The Postpartum comparison game can be tricky.
Just yesterday I saw a photo on social media that stirred a lot of emotion for me. I felt jealous, frustrated, and just a tad bit defeated that I wasn’t in the same spot recovery wise as another woman. Even as a coach I still find it easy to compare my journey to others. I can totally relate to clients when we discuss identity, goals, frustrations, recovery, and focusing on long-term gains.
With social media being such a big part of our lives, it’s hard not to notice tons of photos and stories of others’ fitness regimes and lives. Those quick to return to sport often receive the most praise. But, the danger in comparing our progress to another pregnant/new mom on Instagram is that we don’t truly know their body or life. We only know OURS. Beyond just the physical aspect of healing, there are sleepless nights, family / sibling adjustments, lack of personal time, nutritional needs, breastfeeding, etc.
Consider that for the last ~9-10 months our insides have totally changed. And although we are not delicate, we are also not invincible (Brianna Battles). We need to make adjustments to training to support our bodies now, six months from now, and 20 years from now.
So, what can you do when you find yourself starting to compare to other pregnant and postpartum women on social media?
1. Comment (keep it positive!) and ask questions: Social media should be a place of information exchange. A place to empower one another versus judgement and comparison. I’ve learned a lot about other women simply by engaging in conversation.
2. Find your WHY: It’s easy to compare your physical journey. But, my WHY is very different from someone else’s. I train for function, strength, and to keep up with my boys. What about you? As a coach I fully support your athleticism and goals, but I also like to provide context for how to approach them.
3. Hire a Postpartum Coach: I’ve done this myself – every coach needs a coach. A coach provides support, context, and can help you navigate the physical and mental aspects of recovery and return to sport. I highly encourage you to ask about their qualifications and area of expertise.
4. Go offline: I do this from time to time. If you find that being on social media stirs up feelings of jealousy, resentment, etc. – stop scrolling for a bit. This also goes along with cleaning up your feed. Surround yourself with positivity and REAL bodies.
5. Talk it out: I’ve found talking about my frustrations to my partner, mom, and Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist really helps. A mental health professional and/or mom group is great for this as well. If you’re feeling frustrated or need support, voice up!
Your body. Your journey. I’m here to support, guide, and be a sounding board and resource for you anytime. Do you find yourself comparing to other mamas on social media?