I have never heard of the fourth trimester before I gave birth to my daughter three years ago. At the standard 6 week postpartum checkup, I was told by my gynae that everything was perfect and I had recovered very well. I gave all my attention to my newborn, without knowing that my own body would take much longer than 6 weeks to recover properly. After all, my body carried a baby for more than 9 months, the abdominal muscles that were meant to stabilise and balance the body were hugely stretched and weakened. I soon developed back strain after breastfeeding around the clock for weeks. As an attempt to gain my strength back, I took a private Pilates class 3 months after my delivery and my spine was severely damaged by the so-called professional trainer who actually knew nothing about how to train a postpartum body and blindly pushed my physical limits. Most people don't know that weak core health, poor breathing mechanics, hormonal influences, incontinence, haemorrhoids, depression and so on are some of the very real issues new mothers face in postpartum, but oftentimes they just quietly suffer on their own. In a society where we only hear about weight loss as a main postpartum issue, I want to shout out loud that we have been ignoring many physical and mental challenges in postpartum that can potentially change a woman’s life forever and we need to do much better.

Sunnystep Mother’s Day message this year is about sharing those challenges of being a new mother. We want to tell every new mother out there, you are not alone. Please take good care of yourselves so that you can take care of your little ones.

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ccc www June 30, 2022

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