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HUFFPOST PERSONAL

"The first time I heard of Kegel exercises was from an episode of “Sex and the City” I saw in my late teens. After hearing Samantha rave about them, I walked away with the impression that their only benefit was tightening the vagina. And really, I reasoned, that only benefits men.

Turns out there is so much more to it.

But it wasn’t until I had my first baby that I understood the importance of perineum health. "

"Our baby's arrival was approaching, and I had to face my fears — not only of asking him to step up and take on my role at home but also of the possibility that he might simply say no. More importantly, I was concerned about what that would mean for our relationship

At 35 weeks pregnant, I gathered my courage and wrote out everything I wouldn't be able to do after the birth — the list was long. I nervously explained it to him one evening and held my breath."

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"While using the word “natural” when referring to unmedicated, vaginal births has started to face backlash over the past few years, it is still used widely across the U.S. and abroad. Jules Theis once used “natural” to describe the birth experiences she craved for her first two children. But after experiencing two traumatic, unmedicated (“natural”) births—including one in which she experienced sudden death—she has changed her terminology and mindset all together. 

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Anna Leak Photography Blog

"Somehow through her lens the veil was lifted and in my maternity diaper, leaking breasts and all– I was seen. Now to have these moments frozen through photos for me and Sunny, and for our memories feels like such a gift. We are urged through social media to portray our lives and motherhood as perfect. Only ever capturing and uploading the moments where we look and feel our best. In these first 48 hours after a painful surgery, I was sore, sleep deprived and lonely, yet I want to remember all of this."

Motherhood Edit 

"His birth was meant to be the best day of our lives, though for me it was one I wanted to completely forget. Missing the first moments that define every woman’s journey into becoming a mother were stripped of me, and knowing I could never get them back took a piece of my motherhood away. Despite having the label of mother and wearing it proudly, I often felt like an imposter."

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