In today’s society, there’s this crazy notion that women should “bounce back” after pregnancy. And this “bounce back” term seems to be all-encompassing. Bounce back to your job, bounce back to your pre-pregnancy weight, bounce back to your pre-pregnancy body, bounce back to your schedule, bounce back to all your commitments… Take a look at all of those statements and then consider what your body and mind have been through as a mom through both pregnancy and delivery. While not every pregnancy or birthing experience is negative or traumatic, you change a lot in every way! In reality, the whole “bounce back” mentality is dangerous.
1. It’s Dangerous to Your Mental Health
If you have in your mind that you “should” be able to do and be all of these things postpartum, that is going to be incredibly detrimental to your mental health. Every woman and every birth and postpartum experience is different. You HAVE to give yourself grace. You have to allow space for you to adjust to your new life with a new baby. You have to be flexible with your schedule and commitments and yourself! Is it ok to have goals and a plan postpartum? Absolutely! And I’d even argue that you should. But, leave room for the unexpected and allow those plans to be adjusted as needed in the wake of your new reality.
2. It’s Dangerous for Your Physical Health
Your body changes drastically during pregnancy and postpartum. Drastically. I like to make the comparison of being in a car accident and having surgery. You wouldn’t expect to just be up and at ‘em the next day. You shouldn’t expect the same thing after pregnancy and delivery, either! You will probably find that there are many ways your body will not be the same and that’s ok. There is so much that you can do to help yourself heal and get back to what you love doing. But, worrying about the number on the scale or inches around your waist isn’t going to get you there any faster. Allow space for healing and recovery before anything else!
Admittedly, some women do “bounce back” extraordinarily well by society’s standards. Some of it has to do with genetics, but, all too often, unhealthy guidelines are followed to attain this. Most women won’t have that “bounce back” experience. I don’t want you to sacrifice your health and wellness, both physically and mentally, in order to meet some ridiculous societal standard. Let’s do what’s best for our bodies and minds postpartum and give ourselves the space to heal and recover.