Is your post pregnancy body a little f%$ked?

Mine is. I get sore easily. My knees, my back, my hips. Despite my fertility privilege, I brought both my babies into the world via c-section. The first saved mine and my baby's life, and the second was elective because there was no way in the world I wanted a repeat performance of attempting a natural birth. The jury is out on whether my c-sections were the cause of some of my post-pregnancy body issues. 

Some people love being pregnant. Some loathe it. Some who are in TTC-land would do almost anything to feel nausea, heartburn and other symptoms if it meant they'd be getting a baby at the end of the process. For me, the second trimester was the sweet spot. A visible bump so that I didn't have to attempt to suck in my tummy anymore, reduced nausea, and still able to move around comfortably.

Regardless of whether you loved or hated your pregnancy, it can cause all sorts of weirdness after you've given birth. Diastasis recti is one such weirdness and is an incredibly common condition where during pregnancy your abdominal muscles basically say "f%$k it, we're done, we're going to split apart and you'll be left with an odd shaped tummy - so there!" It's said that two thirds of women that have been pregnant have this condition, and most don't even know it. But what most people don't know is that the way to fix it, is not to rush off to the gym and do a thousand tummy crunches. Even planks and other things that seem like a good idea at the time, are absolutely the wrong thing to do. If you think this might be the reason you have a funny looking tummy long after you gave birth, go ahead and make an appointment with a women's health physiotherapy clinic who'll be able to identify the problem, and help you get back on track to a flat stomach - (if that's important to you).

For the record, I don't have Diastasis recti. I just ate way too much junk and drank way too much wine. That's the cause of my excess, and that part is fixable.

Lots of people had told me to that it takes a good while to get your body back to a rough resemblance of what it looked like before pregnancy.  My friend Trudie said "9 months to put it on, at least 9 months to get it off" For my first pregnancy I achieved that quite quickly. My second, not so much. And I know there are women like Victoria Beckham who has had 4 c-sections and is in pristine condition but that isn't me. I can train at the gym and eat well and downsize, but I don't think any of those things will help with stretch marks on my tummy or loose skin. Those gnarly scars from where my babies were lifted out and where they took their first breaths - they aren't going away anytime soon. And actually, I'm good with that. I've certainly made my peace that my body will be changed for life. My life has been changed for life, bringing these two adorable toads into the world, too.

So what's your beef with post pregnancy? You don't have to overshare as much as I do, but perhaps if we start talking about what actually happens, and what some women can probably expect post pregnancy, it won't be such a shock. Feel free to comment below, or send me a message. 

I saw an ad on Facebook just before for exercise tights. Facebook has figured out I'm on a bender for fitness and serves me up all sorts of activewear treats. Anyway, the ad said "it's time to gym so you can swim" and that really pissed me off. Regardless of who the ad was actually aimed at, why on earth do we have to do all this work to attempt to look a certain way, so we can enjoy swimming? Fair enough, I'm trying to change my body and make it a bit smaller, but I'm sure as hell not going to stay off the beach covered up in a kaftan because I didn't have the hindsight to prepare my body for others approval.

Nope, it's 6 and a half years on from the birth of my first child, and I've come to the conclusion that no matter how many exercises I do, how great my nutrition is, and how much water I drink, my lower abdominals are probably never going to be the same as they used to be, my lower back is probably going to always be that little bit sore, and I'm probably always going to be in some form of sleep deprived state. I don't subscribe to the "problem areas" thinking, because bodies are never a problem. However, is my body just a little bit f%$ked from carrying two reasonably big babies and birthing them via c-section? Yep, and without some serious nip tuck, I'm certain that while I may be getting smaller, the shape of my tummy and my body as a whole is here to stay.  


Lou DraperComment