Connect the Dots Ginger | Becky Allen: Your New Postpartum Body

Monday, June 23, 2014

Your New Postpartum Body

~Me and Collin 1 week postpartum~

So you've just had a baby and you want to get your body back to the same exact shape it was in just 9 short months ago. Sorry to tell you this but it might just not be possible. You can get your body back to being healthy, and probably the same weight but I have talked to a bunch of moms that after having a baby their bodies changed. There is a little more squish here, stretch marks there, and the core strength is just GONE! But let's face it. We all want to have the celebrity recovery and go back to exactly how or better than we were, because we are moms! We do it all, the dishes, laundry, take care of the kid(s), feed the hubs and clean the house. So what can we do to get back to how were were before baby or as close as possible?

1. Acceptance. Accept the fact that you just had a baby. You will have "battle scars" whether seen or unseen. Embrace your new body. If you are 1 week postpartum or 10 months your body is different. You are different. You have had a baby. Your body went through a lot to make a baby and there are things that are just going to be different. Look in the mirror and look at some of the changes that you have gone through. You butt might be a little bigger, or thighs rub together more than they did. You might have your first or 50th stretch mark. Embrace them. They are the marks of being a mom! Keep rubbing the stretch mark lotion on your belly or hips to mask them, it's ok. But be ok with how you look and how you have changed. YOU ARE A MOTHER! YOU are AMAZING!
~Drew Barrymore less than 4 weeks postpartum on the red carpet!~

2. SLOW AND STEADY. Don't just rush back into exercise right after you have a baby. Allow yourself the time to heal that your body needs. Doctors generally recommend 4-6 weeks of recovery. That is ok. you don't have to be that actress that is back on set a couple weeks after she had a baby because of that important scene she is under contract to shoot. (See Star Trek: DS9 Kira's character source.(Yes, I am a little trekie))  After you get the ok from your doc or midwife test the waters with a walk, then a short run, or a small number of other exercises. Don't expect to be back to what you were doing before you got pregnant. It will take some time and hard work. And don't push too hard. Listen to your body!

3. Listen to your body. You still have relaxin in your body after you have a baby. You know, that stuff that loosened all of your joints and ligaments. For about 6 months. Try not to over stretch or over do it. My feet have been hurting in my shoes lately. Per my chiropractor, my arch has dropped a little. It did with my first and it took a few moths for it to go back or return to how it was. My core is so gone at this point too. Start small and be smart about what you do with your exercises. Try a plank but only for 10 seconds to start with. You might be able to hold it just fine and want to go a little longer, but the next day, your core might be barking back at you! Listen to your body. Respect it that it is different and needs to build strength again where it was super stretched and relaxed.

4. Have fun.With any exercise, if you enjoy it you are more likely to do it again and again. Find a fun workout routine, or a new routine to try out. But have fun. You can explore mom and baby yoga and do it together. Try to incorporate your baby in your exercise. Do a plank and have your baby under you or near you so that you can make fun faces at them and try to get them to giggle. Leg lifts with your baby on your shins is also fun. (When their necks are more stable.) Wearing your baby adds more weight to your body and can help you burn more calories. Or go for a walk with the stroller. You will burn more calories when pushing a stroller. But watch your milk supply or diet. If you just started exercising and you notice a dip in your supply, try to back off a little on the exercise. Baby needs those calories in your milk! Plus you can burn up to 500 calories a day exclusively breast feeding!

Hope these helped you get in the mindset with your new body! Get back out there and have some fun and good luck, MOMMA'S! You are amazing. We made babies. We can do anything!
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