Why “Bouncing Back” After Birth Sabotages Postpartum Healing (And What to Do Instead)
The notion of “bouncing back” after giving birth has become an expectation for many new birthgivers today. However, striving to return to our pre-pregnancy bodies and routines right away can actually be detrimental to postpartum healing and bonding as well as our mental health. In this post, we’ll explore why bounce back culture is so problematic and share alternative approaches that truly support new parents.
Reframe the Unrealistic Expectations of “Bouncing Back”
A key issue with bounce back culture is the assumption that it’s normal or expected to revert wholly back to your pre-pregnancy state. As soon as possible we expect ourselves to start “losing the baby weight” and incorporating our little babies into our pre-pregnancy life and routines.
There is no “pre-pregnancy body” to bounce back to. Our bodies transformed, stretched, shifted and grew to carry a whole other life for +/- 9 full months…why would it take any less than that for it to settle into a non-pregnant state?
Pregnancy reshapes us even on a cellular level. In fact, fetal stem cells can be found in the mother’s body even decades later. This illustrates that the impacts of pregnancy last far beyond birth itself and the first six weeks postpartum.
So taking all of this into account, expecting ourselves to “snap back” to our old bodies and lives overnight, ignores the incredible transformation we’ve undergone. Let’s stop counting down the days until we fit into our old jeans. Why don’t we instead, take the time to honor the miraculous journey our body has taken and embrace our new normal.
Steps to Take to Trade in Self-Loathing for Self-Love
Rather than punishing your postpartum body through restriction and criticism, the priority needs to be compassionate self-care.
This looks like:
- Making peace with your changed body through affirmations and releasing unrealistic expectations
- Fueling your recovery with nutrient-dense whole foods instead of calorie counting
- Getting adequate rest and support so your body can heal birth trauma
- Fostering patience and presence with your baby instead of rushing the bonding process
- The key is nourishing and appreciating the incredible job your body has done. When we shift focus away from what our body looks like to what it has given us, we can be more present with our babies during those precious early months.
Honor Your Body’s Transformative Journey
Reclaiming Postpartum as a Time for Nourishment and Healing
When we reject the toxic B.S. of bounce back culture we can re-envision the postpartum period as a special, sacred time for connecting, healing and nurturing (for both you and baby).
This requires placing your wellbeing at the center instead of just as an afterthought. Self-care cannot be treated as a luxury when your body has so much healing yet to do.
Planning ahead is essential so you have proper support lined up. Aspects like nutrition, household help, partner teamwork and medical care need addressing BEFORE birth so that nurturing yourself afterward is actually possible.
Invest in Specialized Care for Your Postpartum Healing
If you feel alone or overwhelmed by the lofty expectations of “getting your body back,” it’s not your fault. Bounce back notions permeate our culture. But with the right support, you can rewrite the script and reclaim postpartum as a precious season of self-care.
Consider working with Jessi to create a customized healing plan for your transition into motherhood. Having her expert guidance and support can make all the difference.
Immersive Postpartum Coaching for Holistic Support
For comprehensive support, the Empowering Postpartum Coaching Program provides three months of tailored guidance across all aspects of postpartum planning, prep, and recovery. Get access to a full six-week nutrition plan, relationship strategies, newborn care education, and more so you can focus on what really matters – healing deeply and bonding with your little one.
The program is designed to help you:
- Stock your kitchen with simple, nutrient-dense meals to replenish your depleted stores
- Curate your village of household help, childcare, and emotional support
- Strengthen connection and communication in your partnership to share the parental load from the very beginning
- Map out priorities and self-care practices that truly serve you (we are talking “soul-care” here)
- Break free from toxic cultural narratives around postpartum, creating your our path centered around your holistic well-being
- Navigate the ups and downs of your fourth trimester once baby arrives earthside, so you have the guidance and support to implement your postpartum plan with ease
With Jessi as your postpartum coach cheering you on and customizing each step, you’ll feel seen, heard, and nourished throughout your journey into parenthood. Learn more here!
Restore and Revitalize: Wherever You are in Your Postpartum Journey
If your priority is simply nourishing and restoring your body after birth without the postpartum planning and support, the Postpartum Nutrition Planning package delivers everything you need to refuel and restore from birth. Get seven private coaching calls to guide you in preparing and adapting a science-backed meal plan designed by experts to address nutrient depletion after pregnancy and birth. Whether you recently gave birth or are years into parenting, customized nutritional support can help resolve any lingering depletion. Check out all the info on this incredible program here!
Choose Compassion Over Pressure for a Blissful Fourth Trimester
Release the pressure to “bounce back” and instead embrace nourishing your body with compassion so that you can create space for the profound healing and beautiful bonding that new parenthood can bring. You deserve nothing less than a fourth trimester full of nurturing love, support, nourishment, and recovery.