Getting your body back into shape after children can be a lot tougher than you think. It takes 9 months for your body to change and develop during pregnancy so it stands to reason it’s going to take 9 months to get it back together.
You may have been lucky, or hard working, and managed to not put on much fat, that doesn’t mean you won’t be seeing changes to your shape, such as a widening of the hips. Don’t worry, if you didn’t put any added fat on and it was just physical changes to aid with birth, your body will slowly return to form. If, like most of us, you took ‘eating for two’ a little further and relished in all those afternoon naps then you might need a little extra help.
Getting back to a healthy balanced diet is the first steps to regaining your former figure. If you are breastfeeding it is better not to make any major changes to diet, other than increasing the amount of healthy fats, vegetables and natural ingredients you consume. Don’t start working on ideas to help you lose weight until your child is on solids. Then look at ways you can prepare delicious foods and juices for your baby and for you. Making baby food is a great way of ensuring their health and only a few steps beyond making vegetable juices or smoothies for you. Another great way to losing a little weight is to work on eating smaller meals more often, and this is simple when you are feeding a baby or toddler. Just stick to healthy, clean meals and keep the sizes down.
Getting active may be a little harder. The process of giving birth can do damage to our hips, coccyx and have an affect on our spine. If you are struggling with something more than just a few aches and pains you may need a little physical therapy. Make an appointment with your doctor and seek proper advice on how to get better.
If you have a clean bill of health then you might have to think outside the box a little. You can’t just get up and head out for a run like you could before your gorgeous new arrival. There are lots of community new mom classes which encourage you to get out into the park with other mums, and babies, and get active. You could also look at baby yoga, this is a great way of interacting with your newborn whilst helping your body become more flexible. It reduces stress and anxiety in both mother and child and helps with finding your core balance too.
There are lots of ways you can make everyday tasks into mini routines. Playing with your baby by lifting her above your head then lowering her slowly for a kiss and repeating the process, is great for your arms and abs. Especially as baby gets bigger! Plus it’s a pretty fun game. Ditching the stroller and carrying her when you go for a brisk walk will help you burn more calories, or throwing in a HIIT type session when whizzing through the housework between your baby’s naps. All of these can make a little bit of difference to your body shape and overall feeling of happiness.
One of the most important things for getting back into shape is sleep. Something which may seem impossible if you are nursing a 4 week old. So maybe take the pressure off until you can regain some kind of bedtime routine for yourself. Try to go to bed nice and early and give yourself a little extra time to wind down. Bathing with your baby before bedtime could be a relaxing experience for you both and help get her off to sleep. Then head for your bed too! 4 good hours is better than 2 bad ones.
Keep your hydration high and maintain a good sense of wellbeing by taking up meditation. If you have a clogged up mind it can actually stop your body from working efficiently and make recovery a lot long. Work on gaining clarity before you work on changing your physical appearance and most importantly, enjoy being a mum. Embrace having love handles for a while and boobs as big as your head. We don’t often get the chance to enjoy being a little bit bigger than we used to be and right now? You have the perfect excuse.
Just be you and learn to love why your body looks the way it does now. The rest will slowly fall into place!