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Having A Newborn Isn't Easy. The Expectation To Look Good And Be Strong After Birth Makes It Harder

A light skinned woman standing in her kitchen smiles as she holds a photo album.
Gearhart looking at pictures from her postpartum days. Few people knew of her post birth complications.
(Jackie Fortiér
/
LAist)
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It doesn’t take long to scroll through Instagram and other social media platforms to be hit with society’s beauty standards, especially as a woman. You know what those characteristics are: young, fairer-skinned and thin. We are all aware how this culture’s obsession with status quo beauty standards has affected young people, but we feel it at all stages of life.

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The Pressure To "Snapback"

For the latest story in LAist’s series on pregnancy, birth and new parent life, my colleague Jackie Fortiér takes a look at the pressure new moms have to “snapback” to their pre-pregnancy bodies and selves as if they never gave birth to a human.

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Some women experience injuries during the birthing process, or have to undergo a Cesarean section, which requires an extended recovery process. And even without injury or surgery, a pregnant person’s body has just undergone major trauma. Their physical and mental well-being must be handled with care. Society’s expectation that they be up and running and looking great, makes it hard for women to accept their bodies as is and allow themselves to heal.

Megan Gearhart, one of the moms Jackie interviewed, spoke about her postpartum experience with a condition (that developed as a result of giving birth) that causes incontinence. The pressure to fit in with other moms impacted her mental health, even though on the surface she seemed to have “snapped back” to her old self because of how she looked on the outside.

Gearhart said she was really happy to have her baby. She just didn't feel good about herself.

Having a newborn is hard. Priya Batra, an OB-GYN in L.A., pointed out that the pressure from the outside world can make parenting that infant even harder.

"Both the strenuous exercise and the diet questions I get really are focused on quick weight loss, and changes in physical appearance," Batra said. "And they really don't align with the kind of nutrition you're looking for to support things like breastfeeding…to support things like healing."

For more insight on this issue, read Jackie’s story here.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

More News

(After you stop hitting snooze)

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  • Mayor-Elect Karen Bass announced the team that will help her transition through the first 100 days of her administration. Included on that list are civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, businessman and philanthropist Steve Soboroff and Yvonne Wheeler, president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor.
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Wait! One More Thing...

Cheap Fast Eats DTLA

A white plate sitting on a table top that contains chicken over a bed of rice, a small cup of yellow soup, a paper cup of cookies, and green salad with small sliced tomatoes covered in dressing. To the left is a green plant vine.
The special chicken plate at Yuko Kitchen is enough to share to take home for leftovers.
(Brian Feinzimer
/
For LAist )

Gab Chabrán, LAist’s associate editor of food and culture, and How To LA podcast host Brian De Los Santos have another edition of Cheap Fast Eats for us. This time, they’re taking us to a place near and dear to my heart: Downtown Los Angeles. 

It’s a quite eclectic place with a lot of fascinating eateries. I go to the Grand Central Market all of the time, but I’ve always passed by Sarita’s Pupuseria. After reading Gab’s piece, I need to try the nopal pupusa next time I go. The way he describes it — the melted cheese and slivers of cactus and all — makes my stomach growl.

Now, I usually go to Guisados to get my morning breakfast tacos but, based on Gab's suggestion, I think I am going to next try a yummy bright-and-early burrito at Burritobreak with homemade Mizalsa sauce.

Gab and Brian dig into some other really dope spots like Yuko Kitchen, Sonoratown and Moderno Cocina as well. Hungry yet? Check out the article here and the podcast here.

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