Last week I had the opportunity to spend an evening learning and sweating with forty other pregnant women during Flex Studios Prenatal Event. The event included a prenatal-safe pilates and TRX workout followed by an open discussion session with an amazing panel including:
-Founders of Truly MD Jaime M Knopman, MD FACOG and Sheeva Talebian, MD FACOG (Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology)
-Chief OBGYN Resident at NYU, Meggie Smith, MD
-Pelvic Floor PT Abigail Bailes, PT, DPT, CSCS
The supportive and open discussion allowed everyone to ask any question on their mind, ranging from commonly discussed things like weight loss to less discussed topics like waxing and self-love. Since the session was so helpful for me, and the advice came from experts, I wanted to share ten things these experts shared with us that I didn’t learn in childbirthing classes or other materials I’ve read.
- Be kind to yourself and your body. When you are nursing, your hormones aren’t at their baseline state.
- If you normally get waxed or shave, consider getting waxed right before your delivery! Reason being is that if you end up having a C-section, the nurses or doctors will quickly shave you, which may lead to ingrown hairs near the incision line. Moreover, the bandage for a C-section is often near the hair and can be pulled off when removing the bandage – ouch!
- GET RID OF THE BIRTH PLAN. The more you try to control your birth the more likely you are to have issues. Feel free to have requests, and ensure your partner or doctor know these requests, but understand that for your health and the baby’s health, they may have to alter the plan.
Stay at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. Enjoy a shower to help relieve the pain. Eat and drink. But, once your contractions intensify and are four minutes apart, make sure to head there immediately.
- While breathing techniques are nice, at the end of the day, the best tip that these doctors give to patients is to push as if you’re pooping.
- You may not immediately connect with your child and that’s okay, especially considering the state of your hormones following birth. However, make sure that you share your thoughts with someone whether it’s your partner, friend, doctor or loved one. 20% of women experience some form of postpartum depression and many never get the help they need. There are some great resources and information available on the site postpartumprogress.com.
- Speaking of nursing, it is not normal to lose all your weight while you’re still breastfeeding. you could probably say “it is normal if you do not lose all of your weight while breastfeeding” — some do and some don’t, most don’t! In fact, three of the speakers noted that they didn’t lose their last five to ten pounds until right after they finished nursing.
- Using a pump after birth can help with milk production so do not fear the pump.
- It is fine to use product such as Belly Bandit BUT you should wait 3-4 weeks before starting to use them and make sure to speak with your doctor. It’s important to ensure that you are no longer bleeding too much and that your uterus is starting to involute, a process that typically takes six weeks.
- There is no upside in returning to workouts too early. While six-week is the blanket statement, it is important to listen to your body. If you have tears or complications during delivery, your body will need more time to recover properly. Also, keep in mind that your body is experiencing constant sleep deprivation, dehydration, and lack of nutrients during these first few weeks of motherhood so recovery does not happen as quickly as it does after running a marathon. Those same workouts and adjustments you did during prenatal workouts are great to leverage postnatal as the relaxin stays in your body five to nine months postpartum.
Your Turn – If you’ve given birth, what was the best advice you received?