written by our intern Isabel Leonard
Too busy to listen to the Here and Now Motherhood podcast? Read the summary of Episode 1:
Here and Now Motherhood’s first podcast ‘Balance Spectrum’ by Nicole Hunt delves into the topic of the Balance Spectrum. The Balance Spectrum deals with a mothers’ experience after giving birth and has three different parts – balance on the left, discomfort in the middle, and illness on the right.
Hunt says balances consists of the idea of thriving, happiness, no aches or pains, and having general feelings of contentment. Discomfort consists of a slight imbalance or discomfort, whether it be physically or mentally. Illness or chronic illness consists of sicknesses that often go unchecked and could possibly lead to death.
She expresses the United States has a great medical system that deals with these chronic illnesses, especially in preventing them before they ultimately lead to death. To treat discomfort, though, holistic treatments like acupuncture, Ayurveda, chiropractic care, nutrition, exercise, are more effective.
Mothers often receive care in the medical realm, especially during pregnancy and postpartum. After giving birth it’s important to visit with your doctor for the 6-week checkup. The problem is that mothers are often left in a state of discomfort, even if the checkup goes well.
“We need extra care because we’re not thriving…” she says, “We’re hanging out in this middle zone of discomfort and imbalance, and just plain not feeling good.”
Hunt recommends things like yoga and Ayurveda to find balance. Although it’s not a medical approach it works, because there are different approaches to different parts of the spectrum. Some of these approaches may work for differently for different people - we're all unique and.
Now that the Balance Spectrum is understood, how can it help women postpartum?
Nicole shares her own story dealing with postpartum pelvic pain and trouble breastfeeding. Her doctors assured her this pain was normal, but you don't have to put up with pain even if it's normal. She felt hopeless, out of options and answers from doctors and just wanted to be pain free again. When her son was 1.5 years old, after her pain had subsided, she came across the book ‘The Fourth Trimester’ by Kimberly Ann Johnson and everything changed. “Had I know about that book earlier maybe I would have been able to fix that problem,” Hunt expresses, “… and I think that if I had fixed that physical problem… I think emotionally dealing with a new baby would have been a little easier.”
The Here and Now Motherhood podcast aims to talk about more of the resources available to new mothers when it feels as though they have exhausted all options. Hunt wants women to know if the 6-week checkup doesn’t go as planned to not be discouraged - there are more places to turn.
Hunt plans to discuss more natural resources such as yoga, nutrition, Ayurveda, and exercise to take women from discomfort to a place of contentment. Her goal is to make motherhood enjoyable for moms, rather than pushing through the emotional pain and difficulty.
“The better we feel physically and emotionally, the more we have the capacity to love ourselves,” says Nicole.