Is Postpartum Weight Gain Gravity’s Way of Keeping Us More Grounded?

So, gravity. Remember learning about it in school? It’s what keeps us on earth. Literally grounded. (Did you just imagine being sent to your room by your parents? Me neither.) 

The force needed to keep you grounded varies depending on how far you are from the center of the earth and your risk of floating away into space. The more you need to be held, the more gravity holds you. Pulls you toward the center. So that you can stay warm and seen in the sunlight. So you don’t drift into the dark unknown.

Where am I going with this? Is this about postpartum or is it a physics lesson? I have a point. And here it is: How much you weigh is determined by gravity. It is a measure of how strongly the earth is holding onto you. Can you feel the earth holding you? Do you feel the earth moving under your feet? (How could I not insert a little Carole King? You’re welcome).

I work with people who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant, are no longer pregnant, and postpartum. All of these stages seem to include an increase in gravity’s demand to stay grounded. That’s my way of saying we gain weight. And after giving birth we lose a bunch (the weight of a human, an organ, a whole bunch of fluid, etc), but not everything. That’s my way of saying you don’t go back to your starting weight immediately after childbirth.

As a former professional dancer this was…foreign to me. That’s my way of saying I hated it. It’s hard. It’s hard to accept this new shape and form. Of yourself. And your life. When we’ve been trained our whole lives to be as small as possible physically and emotionally, it’s a real mind-bender to take up so much space. Physically and emotionally space. 

But! Perhaps our increased weight is the earth keeping us close. Safe and grounded. So we don’t drift away into the dark unknown like George Clooney in the movie Gravity.  Or like a newly postpartum, sleep-deprived shell of a human. I find it hard to believe that earth, the universe, source, G-d, whatever you call it allows this to happen so that we feel bad about not being able to button our pants. 

I choose to believe the intention is to ground us and keep us feeling safe. Close. Held. And seen. Because we are carrying the weight of motherhood. The weight of creation. The weight of life and potential and hope and strength and courage and I could keep going!  Bringing a new human, a person, a baby into this world is heavy work. The transformation from pregnant to postpartum is heavy. Perhaps the earth is responding to our increased need to be held. 

I invite you to take a moment right now.

Maybe you’re standing, sitting, or even lying in bed trying to fall asleep. And bring your attention to what is beneath you. What is supporting you right now? How is holding you up? Feel the outline of your body making contact with that space.  As if you are coloring that outline in, allow yourself to sink a little deeper into that support.

Let the outline follow suit. Allow the support of the earth, of gravity, to gently hug your body and accept you weight. Consider offering gratitude for gravity for holding you, supporting you, and keeping you more grounded as a mama. How does that feel?

For more support around using mindful movement to feel more at home in your new body, click here.

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