All along, I had been wrong, thinking I knew what it meant to snap back after pregnancy. Initially, I thought I’d pop out my baby and be back to my pre-pregnancy body immediately, just like the celebrity women who make it seem so easy.
I’m not a naïve person so I guess you could chalk the aforementioned sentiment up to wishful thinking. I lost enough pregnancy weight to give me hope that I can get back to my pre-pregnancy size, but my concept of snap back has changed now that I know better.
Every woman’s experience will vary, but my version of snap back involves working toward being able to walk comfortably again and learning to live with my new normal — a body that will never be the way it was before.
I have been athletic my entire life and I even taught pole dancing until I was eight months pregnant, so it was a humbling experience, when on the fourth day of my daughter’s life, a simple 20-minute walk to her pediatrician felt near impossible. I was still sore, and felt like my pelvis was going to collapse. I chalked that up to being so fresh from giving birth and figured I’d be fine in another couple of days. But I was wrong again.
I also started to notice it was uncomfortable to sit up straight on hard surfaces. Basically, my pelvic region needed some TLC — in order to do that, I realized I couldn’t push myself too hard.
It took me a full month to be able to walk without discomfort again, and about five weeks to be able to sit comfortably.
I recently had my standard, six-week postpartum check-up and got clearance from my doctor to resume my pre-pregnancy activities, depending on how I feel, but the truth is, I still don’t feel 100 percent ready yet. I’m mentally ready to start being active again, but I have to wait until my body says it’s time.
I’ve learned an important lesson: You can’t really place a timeframe on postpartum recovery, no matter how fast-paced your life may be. As cliché as this might sound, it’s important to take it day by day. No two postpartum recoveries are the same, but listen to whatever your body is telling you and be kind to yourself.