How to Get Fabulous and Fit after Giving Birth
Motherhood has a way of taking over everything that a woman would start feeling not quite herself. A list of ways to rediscovering your old self as you balance self-care while taking care of baby.
The idea of having to “get back to your old self” is quite possibly the least appealing thought to entertain, especially when you have a newborn to care for. The possibility of sleepless nights and unpredictable schedules is daunting enough!
However, motherhood is exactly the reason why you should care for yourself as well. It can be easy to forget your own needs when you have a baby to care for and a household to manage—probably even a career to factor in, once your maternity leave is over.
What’s a mom to do? Here are a few suggestions to help you feel fit and fabulous, whether you’re learning to navigate mom life or are trying to restore balance to it!
Battling Baby Blues?
One of the earliest challenges of mom life is the emotional rollercoaster.
Not everyone has baby blues; even those who feel it experience this to varying degrees. And it’s something that is not limited to first-time mothers! After all, having a new addition to the family can be overwhelming. While you may feel that you have everything under control, surprises are inevitable.
Baby blues can generally be eased through simple activities that provide some relief. Activities that can help you refresh and ground yourself can help you feel more prepared to face the challenges of being a mom.
Get your partner or any other adult caregiver in the household to take care of the kids for a while, and try some of these activities to help you clear your mind:
- Need to relax? Take a nice long bath or give yourself time to enjoy a nice cup of coffee or a snack. It won’t be the same as sitting in a cafe, but it will definitely help calm you down.
- Social butterfly? Set a movie date with your friends even while staying safe at home! Video calls are a great way to recreate a lunch date environment even when you’re apart.
- Creative momma? Create pockets of time for yourself when you can sit quietly to doodle or write so you can feed your need to keep creating. Bonus: if you enjoy making up stories, you can use those as bedtime stories for your baby!
- Love the outdoors? A quick walk around the block will not only help you clear your head, but it can also help you ease yourself back into a better state of fitness by increasing your circulation to help you heal.
Giving yourself these opportunities can help refresh and ground you, readying you for the day-to-day of momhood.
However, if your emotions feel heavier than simple tiredness, it may help to talk to a medical professional in case you are experiencing postpartum depression.
Getting back in the saddle
Depending on your level of fitness and your overall health, there are moms who, with the clearance of their OB, can continue at least some of their fitness routines well into the second or sometimes third trimester.
If you are one of them and you’re itching to get back on track, get going—but don’t push yourself to full exertion from day one. Even if you were already quite fit and active before pregnancy, you need to ease yourself back into your routines.
Start with light exercises, and remember to be gentle and patient with yourself! Your body had time to adjust while you were growing a tiny human being. And, depending on how your baby was delivered, your body underwent a great deal of stress that you will need to recover from.
Listen to your body. If you’re up to going running full-tilt, then go for it, but don’t force yourself. If you experience any discomfort, it’s okay to take your activity down a notch, then just work your way back up!
On a side note: you’ll be surprised how many exercises you can do at home--try these tips on getting fit in a home setting, and turn your living room into your personal gym!
Don’t forget: you are not alone!
Really, you’re not. People love sharing their highs on social media so keep in mind that those are likely the only ones that make it for public consumption. Would you really document your low points in photos just to post them online?
People who push themselves to bounce back faster may have another reason for pushing hard. Often, their careers require a certain type of body or level of fitness. There’s nothing wrong with this—chances are, they are also guided by professionals who know them well. But this also means that their motivations can be vastly different from your own.
If you feel you cannot keep up with that, just take a deep breath and admire them for their dedication. Let them inspire you and learn what you can from them, applying it to your own level of comfort and pace.
Try talking to your friends, too! Even if you don’t start at the same point, having a support group that encourages you to keep going and pushing to reach your goals can keep you on track as you take your journey towards becoming a fit and fabulous mom.
About The Writer
Rosabelle Fontelera-Yong is married with two kids ages 8 and 5, and also calls herself a mom to two dogs and six cats. She is a Creative Writing graduate from UP Diliman and has been a freelance writer since 2009, with a wide range of uncredited and credited work under her belt.
Some of her work can be found in print via Animal Scene and Wedding Essentials, and online via Mantle and edamama.
When she is not writing, she spends her time crafting, painting, and baking, occasionally with help from her kids. Rosa enjoys encouraging creativity in her children which is evident in the number of drawings and diagrams they have plastered on various walls around the house.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and do not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.