The Fourth Trimester: Meditating in a girdle
So in my mind, my life is basically divided into two segments: Life before Savannah was born (BS) and life after she made her debut (AS).
BS I had some hippy tendencies — I was a no bra, no shoes, toes in the sand, drink in hand kind of girl.
AS, I’m still a beach loving hippy at heart, but the way my post-partum (PP) body is setup... I’m wearing ALL the contraptions…ugh. Nursing bras stuffed with leakage pads 24/7, high waist undies (also stuffed with leakage pads), and a surgical grade girdle! Now if that doesn’t paint a sexy picture for you I don’t know what will! ha
I’m learning that the PP period or Fourth Trimester is an extremely delicate time. Your body is working overtime to heal, while providing nourishment for your new little human. And it’s doing all of this on very little fuel, because well, sleep is basically nonexistent.
I can’t speak for all women, but for me, and some of my mama friends there’s been this inherent pressure to “snap back”. And while I definitely think snapping back should be on the priority list…I’m not sure it’s the ONLY thing we should be focused on.
Now, mind you, this is all coming from a new mom who strapped on her post-partum girdle about 4 days after welcoming little Savannah Rose earthiside...So...Yeah.
By the way, I strongly recommend BelleFit medical grade girdles! (https://www.bellefit.com/)
But I think it’s just as important, if not even more necessary, for us to take time to be still, heal, adjust to our new normal, and enjoy baby bliss.
During my 4th trimester, I’ve tried to be intentional about meditating, being present, and focusing on being madly in love with our baby, my man, and myself! Yep, IN LOVE WITH MYSELF-- muffin top, tummy pouch, engorged, leaky boobs and all.
And I have to say, it’s a very weird space to be in -- Stuffing pads in your panties (think diaper) and then sucking in that tummy and strapping on a gridle, to go nurse baby?…Like wait…What? What’s happening? Who am I? How does any of this make sense?! Ha
Full transparency -- All in all, during my 3,785 months of pregnancy LOL I gained 35 pounds.
In the first 6 weeks PP, I lost 22 of those pounds!
My “workout plan” consisted of occasional walks to the mailbox, countless trips to the fridge and bathroom, a whole lot of newborn lifting, and lots of newborn feeding.
I still have a ways to go, and a lot more muscle to build but, I’m sharing these numbers because for me, it was very enlightening to see how my body lost a good portion of the weight ON ITS OWN.
After birthing a whole human, a placenta, a lot of fluids and blood, the body continues to expel energy, burn calories, and rid your body of unneeded fluids!
*Cue the glorious night sweats that soak your body, your bed, your spouse...Ha -- Pretty much everything, every night while you sleep for the first few weeks after giving birth. Far from sexy, BUT super cool. Just another example of the body, taking care of business. For someone like myself, who doesn’t know much about the science behind it all, its mind-blowing!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last year is that the woman’s body is pure magic. It will do exactly what it needs to do. Just let it!
That said, I hope that as women, during those initial 6 weeks following birth, we can give ourselves permission to focus on mental and spiritual health. Sure, strap on that girdle, but then do some guided mediation (I love using my Expectful app for this or anything by Davidji), reading, or patio sitting. Take time to relax and do whatever makes you feel more whole.
Today, our Angel Baby is 7 weeks old! (Her smile is EVERYTHING!!!!)
...I’ve been cleared to start working out again! I’m thrilled, I feel ready, but I’m definitely easing back into it.
And while I’m excited about dropping this last 10 pounds, and tightening up again. I’m going to try to make sure that I focus on loving myself and my body as it is.
When I look in the mirror, I see more imperfections than I’ve ever seen before. I mean, there are even parts of my naked body that I don’t recognize! But even so, I feel more sexy, more strong, and powerful than I’ve ever felt before. I guess that’s what mamahood (and a good man) do for you? While far from perfect, one thing’s for sure, I stand completely in awe of my body. (Special thank you to my hubs for loving me and making me feel beautiful through every phase of this journey!)
BS, I got some really good advice from a friend. She said to hold on to my maternity clothes and be prepared to continue wearing them for a few months after giving birth because you don’t’ lose all the weight all at once. And even as you loose the weight, your body shape is still very different than it was pre-pregnancy so your old clothes won’t necessarily fit how you want them to right away.
So, I’m no expert at any of this, but now that I’m going through it, I’d say, yes honey, bind that tummy, slip back into those maternity clothes, take time to be still, and always wear big hair, because yes, the bigger the hair the closer to God, but also...As pictured below, 5 weeks PP -- The bigger the hair, the smaller the bod. LOL!
But in all seriousness, allow yourself some grace.
You were pregnant for 9 or 10 months, so have realistic expectations and don’t think of the “snap back” as a physical goal or destination, but rather an all encompassing mind, body, soul, wellness journey.