New mums have been targeted again with a male PT calling them “fat and lazy” and using their newborns as excuses for letting themselves go”. I thought I would write an open letter to Allan giving some insight into what it is really like to become a new mum.
Dear Allan Trinh
Thank you for sharing your opinion on what you believe is holding new mums back from exercising – their newborns, their weight and their laziness. But, have you ever considered what a new mother may have gone through prior to having her child? Maybe she has struggled to fall pregnant, had gruelling IVF, experienced multiple miscarriages or heartbreakingly delivered a stillborn. Her weight may have fluctuated during this time, but that is nothing compared to the changes her body has gone through.
For nine months, her body has changed in ways you (or any male) could not even imagine. Even the thinnest of women can add more kilos than what is supposedly recommended even if she remained active during her pregnancy. Her ligaments stretch, heart beats faster and she experiences the physical pain of carrying extra weight. Then there is the birth itself that doesn’t always go according to the birth plan. Whether it’s a natural labour or a c-section, a new mother’s body has changed forever.
Next she have everything that comes with being a new mother. You may see a new mother as needing to drop the kilos and get back to her pre-pregnancy weight as soon as possible, but what you don’t see is the cracked nipples, engorged breast or mastitis. You don’t see the sleepless nights, the baby with colic that cries for 13 hours straight, the painful shoulders and neck from feeding and falling asleep hunched over cradling her baby, the carpal tunnel from holding her baby or the tears that come with the overwhelming feeling of being a new mum. You don’t see her loose sacroiliac joint, weakened pelvic floor or diastasis recti. You don’t see her husband leave for work early each morning only to return home late at night, the constant dirty nappies, the vomit in her hair, the showerless mornings or the energy it takes to feed and care for her child. This is just a snapshot of what she goes through yet you and society still feel the need to fat shame. Compassion would be a better option.
A new mother who is lucky enough to have a pretty-chilled 10 month old son who is an amazing sleeper and keen exerciser. Even I can’t understand what many new mums go through, but I can at least show them some compassion.