Pre & Postnatal

5 Postpartum Myths and Why They Aren’t True

5 Postpartum Myths
There are a lot of things I turned to google for after Benji arrived. From nursing and  feeding support to constipation and postpartum hair loss I felt like there was SO much information – some good and some bad. I came across a lot of websites and “experts” who shared information that I’d consider misleading or just plain wrong.  
Today I’m sharing five myths I’ve come across, as well as why they’re just not true. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since having Benji is that if something feels “off,” ask your doctor, see a Pelvic Floor PT, or talk to your partner or a friend. I’m happy to help as well (scroll down to the bottom of the post for a few helpful resources). 

5 Postpartum Myths

1.  Peeing / leaking when you jump, cough, sneeze, or exercise is normal. It’s just “what happens” after you have a baby.

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. 

 

2.   Sex is sub par postpartum and pain is normal.

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.

 

3. I need surgery to “get my body back” (typically in reference to diastasis recti or “mommy pooch”).

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

4. Postpartum is only a few months

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.

Note: If you are postpartum and have been experiencing lingering discomfort – I still encourage you to see a Pelvic Floor PT. It’s not uncommon for women to experience hip pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, etc. as a result of something else going on with their core system / pelvis.

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.

 
Trust your body. Give yourself some grace. Know that postpartum recovery is a process and you’re doing great. No woman should have to live in pain or fear. If you are struggling, feel free to message me for support. I’m also happy to help you find a Pelvic Floor PT near you 🙂
Xoxo,
Erica
Find a Pelvic Floor PT near you with one of the resources below:

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