A physician at Tempe’s Desert Wellness Center
When I think about women’s health and postpartum health, the first things I think about are pelvic health, hormone balance, and mental health maintenance.
When you Google women’s health and postpartum health, headlines nearly always only point to mental health factors. There’s probably a lot of positive things to be said for this focus as mental health is still often put on the back burner, but I would argue that we’re forgetting the realities of the rest of our bodies.
When women age, have babies, and go through all the hormonal changes associated with the female life, a lot can shift.
I recently met the folks at Tempe’s Desert Wellness Center and was so encouraged by their approach toward women’s health. I took some time earlier this month to talk with Dr. Barbara Ezrre. Our Q/A is below.
What I learned after my firstborn was born
My little guy was born naturally the first week of March with the guidance and support of my husband, an incredible doula, a wonderful hospital staff, our perfectly (I'm not being facetious) stern doctor, after more than four weeks of early labor.
That's right. Over four weeks before our little man decided to make his debut, he was prepping the sails, revving the engine, and rolling out the red carpet.
Now in case you don't know what that is and think I'm a whiny-baby who was misreading her body's signs because "it's her first time," you can sit down and listen. Yes, this was my first experience with birth. No, these weren't Braxton Hicks. Yes, I was dilating and contracting for four plus weeks. Yes, this is normal. AND, no, you're wrong-- I'm actually really glad it played out like this.
Those four weeks were a gift from God to me. Literally.
I was forced to slow down and skip the gym and any extra exertion and literally prescribed by my doctor to relax and soak it all in. Although the 'sit down and watch TV,' and 'no walks for you,' drove me crazy, it caused me to look at a big truth in the face.
Birth will happen to you no matter how much you walked, crunched, lifted, or stretched.
You see, I had it in my head that I would do my best to have a natural labor, but that I should also be in great shape to make that a possibility.
That's just not the case.
If given the opportunity-- and barring any medical concerns-- your body, no matter its 'in shapeness' will do its job as its medically able.*
The pregnancy blogs and online articles don't warn you about the way pregnancy affects your marriage.
Sure, people say things will change and you'll grow closer. Others say that your husband will gain sympathy weight. But they don't tell you about the fears and insecurities you'll wrestle with, or the impact ever-changing hormones might have on your rationality as a pregnant woman.
In our pregnancy journey with our firstborn, our biggest argument was the cost and purchase of maternity clothes. Yep, you read that right. Maternity clothes.
Near the end of your pregnancy, or in my case, in the middle, you’ll start getting a wide variety of comments and questions from complete strangers in public about your pregnancy. If Scary Mommy articles weren’t enough of a hint, beware. People think your belly is their business.
Here’s a list of my top five favorite interactions (I wish I could say I made these up) and the things I wish I’d said: