What if Tom Brady had knee surgery and then all anyone cared about was if and when he’d fit back into his shiny white football pants?
Unimaginable, right? Right. Because he’s an athlete and his function in the world is deemed valuable by our society for reasons other than the object of him. And, so, because of that, if he were to suffer an injury, he would then gain access to incredible medical care and rehabilitation. The top of line. The best of the best. The latest and the greatest. Why? Because the focus is on getting him not only back in action quickly, but back in action dynamically and in a way that surpasses his previous condition.
Now, let’s get real. No offense meant to any football go-ers, but the dude plays football. And his hypothetical knee surgery, while not worthy of diminishing, is also just an injury isolated to a joint and easily reparable through fairly minor surgerical procedures.
You can see where I’m going here, right?
Yeah, I’m talking about women and the athletic process that is motherhood, but yet the complete undermining of that process as anything other than athletic, which results in a situation of postpartum neglect.
And before you think I’m getting all whiny here and boo hoo hoo, listen carefully. I’m not. I’m talking facts and logistics. This is not an op-ed piece arguing for rights. This is a deliberate, careful declaration about a reality that is so pervasively common in 2016 that I actually find myself chuckling with madness as I write this. You see, I’m a professional with many years in the field of integrating women’s bodies and I have simply had enough of hearing women blame themselves for physical deterioration that is not their fault at all, but instead rooted in medical postpartum neglect. And I’m here today to set forth an initiative about the people who ought to be most valued above all else and whose bodies ought to be treated as the most worthy of careful, thorough physical rehabilitation: Mothers.
LET'S TAKE A LITTLE HOP, SKIP, AND JUMP OVER TO THE INCREDIBLE FEATS OF THE FEMALE BODY DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY/BIRTH:
(You can click on the images below to see them bigger or just skip over them to get THE POINT OF THIS TIRADE now)
Did you notice that during that postpartum period there isn't a single mention of clinical rehabilitation or physical therapy for the female body? In fact, quite the opposite is suggested. She’s told not to move. She’s even scared a bit out of it. Yet, she’s going home to do some of the most arduous, physically taxing work she has ever done - all with a core that is at it’s weakest point ever in her life.
That’s weird, isn’t it? I mean, if you look at some of even the most common surgeries done today, from arthroscopic surgery to joint replacement to broken bones, every single one of them REQUIRES by prescription from the surgeon at least 6 weeks of clinical physical therapy.
Yet, women, after undergoing nearly 10 months of the insanely miraculous changes to their physical structure and then after undergoing the serious event of birth, are not only NOT prescribed a single day of physical therapy, they are told to not exercise at all. And then - THEN - at 6 weeks postpartum, when mom walks back into the doctor's office exhausted and completely disintegrated in her core, the doc says, YAY BONUS TIME, YOU’RE ALL CLEAR FOR SEX AND EXERCISE. And then the pressure is on, not for her to get back to being a fully functional body, but for her to "get her body back" and fit into those skinny jeans again so we can all applaud her for not looking like she ever had a baby.
What is going on? Why is this happening?
1. We still, in 2016, do not take seriously the physicality and function of the female experience. We still objectify it. When we objectify something, we place more emphasis on how a thing looks than what it does dynamically. Women, since we were teensy weensy, have been conditioned to believe that it matters more how we look, rather than what we’re doing. And, so, after we become moms, our value in society is immediately ripped away because our object - our body - has changed. So, there’s this perfect breeding ground for us to want to keep our societal value in tact by “getting out bodies back” rather than restoring full function to our core and building dynamic strength that we deserve and that is entirely possible.
2. We still, in 2016, do not view the work of pregnancy, birth, and raising children as an athletic pursuit. We still see it as some sort of mushy, normal thing a woman goes through that inevitably “ruins” her body. Bull crappy! Do you know how amazing the female body is? And do you know how much stronger it can get - with the right support - after even multiple children? And do you even know what the female body does every single day to raise children? Eat shit Tom Brady (said with love and in jest, people).
3. Women have been so conditioned for so long to punish and pummel themselves in exercise that physicians actually HAVE to order a 6-week moratorium on exercise to protect women and to protect themselves. If not, it's highly likely that at least 7 out of their 10 patients would go out and toss tires and run marathons a couple weeks after having a babe and get severely injured. So, we have a litigious system now that involves a blanket statement against ALL exercise, because, well, the risk could be too huge if it's not there.
So, here’s the thing. The solution is so so so so so so so so so so so so so so easy. I know because even little old me has created a method that can be done directly after birth that only involves breathing. Like, inhale and exhale. I mean, we know a mom ought not be doing crazy tire-pushing and hot yoga-ing and marathoning after birth, BUT mom is gonna go home and breathe, right? Why not breathe dynamically and in a way that integrates her core with zero impact and zero risk? And why not rehab her when her body and mind and heart and soul need it most?
My declaration - and my request for your support and your name - is that all mothers ought to receive clinical rehabilitation after birth via a prescription from the doctor or, at the least, through a network of postpartum specialists. I mean, they are in and out of your room doing x, y, and z. Why not teach you a very simple breathing technique that will dramatically alter your experience as a mother?
So so so so so so so so so so easy.
I have three calls for action for you:
1. Please fill out the form below and add your name to the list of people (men and women) who support this idea. I will send a formal letter (leaving out Tom Brady, I promise) issuing our belief that women ought to receive prescriptions for clinical rehabilitation directly after giving birth to the top 5 ob/gyn hospitals in the US: Mayo Clinic, Brigham & Women’s, Cleveland Clinic, Mass General Hospital, and UCSF Medical Center.
2. Please share this wild declaration near and far so we can build the list. Everyone on it will receive updates and info regarding the progress.
3. If you are a momma and you’ve been blaming yourself - either for just weeks or for decades - for not being strong and able, find good help from knowledgable expert in the field of core integration and pelvic floor rehab. Obviously, I’m biased to our incredible Di-Recti here at Momma Strong, but I actually don’t care where you find it. I just want you to get what you deserve and demand your function over your object.
Go. Fill out the form. Share this. Inhale. Exhale. Do the thang.
(click the image below to pull up the form)