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Let’s talk Post-Partum!

Dr. Lauren Leiva

The greatest joy in my life was the birth of my first son, now 12. The next greatest joy was the birth of my second son, now 3. However, my greatest fear was the possibility of losing my life each time and not knowing how and if my body would come out the other end or if I would even be there for my children.

Though my experience was on the extreme side of the spectrum, ALL women experience changes in their body AND mind from the time of conception, throughout pregnancy and even after birth. Just as our bodies change with age, some women are blessed enough to go through the transitional period of childbirth if they choose and there are some basic tips to keep your body strong while pliable. It’s important to have a balance in life but also in your body, especially in preparation for birth and healing. Plus, it’s never too late. If you have diastasis recti or bowel/bladder dysfunction from many years ago, IT DOESN’T MATTER. You can start the road to recover today! If there is a will, there is a way and I will show you. My story is crazy! Listen in. #mindovermatter

My story with pregnancy:

During my last pregnancy, I was hospitalized for almost 9 months, and this is also why it will be my last. Rough from the start, I was septic with abscess sitting on top of my uterus, restricted to bed rest. The pain was excruciating, and the atrophy set in. My whole being started deteriorating slowly and the only thing that kept me alive was the thought of my then 9-year-old son and my baby inside me. I was ONLY living for them. Soon I was restricted to nothing by mouth and fed through a picc line for 18 weeks. No food while pregnant - that’s an oxymoron. When I couldn’t handle it anymore, I would sneak down the aisles collecting ketchup packets as my main course. The insanity was kicking in. I felt like an animal in a cage not myself at all. After the birth and multiple surgeries, I was told I need an abdominal binder to keep my intestines and other organs from popping in and out constantly and they doubted I could return to resistance training and yoga teaching. It saved my life. Due to my colostomy and reversal, I was told my stool would never be solid because the part of my intestine that reabsorbed water was no longer there, so incontinence was a frequent occurrence (and I’m not talking number 1, though that was a big possibility as well.) Mentally I was broken, physically I couldn’t even recognize myself and spiritually, I had an awakening. Emotionally labile I was going through constant realizations and breakdowns as I came to the conclusion; the mind is truly everything and mental health is way more important than physical health. Switching my focus on finding acceptance for my new self because before this moment, no matter what I tried, I was incapable of letting go of my physical appearance which was driving my mental depression and affecting the way I could be a mother to my children and a wife to my husband. Months after my hospital discharge, I attended a Mind Body Yogafit conference and one of my yoga instructors referred to the body as a “meat suit in this dimension”. And that is just what it is. I was finally at peace with my entire situation and from that moment on the real healing began.

So, yea, that’s a crazy story right. But look at me now! I promise you, all it took was some kick as motivation and dedication. Never giving up and doing all those corny things you hear about like creating a vision board or writing affirmations on your mirror, wall, or HAND as I did. If there was a moment to improve myself, I did. If there was a moment to breathe, I did. If there was a moment to challenge myself, I did. A moment to rest and recover, to accept myself and hang out with my little ones and be lazy, yes, I did that too.

Motherhood is crazy. Pregnancy is amazing and such a blessing, but the changes are inevitable. I have gone through the most extreme situations myself and I believe that God gave me a purpose in helping others heal. I can help you heal diastasis recti naturally and teach you pelvic floor techniques to move your bowels if you are constipated, to strengthen your muscles if you are having incontinence. I have the simplest tips that can get you on the road to be the best version of yourself AFTER BABY. YES, YOU CAN COME BACK AND EVEN HARDER THAN EVER BEFORE.

Getting stronger as you age is not just for Jlo. I promise you that. It’s all in your mind and if you can think it, I can help you achieve it. Nothing is easy and this may very well be the hardest thing you do but the most rewarding. Transforming into your own identity mind body and soul post-partum is so important. I am not just my kids’ mom. Though that is a blessing, getting your own identity back is just as important and fixing your body, whatever that means to you is key. Your overall health and wellness are affected if you cannot function physically and will translate mentally over time affecting the way you can be a mother and partner. I didn’t go through this torture for nothing ladies, I am here to help. With the technology of tomorrow and manual skills, I can get you there.

dr. Lauren Leiva
Dr. Lauren Leiva

Book your appointment today with The ExerScience Center - 813.803.7070

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