Sevenkids & Tinyshoes
Here is my rant.My first baby
(18 hour hospital labor, no epidural, painfree thanks to
I went up and down the stairs the first 2 weeks. I had no idea of this "40 days of rest" observed around the world or why. My El Salvadorean cleaning woman was
shaking her head at me and telling me this was a BAD bad thing. I poo poo'd her. I felt absolutely fine.
A few short months later, I felt like my insides were coming out.
I was totally panicked. I read up online about prolapsing and how it's happening more to women in their 30s!!! Whereas in the past it used to happen to women in their 50s (years after they were done with childrearing.) Hmmm. (The more I read, the angrier I became. It seems to me that this is a silent epidemic that no one talks or writes about. Jacklyn, you are very lucky your midwives even mentioned it!)
I was seriously afraid I couldn't CARRY a second baby! I did see some Maori healers for the prolapse (you can do a search on the health and healing board for my experience with it). It did resolve in time.
I do have a weak pelvic floor to begin with. I've had incontinence (urge to pee frequently and some accidents) ever since early childhood. I'm not overweight. But I've always had a flabby tummy (no ab strength) which doesn't help. And the horrible, forced pushing I did for 2 hours under Pitocin
(so as to avoid a C-sec) didn't help matters either.
The cervix dialates to 10 cm. That's pretty big. How long does it take to shrink back.... give it time... be gentle on yourself. They say it takes 6 weeks for the uterus to shrink back. That's what women need.... six weeks to be "off the hook" from any expectations of work. Let someone else get up, walk to the fridge and grab you a sandwich or a drink (if you are lucky enough to have someone with you). Even if you don't have "risk factors" it is still wise to stay off your feet and off the stairs, as much as humanly possible (limit it to 1 or 2x a day if you have to use the stairs.)
Check this out:Traditional Health Beliefs of the Vietnamese culture
|Walking is done in small steps to prevent the uterus from falling out of her body.
Interesting isn't it?Second baby
This time, I was determined
to do things differently. I read books on postpartum care BEFORE I gave birth and told my DH (and everyone else) I too would be observing the 40 days of rest at home. I lined up help.
SIL stayed with me for 2 weeks. I didn't see this as getting to be "spoiled." I saw this as a way to contribute to my inner, physical healing. So I did not dread this time (feeling trapped). I enjoyed it.
I stayed upstairs for 2 weeks. I didn't go downstairs.
I did feel guilty. My DH or SIL were delivering meals to me (at 2 weeks) but I felt great.
Week 3 my SIL couldn't stay anymore. My original wish for 40 days (6 weeks) of rest was cut short dramatically. I had to leave the house (take my 4 yr old to summer school, so he wouldn't be climbing the walls at home) and was out of the house (driving car, climbing in and out of new-mini-van
) and guess what... I over did it.
While I physically felt great and wanted to be out doing stuff, my innards weren't ready, at all.
Week 4 I felt a horrible bulging in my vagina. It turned out I had a cystocele (bladder bulging into the vagina) AND a rectocycle (rectum bulging into the vagina.) My OB was vague... "stay off your feet."
So I called my psychic (my friend's SIL who lives the next town over who I talk to from time to time, not an 800 #). I asked her "how long should I stay off my feet? in bed?" Answer (this is why I love talking to her - I got a solid answer) 4 more weeks.
: (BTW, after the 4 weeks, it did get A LOT better. My midwife said the rectocele was gone.
My friends were wonderful. One picked up my son from school, another dropped him off and so on. I had 2 babysitters rotating.
I HATED being inside that second round, because it felt forced and was unexpected, but I had to do it. Sadly, I didn't have any other female family members to stay with me - like in other cultures.
Finally, I just wanted to say that I found a paper online a few years ago about a study in rural India. Typically the only vacation the women who worked the fields got was the 40 days of rest after birth. When the women went right back to work (hey, they say they feel fine, right?) they started noticing something that never happened before - more instances of prolapse.
And I doubt those women (used to hard physical work) had "risk factors." I doubt their abs were flabby like mine.
: would like a third child. I wonder if I can carry another baby without doing more damage. I did do some PILATES (with someone who works on strengthening the PF after birth) and see a PT for a month... I need to go back.
BTW, postpartum doulas in my area cost $25 per hour
: and there is a 20 hour minimum (or something.) But, heck, if I have to next time, then I'll pay it.
I do not see the "baby moon" as some conspiracy to keep women down
home and barefoot. Is there anything wrong with GENTLY INSISTING that women stay off their feet as much as possible for the first few weeks? Have
someone else care for the younger children/pets while YOU focus on healing.
Electra - you are right, most women don't have the luxury of a helpful mother or MIL. My mother is dead and my MIL is NOT nurturing or helpful when she visits. I begged my sister to come stay with me (she couldn't) and I begged my SIL. She did.
I was hoping to write an article for MDC about this issue. (I wish I had the time.) Women need to be made aware.
(But then you have people like my friend who was out and about 1-3 days after her 1st homebirth (a VBAC no less) no problems.
Fine. But... at least women need the INFORMATION to make their own informed choices. If they want to do whatever afterwards, so be it. At least they were warned.)
nak on the boppy, in front of my flat screen monitor (no or minimal radiation)