The Value of Motherhood


Manage episode 289872139 series 2874284
By Dr. Allyson Sunderman. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Hi! And welcome to episode 6 of the All out motherhood podcast- I’m so glad you’re here! I wanted to change it up a bit and take a minute to just introduce myself finally.

So, Hi I’m Allyson. I have a doctorate in physical therapy and specialize in women’s health. I’m also a medical yoga therapist, women’s health and nutrition coach, and entrepreneur.

I’ve actually worked in health care for 20 years now since I was 16 working as a pharmacy tech and have always had a strong interest in women’s health.

I’ve seen a lot of changes in healthcare during this time period, however the one area that I’ve only recently noticed changes taking place in is women’s health. This bothers me…. A lot.

Now, it’s important to note that I’m in the US, so our healthcare system is very different from many other countries.

We live in a country that prides itself on being innovative, cutting edge, and strives to be ahead of the curve in every subject possible. But, also a country where it is illegal to take newborn puppies away from their mother until they are 8 weeks old, yet many women have to go back to work at 2 weeks postpartum- unless of course you take short term disability, then you get 6 weeks. Let that sink in for a second.

What does that say about the value we place on mothers as a society? What msg does that send out regarding breast feeding, postpartum recovery, and the care of our newborns?

Don’t get me wrong, there are absolutely some companies that have recently began offering maternity leave and even a very few that offer paternity leave for dad. But how did we get so far behind here?

And if you really want to get me up on a soap box, let’s talk about some of the crazy and completely ridiculous things women go through after having a baby.

Thank god the husbands stitch is not really a thing anymore- although i have heard women still being offered it. If you don’t know what the husbands stitch is, it is an extra suture that a doctor used to do in order to “tighten your vaginal opening” after an episiotomy or tearing during childbirth in order to make sex more pleasurable for your husband later. Um, seriously?

The first time I heard about this cringe worthy procedure I thought it was a bad joke…... and when I learned it was a real thing that was CURRENTLY happening, not like 500 years ago- I'm pretty sure some four letter words came flying out of my unpolished mouth. I may be introverted, but I am forever incapable of hold my tongue or hiding my facial expressions. Sorry mom.

Working with women who are dealing with pelvic pain you hear some just awful things, and maybe you yourself have unfortunately heard something like “if sex hurts, just have a drink and relax”- I know when pts have said this, there’s really no need for me to respond verbally because my face says everything I’m thinking.

We also hear things like “peeing when you sneeze is just part of life after babies and as we get older”- well, I can assure you it’s not. As my friend and colleague Dr. Libby Trausch said on our first episode “You have to rehab your body to your new self and accept the changes that come with having a baby. But, acceptance doesn’t mean you have to settle.”

Also, I can’t tell you the number of women that I’ve known- myself included, who have had their back plain blown off as “just menstrual pain” and on the flip side had their dysmenorrhea, or painful periods, ignored as normal or simply put on birth control without actually looking into the cause and what’s going on.

I’m tellin ya- I could literally go on for days, but then we’d all be feeling even more ticked off than I’ve made us at this point.

So, let’s move on to something a little bit lighter… because out of all this frustration- a podcast was born.

My main goal with each episode is to bring information to you that can help you prepare, grow, and succeed as a woman.

I chose the name all out motherhood, first because motherhood is the main topic here- although we do talk a lot on topics that pertain to all women. Second, because being a mom means not only going all out, balls to the wall in order to attempt to balance this crazy juggling act we call life- but also sometimes we just need to, as the song goes, ‘let it all hang out’, get everything out in the open, and stop trying to stifle ourselves in order to make other people feel comfortable.

The female body is absolutely amazing but we are taught from such a young age to be ashamed of it- usually subconsciously, but that negative internal narrative affects us through our entire lives.

Which brings me to my next point. If you don’t like hearing the word vagina- then this probably isn’t the podcast for you.

Yes, I swear sometimes.

Yes, we talk about ALL the female anatomy.

Yes, we discuss sex.

And No, vagina is not a dirty word- it’s a body part.

Now, that last line is a topic for a whole other episode so stay tuned, but for now I just want you to know that all of these things, all of these topics are so important to me because I’ve been there.

I am a woman.

I am a mom.

I’ve had pain that completely turned my life upside down.

I’ve felt the guilt of not being able to do it all.

The shame of not feeling like I am enough.

I’ve felt the postpartum rage.

I’ve looked in the mirror and wondered “who the hell is that” because I didn’t recognize myself.

I feel stress and anxiety that come with motherhood.

And I still go through these and many other challenges and emotions sometimes on a daily basis.

What helps me get through them now, is knowing that I’m not alone, reaching out to other women and moms for support.

Because we can’t do it all, no matter how hard we try.

And sometimes the more we try, the more we fail.

The old proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” is 100% accurate, but also incomplete. Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a village to raise a mom too.

We need this village of support to break down these barriers.

To teach our children things that we were never taught.

To forgive ourselves in order to move forward with the strength and success that we so desperately desire.

So, hit that subscribe button and join me every week as we dive deep into women’s health, motherhood, and success to help you up level your motherhood journey.

10 episodes