Being pregnant and giving birth might be the most exciting and exhausting periods of your life. Of course you’re looking forward to your new bundle of joy, but you can’t forget to take care of yourself in the process. More often than not, new mums completely devote themselves to their baby after they give birth, which is okay, but it doesn’t mean you should be last on your list of priorities.
After all, you have been through a lot in the past year, and your body has gone through tremendous changes. It’s normal to be dissatisfied with your body after giving birth and miss the shape you were in before you got pregnant. What’s not healthy is to start hating your new body. Don’t wallow in the feeling of dissatisfaction and hatred. You have the power to change your body and love yourself once more. It’s going to be hard in the beginning, but with a little hard work and some motivation, you’ll be at the top of your game and achieve your fitness goals in no time.
1. Don’t skip meals
The fewer calories you take in, the more weight you’ll lose, and the easier it will be to get your ideal body. So all you have to do is skip a few meals. Sounds simple, right? Not exactly. Your body needs fuel and it needs the calories you’re trying to avoid. It’s just been through something very stressful and the hard work is only beginning. Skipping meals robs you of the fuel you need to function, but also of the nutrients and vitamins your body needs to heal itself and progress towards the goal you want.
This is why it’s imperative to have every meal. When you’re skipping meals, you’re going to be craving a lot of empty calories and carbs that won’t do you any good. You need calcium, vitamins, and maybe even some phytoestrogens. This will fuel your body adequately and give it all it needs to survive.
Eating big portions also isn’t a good idea. You’ll just overwork your stomach and keep it empty for longer than it needs to be. Instead, you should eat five small meals a day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks in between should be enough to keep your stomach full throughout the day. Small portions in shorter time intervals keep your tummy working and your body healthy and strong. They also eliminate cravings and keep you on track of a healthy meal plan.
2. Get enough sleep!
The importance of sleep after giving birth can’t be stressed enough. Ironically, this is usually the period where it’s hardest to get some sleep in as your new baby demands all the attention. If you have anyone that can help out in the first few months, it would be advisable to invite them to stay with you, as you’ll need all the rest you can get if you hope to regain your old body.
In order to get the body you once had, you need to let it heal. Healing is a process that takes time, and you’ll definitely need to give your body plenty of opportunities to heal itself. That’s why sleep is so important. Our bodies heal most when we’re not even aware they’re healing, i.e. while we’re sleeping. It’s unrealistic to expect that you’ll get a full eight hours after giving birth, but try to sleep as much as possible.
It will help if you build a routine for your baby. The baby will learn when feeding time, playtime, and nap time is, and it will be much easier for both of you to live a normal and healthy life. Their organism will learn to function according to the routine, and you’ll have no surprises during the day. That means that when it’s naptime, the baby will have little to no trouble falling asleep- and neither will you. Every opportunity of peace and quiet that you have should be taken to catch up on some much-needed rest. It will be much easier to build a workout routine later and stick to a healthy diet when your body is slowly healing itself.
3. Turn to a professional
You can only change so much on your body with proper diet and exercise. There are other features that have changed because of pregnancy and giving birth that simply won’t return to their original shape without some extra help. Your breasts are the prime example of that. Sagging breasts, some stretch marks, and even the change in breast size are possible after giving birth.
Your breasts will especially lose their perkiness and original shape if you breastfeed. This can take a toll on your confidence. You deserve to like yourself in anything you wear, and that includes being able to show off a little cleavage and being satisfied with how a certain shirt compliments your chest.
The ideal solution in this situation is to turn to a professional. Even though there’s still some stigma around plastic surgery, its sole purpose isn’t to please vain people. It’s also there to help people like you give their body their old shine back and feel as confident as ever.
Opting for a simple yet effective mastopexy procedure can change your life for the better. Your breasts will once again regain their full form and shape, and you’ll be much more confident, happier, and pleased with yourself and your body. It will be like putting a cherry on top of a well-made cake.
4. Exercise gently
Though you may be tempted to hit the gym right away- don’t. That will only have a countereffect and demotivate you to continue working out, as your body won’t be ready for such an endeavor right away. Instead, develop your exercise routine step by step. Start with simple exercises for your core, then slowly move up to Pilates or Yoga, and finally move on to high-intense exercises your body will be able to handle. This process is going to take some time, as your body needs to heal and as you need to adjust to your new lifestyle.
You could also exercise with your child. There are a lot of mommy and baby exercises you could do, which both of you will enjoy equally. For the baby, it will be just a fun game they play with their mommy, and for you, it will be a quality workout. That’s also a great way to bond with your child.
If nothing else, you could always start by taking more walks with the stroller and the baby. They’ll love seeing the world for the first time, and your body will get the gentle exercise it needs at that moment.
Postpartum body dissatisfaction is real and it affects women everywhere. It’s easy to succumb to self-hatred and judgment, but you are strong enough to resist the negative emotions and change things. With these tips, you’ll be one step closer to your ideal body and self-love. Remember that this journey is going to be hard, but that it’s also going to be worth it. Being a supermum means loving and caring for yourself as much as you do for your little one.