustments to help you better manage symptoms.
Note: Kegels may actually not be what your body needs, particularly if you have a “tight” pelvic floor. A PT can help guide you with strategies appropriate for your body. Another call out – incontinence happens to men and women, regardless if they’ve had children. There are recent studies showing increasing numbers of incontinence in young female athletes too.
Sex doesn’t need to be painful after baby. When you and your partner are ready, sex should be enjoyable. There’s a lot of trauma in the birthing process. Hormones and nursing also impact what’s going on down there (lower estrogen levels → vaginal dryness → can lead to painful sex). If you are experiencing painful sex (or pain with insertion), please see a Pelvic Floor PT.
While there are cases that do require surgery, it’s not as common. There are ways to improve function and composition without surgery. Working with Pelvic Floor PT & a coach with knowledge on postpartum rehab will help you reconnect with your core + pelvic floor, re(learn) breathing strategies and pressure management, and pick up some alignment tips you can use throughout your day. Give your body some TLC and a core rehab program before making the decision to have surgery (unless your doctor says otherwise). I also recommend a few consults.
If you are considering surgery, I highly recommend Lisa Ryan’s account. She has a ton of resources around diastasis recti
As Brianna Battles notes, “pregnancy is temporary, postpartum is forever.” It doesn’t matter how old your kiddo is. As a postpartum woman your body has special needs. I have received questions about whether it’s “too late” to get help. The answer is “it’s never too late!” If you are experiencing pain or discomfort that has never been addressed, I encourage you to visit a Pelvic Floor PT.
5. If I work harder / push myself more, I’ll “bounce back” and loose the baby weight.”
Our bodies are different. You may or may not ever look like your pre-pregnancy body. That’s OK! Our bodies change. Social media isn’t always fair. But remember – people choose what they post, and edit. Sitting on the stair master and doing a ton of CARDIO isn’t going to help retrain your core and get your muscles and your brain working together. It takes time to relearn movement patterns, train the breath, and reconnect to exercises. Mindful strength training is where it’s at.