Expectations versus Reality: the postpartum Dilemma

Have you heard this gem before? “Oh, you have knee pain? Just stop running for two weeks and try again.”

One of my clients got this “solution” from her primary care doctor.

She went to them because she  wanted to know if there was something structurally wrong with her knee. Because she went in with expectations of what she wanted from her provider,  she was able to pivot away from the doctor’s solution and find her own.

When I first see new moms, I ask them 

  1. “What’s your reality compared to what you expected to happen? 
  2. What are you not doing that you thought you would be able to do? 
  3. What symptoms are you experiencing that you didn’t expect?”

I was talking with a mom who was used to doing 30-40 minutes yoga sessions and, for many reasons,  hadn’t been able to get back to it. She could either keep banging her head against the wall and get frustrated when she didn’t get in her session OR she could aim for a different goal. She could choose to work on  re-establishing the habit of getting on the mat by doing a quick 7 minute flow whenever the time became available. 

I say this from experience, you can take the advice given but you have to frame it in the CONTEXT of your life. 

No one has written a book about YOUR postpartum experience or YOUR kids. 

There’s frustration in the fact that the plan isn’t laid out for you, but there’s also freedom in that blank page. YOU get to write your own story..

That can be very scary in the beginning. When you try to get that perfect thing in, you’re often setting yourself up to fail. Really it needs to start by figuring out what you can do to show up for yourself.

Do something that will fill up your cup and we can get to the rest later.

Moral of the story is when you’re working with a provider, take in the recommendations but make sure they fit the context of your life.