Do any of us come out unscathed?
How many women’s bodies ACTUALLY bounce back? (answer 0.000001%)
I can tell you right now mine didn’t. After the second time it was harder to feel me and now I know exactly what I am left with. It’s unlikely but not impossible that any of my muscles (pelvic floor and abdominal) will recover beyond this point.
My postpartum body is a slow evolution and back when the babies were new, I witnessed my body morph almost at the same time each of my babies went through a wonder week. Admittedly, going into postpartum recovery I was kind of equipped and prepared, well, as well as you can be. I found a good quality mums and bubs workout class and mostly gave my body what it needed. Mostly.
Above all, I went into motherhood with the mantra – you can be a mama and be sexual. I still say this to myself and to other women A LOT. Just because I went into motherhood with this and you’re reading it now, doesn’t mean it is too late. Promise. You start reminding yourself of this from today. I’ll likely never stop saying it.
Admittedly, there are moments in intimacy where I am on all fours and I look down to see my tummy in its doming football shape hanging down with it’s Shar Pei skin and really want to look away. It’s tempting to go down a spiral but I intervene early. I ask myself: how is this going to get me more into intimacy and more into the moment?
The answer is…it won’t. In those moments, I make a choice to go back inward to the sensations I feel.
For the most part, seeing my own body isn’t about the appearance but there is this prevailing sense of loss for abdominals that were once together, as opposed to separated. When I notice this, I lift them up for a moment and check they are supported – I don’t want to undo any work that has brought them together.
Please note: I used the word supported not tighter or firmer.
One thing to keep in mind in intimacy if you do have abdominal separation or some weakness in your tummy is that every time you do “core on” your pelvic floor lifts up as well. This is important. Your pelvic floor being in a contracted or tense state can make it hard to open up and I’m not just referencing receiving penetration but being in that open state makes it easier to be soft in your internal and external anatomy.
Pelvic floor up and in contraction tends to close everything up.
Pelvic floor down and in a state of relaxation tends to open everything up.
And being open is sexy. Confident. Assured. It requires that gorgeous blend of vulnerability and femininity that can be a little hard to come by. You’ve got it in you to go there. You’ve always had it in you.
And if you need reminding, as mama’s we are often going there just it’s in a different way and with a different intention. We did it during pregnancy, birth (no matter how you gave birth) and in raising our little ones. If nothing else, motherhood shows us what we are made of and how adaptable we are.
That same power can be brought into sex and intimacy.
In fact, I think it’s sexy that we have been through so much and we are still standing. Sure there are some aspects of technology that are making modern day mamahood easier but there is far less of a tribe aspect than there used to be and that makes our current experiences a whole lot harder. It’s possible that this means less positive role modelling of what postpartum really looks like, which I can tell you is nothing like some of the posed shit you see on Instagram.
Speaking of Instagram - it does have some wonderful stuff and this is something that hit home for me.
There was something that I watched just the other day that I have transcribed a little of when it comes to women’s bodies. Trailblazer Jameela Jamil put it this way:
Those first few words she said really resonated with me as I like to feel that I value time and value our power in investing in our time. To see it as a clear exchange between destroying our confidence by hating on our bodies and the very real truth that the same time could be spent in a state of creativity struck a nerve.
What one is really going to enrich your life and get you closer to where you need to be?
Is it possible for you to consider that you are sexy AS YOU ARE. It wasn’t an accident that a big undercurrent of my Permission book is ownership.
This is your body as it is right now in this moment and this moment is all you have. I’ve come to learn that the magical thinking of ‘when this happens THEN I’ll be happy/sexy/relaxed…’ can be a trap. When one thing or stressor comes to a close, there often is another not far behind.
It’s also a call to come back into the fact that attractiveness and sexiness are authentically measured with confidence. You can see by the way someone holds themselves that they are sexy because they own it. 2 seconds later you could see an ideal woman (whatever the F that is) walk behind her and instantly pick up that she has little confidence and is unhappy with her body, her life and what she has or feels she doesn’t have. The body often shows us what the voice has trouble saying.
When it comes to having a postpartum body – I want you to remember what your body did, which is an act of absolute magic.
Your body as it used to be is gone. It isn’t coming back.
Mourning for it is wasted time and energy. You are hot and sexy right now. Every moment in sex you worry about your body is one less moment you can spend with it feeling good. It is near impossible to be both in pleasure and in worry – they are two opposing states for our nervous system.
Here’s what your body wants you to focus on:
+Am I getting what I need? Nutrients, sleep, iron. Please get your iron levels checked. This floooored me last year and I needed an infusion.
+Am I moving in a way that feels good for me? A gym membership will just go to waste if you aren’t into high intensity workouts and they feel jarring to your postpartum body. I personally love swimming and dancing so I do them where I can. Do the movement that you like rather than the exercise you think you have to do. Your body works on incentive and you’ll feel more joy and lusciousness doing what feels good. You’ve got a better chance of bringing that mode into the bedroom than the one that feels gruelling.
+Am I allowing myself to down-regulate and complete my stress cycles? This helps your outlook on sex, intimacy and your body immensely. If you are in constant stress, it’s a block to being in your body – you just want to be OUT of it. But there is no getting out. This is your body. Watch out for alcohol too. It might relax us initially but then it puts our body into a state of stress when we are detoxing it. #unsexy
+Am I skipping the comparisonitis and doing what works for me? Trying to fit your body into a mould that works for someone else’s body can create dissociation. Get accurate guidance about what you need. I have heard nothing but praise for Lifestyle Artists and their approach to working out the blueprint and patterns that your body needs.
And if I had to nut all of this down to one line…one quick download for you, it would be this.
Own it. You are a sexy mama. Just as you are.
P.S. Need a little help on getting clear about how intimacy and mamahood can intertwine and be good bedfellows? I have an offer for you…
Mamas, I see you and I feel you. It ain’t easy. We can be so hard on ourselves but the thing is, that isn’t getting us any closer to what it is we want to feel. If you need my support to defrost those parts of you that feel unreachable and to get into your body as it is now then I am here for you. An introductory session is the most effective way to honour where you have been and what you need. You ready? Go to the sessions page to book in a pressure free yet potent process and I’ll see you soon.