We all have patients that come in for SHAPE with a desire to get pregnant, some even struggling with fertility problems. I have noticed that sometimes despite our efforts, patients end up coming back a while after their pregnancy stressed, inflamed and having lost all of their pre-pregnancy progress.
Our culture in America is partially to blame for this – after pregnancy, we expect mothers to pick right back up with all of their daily tasks, and even return to work while they are still transitioning into motherhood and going through all of the changes associated with the fourth trimester. Society sets high expectations for mothers and when we can’t measure up to them, it can be easy to put our health aside and stop taking care of ourselves.
This is where we come in as practitioners to help our patients prepare emotionally and physically for the changes ahead of them so that they can best maintain their health. While we don’t have patients on the SHAPE drops during pregnancy or while exclusively breastfeeding, we would be doing them a disservice if we didn’t help guide them through the journey ahead. We can work with them on maintaining a healthy diet throughout pregnancy and tips on dealing with any nausea or cravings. Our biggest duty comes in preparing them for what comes during the postpartum period. Making healthy food and lifestyle choices postpartum is crucial for healing their body from the changes they have recently gone through. In addition to seeing our patients throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period to help guide them through this journey, one of the books I like to recommend is The Fourth Trimester by Kimberly Ann Johnson. This book helps guide pregnant moms through preparing for all aspects of the postpartum period and helps empower moms to take charge of their health after delivery.