What a Picture Won’t Tell You About a Postpartum Journey

I was self conscious because people often asked me when I was due and I wasn’t pregnant. I worked out through the pain of my lower back and other really annoying symptoms.

Simply because I was told over and over again that my symptoms were… normal.

That the pain I was having was normal, that it was all part of motherhood and what did I expect after having three cesareans?

I never expected my body to not feel good or work right after children. My body grew a human, it’s amazing right?! Well then why didn’t I feel amazing?

Here’s the reason: Because no one told me about the tools I needed to help my body work the way it was intended.

I had an almost four finger wide diastasis recti and I had no idea what that even was. No doctor, no exercise program, not even any of my mom friends were talking about this!

The unspoken part of motherhood.

Diastasis recti (DR): diastasis = separation and recti = rectus abdominis (6 pack muscles).

In layman’s terms, diastasis recti is the separation of the ab muscles from the midline which then causes weakness.

A few common symptoms associated with DR is bloating and doming or coning at the midline often when the muscles are engaged. 66% of women with a diastasis recti have pelvic floor dysfunction. These symptoms may include weak pelvic floor, pelvic pain, urinary or fecal incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

(Oh yes, I’m going there because this is the stuff no one is talking about!)

Diastasis recti is actually a very beautiful thing if you think about it. Our bodies are so amazing that our rectus abdominis muscles separate from the midline (the connective tissue called the linea alba) so that baby has room to grow.

Our bodies were made to carry our babies. But just like any other muscle in the body that is stretched to the max, it will need some rehab and strengthening after and during pregnancy (if you are cleared by your doctor to workout during pregnancy).

Here’s the worst part.

I was going to the gym six days a week, doing all of the popular workouts that focus on weight loss and the way you look. I had zero knowledge of my pelvic floor and core and what vital puzzle pieces they were. I fasely thought I was in the best shape of my life in my before. I mean what else would you expect spending six days a week in the gym!

Society is good at telling us more is better, but I’m here to challenge that.

For the first time in my life I started to realize that less is more when dealing with the postpartum body. When I started with MUTU {an online post baby recovery program that focuses heavily on core and pelvic floor rehab}, my mindset started to shift.

It was so different but felt so right!

With the new year here my feed has been bombarded with weight loss this, weight loss that, women with their hot bodies and ripped abs asking me to join them. Join me and lose 20 pounds, but what if my goal isn’t weight loss? Why does it always have to be about that? So I’m sharing my MUTU journey with you today in hopes that it will help you too!

Postpartum is forever.

People see this and think two things very quickly:

  1. They either think they no longer fit in that postpartum category anymore, that it’s “too late.” I am here to tell you that postpartum is forever! Your postpartum body will continue to stay in it’s same state as long as you allow it to. I personally learned all of these things about my own body after baby number three. I wish I had someone like me to tell the things I tell women today ten years ago when I had my first baby!
  2. Or we often think we won’t get results from a “rehab” program that focuses on building the foundation first. I will put good money on the fact that you WILL sweat with this program, but first you build the foundation!

I have been pondering the thought of sharing my before and after photos online for a long time now.

I actually already wrote about it once but then I was afraid to share. I’m terrified of judgement, but this year I’m going in with the constant reminder that women not only deserve to know these things about their bodies but they also deserve answers too!

While I am showing you a picture, not about the difference you can see, but the difference I can feel. And you would never know the differences in how I felt by just looking at this picture. So I want to tell you how I feel in this before and after photo.

In my before picture (left), I was going to the gym six days a week. But I felt like no matter how hard I worked my tummy didn’t change. I worked through the pain over and over again working so hard to change the way my midsection looked. In hopes that something would work and people would stop asking me I was pregnant. People didn’t know I was feeling so self conscious from the outside looking in.

In my after picture (right), I was able to get my workouts in at home which by the way is a total mom win! I was committing about ten minutes a day everyday for my new core exercises which were like nothing I had even done before.

Then between 3-5 days a week I was adding on a 25 minute functional intensive all safe for my core and pelvic floor that I was healing! People didn’t know that I had drastically shifted my mindset and was actually doing less than before and everything started to change in the best way possible!

This is why I have made it my mission to talk about these not so talked about topics! You deserve education, resources and tools on YOUR body!

Things you shouldn’t accept postpartum:

  • Peeing your pants or wearing pads or adult diapers – NEVER should this be a thing
  • Lower back and hip or pelvic pain
  • Constipation and hemorrhoids
  • Painful sex
  • Any feelings of disempowerment about YOUR body!

Things you should realistically expect postpartum:

  • To have some form of diastasis recti. 100% of women get some form of DR in the 3rd trimester. Remember your body is amazing.
  • To not be able to jump back into “normal activity” six weeks later and that’s OK! You just grew a human be kind to yourself!
  • The healing process goes way past your six week checkup. It’s OK not not feel ready to go back to “normal activity,” and honesty I hope motherhood brings you a new norm. This is no competition this is about you feeling good.
  • To have some or all of these symptoms, but the important thing to remember is that this needs to be addressed and you shouldn’t feel like this long term.
  • To be exhausted and for it to take time for you to adjust to life as a mom. There is never any rush. You know your body better than anyone else, listen to it!

You should feel good and have a body that works right!

I suffered with pelvic floor dysfunction for six years and it didn’t need to be that way. I accepted my broken body and I didn’t know it could be different.

So this is why I share my before and after with you all today. This was from my very first journey with MUTU in 2015.

It was like nothing I had ever done before, but I did what I tell all of my moms to do and what I will leave you with today – trust the process!

To learn more about the Mutu Program – an online post baby recovery program that focuses heavily on core and pelvic floor rehab – and how it can change your life here.

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