Having a baby transforms you physically and mentally. Your body may have changed in many ways, such as your clothing size, breast shape, hip width and even your shoe size. These changes are signs of the work your body has done. As you adapt to your new life with a baby, it’s important to remember that your mind and emotions are also changing, so be sure to give yourself the support you need. Here’s how you can start your journey of healing after your delivery.
Reach Out and Embrace Help
Being responsible for another human being can be daunting. Many things can cause anxiety for new moms, such as worrying about your baby’s safety or even not having enough breastmilk. These feelings can get worse when you’re sleep-deprived and tired. The best thing you can do is accept help from your loved ones, even if they’re not doing things exactly the way you do, and then rest and recharge.
Be Realistic About Losing Baby Weight
Your postpartum body may not look like the ones in magazines, but that’s okay. Your body needs time to adjust and lose the pregnancy weight. You may lose some naturally by your first doctor’s visit, but expect to have 10 to 15 pounds more than before your pregnancy for a while.
Breastfeeding to Use Up Calories
Breastfeeding your baby has many benefits, from protecting infants from illness to offering them perfectly balanced nutrition and lowering your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. But you need energy to make breast milk. Nursing moms should get an extra 300 calories a day. Even with extra food, breastfeeding will help you lose the baby weight as long as you’re eating a healthy diet.
A Post-Pregnancy Workout with Core Strengthening Exercises
In addition to moderate cardio, a postpartum workout should focus on building up the muscles of your torso (which were weakened when you were pregnant). The rectus abdominal muscles are stretched during pregnancy in a way that makes it impossible to exercise them during that time. Exercises that target this condition can bring the muscles back together again postpartum.
Keep Taking Prenatal Vitamins for Your Body’s Nutritional Needs
Don’t stop taking your prenatal vitamins just yet. They are still necessary especially if you’re breastfeeding. You need to replenish the nutrients you may have lost during pregnancy, and support your body while it’s producing breast milk. Your doctor may also recommend you take an iron supplement and vitamin C (to help with the absorption of iron).
Strengthen Your Pelvic Floor Muscles with Kegels
You may be stressed by the visible and invisible changes in your body after delivery. One common issue is bladder leakage caused by pushing or assisted childbirth. Doing Kegel exercises can help you strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and regain bladder control faster.
Use Retinol to Reduce Stretch Marks
The best way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is to use creams and oils. But you may still get some pink or purple lines. If you’re concerned about scarring, there’s good news: Retinoid creams made from vitamin A can make new stretch marks less noticeable – any that are less than a few months old.
You contributed to the wonder of creating another human being and might still be delivering vital nourishment for your baby through breastfeeding. The physical changes are part of this incredible journey. It’s also normal to have some emotional highs and lows as you adapt to motherhood. The hardships that come with supporting a little one’s life — frequent feedings, sleepless nights and handling diaper accidents — can be formidable. It’s natural to feel tired, disappointed, frustrated or sad in the days after childbirth as your hormones change. Life with a new baby is different. There is a lot to learn as a new mother, but your new life will surely be full of joys and wonderful memories.