Some thoughts on how pregnancy and postpartum prepared me to navigate my cancer diagnosis and treatment:

I know there’s a mile-wide gulf between postpartum and cancer, but hear me out.

Because we all learn lessons during our childbearing year(s) that apply to any subsequent, significant disruptions to health and wellness.

Pregnancy, childbirth and the recovery beyond are most poeple’s first significant brush with hospitals or major medical event. And as such, they’re a crash course in navigating the medical system and disruptions to routine. My guess, each of us takes away some pretty big lessons.

Here’s some of the stuff I learned:

1) I learned how to advocate for myself in a medical setting. I got really comfortable asking questions, seeking second opinions and participating in decision making.

2) I learned what a 9-18 month disruption in “normal” feels like. I also learned it’s not the end of the world.

3) I have a deep respect for tissue healing timelines. And when I’m told to rest for a few weeks, I will rest.

4) I also understand there is nuance in exercise recommendations offered by folks who aren’t experts in rehabilitative exercise.

When I’m told I shouldn’t lift anything for the next year- I know to seek out experts who can give me more nuanced advice.

5) I know that I am more than what my body looks like AND I am more than what my body can physically do.

6) I have deep respect for and faith in my body’s ability to weather trauma and heal.

7) I know there’s stuff I can control and I know there’s stuff I can’t control. And that stuff I can’t control? I’ve got to let it go.

As we get older and live more life, there will be disruptions. Setbacks. Changes in plan.

But good thing for us, our experience makes us wiser and more resilient.

We have the experience to manage this next thing, this next chapter.

What are your take aways from your pregnancy and postpartum chapter? How did that time make you more resilient?

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Redmond, WA-based Seattle birth doula Laura Jawad, headshot

My mission is to make sure that having a baby is not a reason why you can’t do all the things.

Contact me if you have questions about exercise or pelvic health pertaining to pregnancy or postpartum. I also offer personal training services and consultations to folks locally (Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland) and online.

Certified Prenatal & Postnatal Coach, Pregnancy & Postpartum Athleticism Coach and Postnatal Fitnesses Specialist.

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