Your body goes through a lot when it comes to pregnancy. You physically get bigger, yes, but your organs get all mushed up inside of you as well, and there are even a few gestational health issues to be on the lookout for as well. You lose your chances of getting good, quality sleep at night, you lose grasp of your diet from time to time, and your energy levels might have never felt so low before in your life!
And then comes the giving birth part, which is an experience that’ll change any parent out there who chooses to go through it. If you’re the one giving birth, you’re going to go through all kinds of physical and emotional sensations, and most of them are painful! Even your partner, clutching your hand in the delivery suite next to to you, will always look back on this moment! But there’s always the joy and love to follow afterward, and the hours you spent in labor seem totally worth it as a result.
But there’s a chance you’re not going to feel totally comfortable in your own body once you’ve brought another life into the world. Your body has changed, and sometimes in permanent ways, and that can be hard to come to terms with. So, if you’re someone who’s looking at your post-natal figure and feeling a little down at what you see in the mirror, let’s go through a couple of ways you can help yourself to feel comfortable and close in your skin again.
Get Plenty of Rest
Of course, seeing as you’ve just had a baby, it can be hard to get a night of what you would typically call ‘decent rest.’ You’ve got another human being in the house, one that can’t do anything on their own, and it’s up to you to take care of them! So you’re up and down through the night when they cry and wail in their crib, and you’re feeding them every other hour or so.
So, not only are you losing out on sleep and getting maybe 3 to 4 of your usual 8 at most, but you’re also needing to exhaust yourself even further with the feeding and burping, and rocking throughout the day. That can play havoc on a mother’s chest if you’re using breast milk to feed your child!
But in the in-between moments, the time you would usually spend cleaning the house, cooking something delicious to eat, or even working from home (despite this being your maternity leave!), you need to sit down and let yourself rest. Most tasks should be delegated to other members of your household, for the time being, whilst you catch up on sleep and put your feet up for a bit. This will help your body to heal a lot faster from any injuries or issues giving birth caused, and it’ll help ensure you’re always available to care for the baby. And let’s be real here: you deserve it!
Gentle Yourself Back into Shape
If your body isn’t in the shape you like, whether you’re still recovering from the birth and letting your uterus shrink back down to its normal size or you’re looking at the pregnancy weight you’ve gained, and you know you want to shift it, don’t go all out with a fitness routine. You need to gently get yourself back into shape with a bit of light exercise a few times a week and build yourself up to what used to be your fighting weight.
This way, you’re less likely to strain yourself, and you’re more likely to be able to commit to the regime you’re desperate to try out. If you throw yourself into fitness, you’re just going to exhaust yourself even further. Try to get your heart racing just a little at first, and then let your BPM climb higher and higher through the following weeks. Take plenty of breaks, drink plenty of water during times like these, and don’t push yourself, despite what the trainers down the gym like to tell you. You’ll be shedding pounds before you know it!
Always talk to your doctor about exercising after pregnancy, just in case you’re showing signs of something like low blood pressure, to make sure you’re safe to proceed. But if you’re someone who has no idea how to broach the subject of losing the pregnancy weight you didn’t plan on keeping, you can check out articles like 8 Top Tips To Lose Weight While Breastfeeding – they’re a lot more practical and approachable for new mothers, and take your more immediate responsibilities into account!
Know What You’re Eating
How are your eating habits at the moment? Are you still experiencing cravings? Are you eating foods a nurse or doctor has needed to recommend to you? Have you just returned to your usual diet because you’ve missed being able to chow down on garlic and onions without wanting to throw up?
No matter what you’re turning to eat right now, you need to be sure of the food groups present and how big the portions of each are. You need to eat the right things to put your strength back into your bones and to also pass on healthy and necessary nutrients to your baby. Knowing what’s going into your meals is helpful at all times in your life, but when you’re trying to feel a bit more comfortable with a post-birth body, it’s absolutely crucial!
For people who have just given birth and want to feel happy and healthy in their bodies again, protein is quite the super nutrient. Dairy items like cheese and yogurt are easy to consume for any of us who might be left with a weak stomach for the time being, and there’s always plenty of protein in fish as well. You can then download an app that helps you to track your plates and one that also tells you what, and how much, of the minerals and vitamins vital to healthy living are present in your meals.
Think About Asking for Help
No new parent is going to have it all figured out. Every single one of us struggles within the first 3 to 6 months, and even after that, we’re never going to find it a doddle! So be sure to reach out every now and then when you need advice, or you could use a babysitter for the night – being a good parent means taking care of yourself as well, to make sure you can be there to take care of your child.
And if your body doesn’t quite feel the same, and you’re having trouble adjusting, be sure to at least talk to someone about that. Talk to your partner, talk to your parents, talk to your friends or your siblings; they can all help to lighten the emotional load and do a night shift every now and then. They might even have some tips on how you can help yourself out with diet and exercise as well.
How comfortable are you now that you’re postnatal?
It’s important that this is something we talk about, as you don’t have to constantly be uncomfortable in your body just because you’ve had a baby. If something doesn’t feel right or painful, talk to your doctor about it. If you don’t like the way your belly looks or you’ve gotten a few new stretch marks, talk to someone. Parents aren’t always wonder machines, and it’s alright to need help!