Don’t Let This Common Pregnancy Problem Happen To You

After you have a baby, it's hard to know what is normal. Everything that you thought was “normal” about your life — eating, sleeping, taking a shower, even just sitting on the couch — has changed. 

And while some of those changes are to be expected, of course, there is still one very important aspect of your life after pregnancy that you should be on the lookout for:

Your health. 

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By now, most of us are familiar with the importance of being aware of postpartum depression (although, unfortunately, not aware enough, as one mother just recently lost her life to the disorder) as well as other other types of mental health disorders that can hit with pregnancy and the postpartum period. But ironically, as focused as we are on the mental health of mothers and as important as that mental health is, we might be overlooking the equally as important physical health of mothers. 

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Image via j&j brusie photography

Cosmopolitan recently reported that in the U.S., millions of women are being seriously injured as a result of pregnancy and childbirth. And U.S doctors aren't even addressing it. 

Birth injuries and injuries resulting from the sheer physical trauma and stress of carrying another human in your body are actually incredibly common. They range from everything from painful sex (mothers who have had C-sections also report painful sex, so it's not directly related to vaginal birth) to incontinence to back pain. Women are walking around after birth feeling like they have to “bounce back” by looking bikini-ready not even realizing that 29 percent of women have pelvic bone fractures and a whopping 41 percent had undiagnosed pelvic floor muscle tears. 

We are so focused on what a woman looks like after giving birth that we may be missing out on what's really important — her health and well-being from the inside out. 

In some ways, I wonder if we overlook mothers' physical health because to some degree, we kind of expect that pregnancy ruins our bodies. Saggy boobs, stretch marks, the infamous mama “pooch” — it's just all part of the package of motherhood sacrifice, right? Doctors, many of whom have traditionally been male and never actually experienced childbirth, have waved off women's concerns and past generations of women may have been hesitant to talk to their doctor's about “female” problems like incontinence and intimacy problems. The truth is, doctors aren't as educated about what problems women can face and sometimes, women aren't even aware of the risks to their bodies themselves.

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The point is, if you are pregnant or have had a baby in the past and are suffering from pain during sex, any sort of pelvic pain, or any type of incontinence (incontinence is not necessarily a normal part of being a mother!), please, please talk to your doctor about it. Becoming a mother does not have to mean your body should suffer forever. 

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Don’t Let This Common Pregnancy Problem Happen To You

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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