In the last post, I spent a ton of time on a difficult topic: the health risks of mommy wine culture.
We don’t like to look at it. We don’t like to talk about it. We don’t like to hear about it. Just let us have our wine and relax. We worked 98 hours this week and we’ve earned it.
For some of you, it was a hard read. For some it was eye-opening. And for a few of you, it was “alarmist bullshit.” One particular mom said that I should be a part of the solution and not part of the problem. When I asked her what the solution was she said,
The solution is for you to mind what’s in your glass and stop worrying about everyone else.
I get it. I do. And maybe if I wasn’t a healthcare practitioner, minding my own glass would be easier. However, alcohol isn’t good for anyone.
According to the World Health Organization, “overall there is a causal relationship between alcohol consumption and more than 60 types of disease and injury. Alcohol is estimated to cause about 20-30% of worldwide esophageal cancer, liver cancer, cirrhosis of the liver, homicide, epilepsy, and motor vehicle accidents.” Every year, alcohol causes 1.8 million deaths.
So why, then, has #winemom become a growing hashtag? Why has this mommy wine culture simultaneously become a joke and a social movement? And why is it just moms?
Why are we willing to risk depression, anxiety, weight gain, osteoporosis, premature menopause, menstrual irregularity, infertility, systemic inflammation, stomach issues, gingivitis, impaired decision making, heart disease and a wide variety of cancers for the relief of a single glass of wine at the end of the night?
Because it’s our only choice.
At some point our society stood up and said that we would rather sacrifice the health and well-being of our mothers than to give them the community and support they need.
Some say that it was the hardest thing they have ever done in their life. Others say it was the best. Most agree it’s a little of both.
Whatever you think about labor and delivery and however you went about it, there is no argument: its recovery time.
I know some of you are reading this thinking that recovery will be no bigdeal. Some of you may even go to Target tomorrow. I hope that this post will change your mind.
Even if you feel great, you just ran your body through the ringer. It will take five weeks for your body to start to feel normal. Some traditional texts say that it will take 100 days for you to be back to where you were before you got pregnant. I’ve heard some professionals say that it can take up to three years to fully recover from childbirth.
But I’m here to give you good news. If you manage your recovery right, not only can you bounce back sooner, but you can bounce back better. The postpartum period is one of three opportunities a woman has to heal herself and build on the foundation she had before pregnancy so she can be harder, better, faster and stronger.
The modern American approach to postpartum care is lackluster at best.
It starts in the hospital with medical staff not knowing how to educate mothers about the signs and symptoms they should look for postpartum. There are even stories of women returning to the hospital postpartum complaining of symptoms and being turned away only to find out that their conditions are serious and life threatening. Medical staff are there to support you, but in the overwhelm and the confusion postpartum overlooking symptoms isn’t uncommon.