In my fourth decade, with a wobbly stomach that resembled a bowl of abgoosht and a few extra pregnancy pounds, I embraced my new shape, feeling blessed as a new mum. Everything made me smile, well everything apart from my six-week check!
I had read that being an older mum would be tough, but giving birth to a healthy baby at 40 filled me with a sense of achievement akin to climbing Mount Damāvand. Six weeks after Little C was born, my pre-pregnancy clothes didn’t fit, but I didn’t mind. A healthy diet and exploring our new neighborhood kept me active and confident.
Unexpected Turns at the Doctor’s
Feeling confident, I walked into the doctor’s office for my six-week check-up, expecting questions about my well-being. The highly anticipated six-week check-up was an essential milestone for me, but it became a pivotal moment in my postpartum journey. This routine medical appointment, aimed at ensuring the well-being of both mother and baby, turned out to be more than just a physical examination.
As I walked into the doctor’s office, my mind was filled with expectations of discussing my physical recovery, emotional well-being, and any concerns I might have had about the road ahead. However, the reality unfolded quite differently. The questions posed by my GP seemed vague, and the focus on my age and weight caught me off guard. The GP’s remarks about my weight and body were unexpected and hurtful. Despite a traumatic birth and lack of family support, I had managed everything on my own for six weeks.
Rather than a comprehensive assessment of my overall health, the check-up became a spotlight on societal expectations and body image. The unexpected remarks about my weight and the suggestion to walk an hour a day to shed the postpartum pounds, left me feeling vulnerable. It was a stark contrast to the emotional support I had anticipated at this point in my motherhood journey. Feeling distressed, I was determined to take charge. Despite the lack of childcare, I was on a mission to prove the GP wrong and improve my BMI.
Despite rock-bottom body confidence, I was determined to feel the burn and get my BMI below 28. The lack of childcare wouldn’t deter me; I was committed to finding a way. This experience brought to light the need for a more holistic approach to postpartum care. One that acknowledges the physical, emotional, and societal aspects of a new mum’s well-being. Beyond the physical recovery, the six-week check should encompass a thoughtful exploration of the challenges that accompany the transformative journey into motherhood.
I realised that motherhood wasn’t just about physical challenges, but also about overcoming societal expectations. In the face of adversity, I was determined to redefine my postpartum experience on my terms.
At the six-week check, your body gets the spotlight in a postpartum check-up, happening about six weeks after you’ve embarked on this wild journey of parenthood. Doctors will examine you to make sure you’re healing properly.
Read more on my fitness journey as a new mum over 40 with a blog post about my countryside ramble.