Mum, How Do You Feel about Your Postpartum Body?
When you are pregnant, not many things occupy your attention apart from that little bundle of joy you’ve got kicking inside your belly(unless you have an active toddler on your hands). What most mums-to-be start thinking about almost immediately after they find out they’ll be a parent is baby names, nurseries, cute baby outfits and the fact they’re giving birth to a human being. A few months in come thoughts about the baby’s upbringing, education, behaviours you’d want them to adopt, skills you’d like them to have, and other, say, potentially crucial aspects of their upbringing. Interestingly enough, apart from the weight gain, rarely any future mother thinks about her postpartum body and the difficulties that come with it. While there may be some sanity in not burdening yourself with things you can’t really change (for the most part), it’s still better to be aware of potential problems than get into an anxious frenzy once they arrive.
For all the future mothers out there, or those of you who have already given birth to your little diamonds, we’re openly talking about postpartum body difficulties and things you can do to make your lives more bearable, easier and, hopefully, healthier.
You might feel overweight and not yourself…
…and that’s okay. What nobody ever talks about is the fact that after you deliver, your stomach actually doesn’t go away straight away. You’ll have the “baby belly” for a few weeks and that’s absolutely normal. Also, no matter how much sleep you get, you’ll feel tired non-stop, and that’s also okay. Your body will be trying to accommodate the changes and it will be craving sleep to regenerate. One thing we’ll advise, though – don’t take any of it much too seriously. The belly will go away, you’ll eventually catch up on your sleep and get your glow back.
P.S. Don’t compare yourself to celebrities and their flat tummies – after all, they live a different kind of life.
You’ll still be the Queen of mood swings
If you thought mood swings will go away once you give birth, think again. You’ll get upset over almost every little thing, so the ideal thing to do is get on top of the situation by accepting and acknowledging them. Once you know the mood swings are your body’s reaction to delivery and the fact that you are actively caring for another human being, you’ll know there’s nothing wrong with you, or your “overly emotional reactions to the smallest of things” (as my husband called them). Also, if you, even for a second, start feeling depressed, detached from your baby or your husband, don’t suppress those feelings. Share them with your husband/family and seek help from your doctor. Postpartum depression is a real thing and it doesn’t just go away. Talk to a professional. There are plenty of great resources and your local health nurse can help too. Other Mummies are often one of your greatest support networks.
You might experience hair loss and your teeth will change.
Don’t worry, your hair will grow back. You’ll probably start losing it a month or two after the baby is born which is normal. You might see clumps in the shower and it will creep you out. BUT..you won’t go bald so don’t worry. Remember, it’s all a part of your postpartum body. As for your teeth, they might loose on density and firmness. Just ensure you seek attention from a dentist if you have any worries. Luckily, there are amazing dental specialist who can help with that. Just one of the options are dental veneers which are custom-made to fit any damaged teeth. Everything is fixable. You might not experience any of these things but if you do, don’t panic and just do what you normally would. Get help from the right people.
You’ll only want to wear comfy stuff
All of you mums who are breastfeeding (or are about to start), do know that breastfeeding activewear will be your best friend throughout the entire breastfeeding period. These pieces are comfy, easy to handle and they give amazing support without hurting your already tender breasts. Also, don’t force yourself into anything that doesn’t feel comfortable enough. Instead, gradually work towards getting back in shape by eating healthy, going for light walks and getting enough sleep. One of our favourite places for pregnancy and maternity wear is Milk and Love who stock the coolest, most comfortable AND stylish clothing – check them out here on their website. We loved the waterfall cardigan for a comfortable an stylish look and also, breastfeeding privacy. See our article here.
Your favourite shoes might not fit for a while..
You already know that your ligaments went loose because of birth, right? Well, this applies to feet, as well. Both or just one of your feet may swell, and they might go up a size. Wear comfy, stretchy shoes and sneakers until the swelling goes down. You can also use peppermint foot scrub and enjoy Epsom Salt Baths to bring back lost nutrients.
Exercising After Birth
Those in the know say you shouldn’t consider strenuous exercise until six weeks after birth. Possibly more if you have had a cesarian. Here are a few quick tips.
- Get up and move as much as possible
- Enjoy walks with your little one regularly – its great for both of you.
- Breastfeed if you can. It helps keep your baby healthy and it burns calories. Just remember you need good healthy food (and more of it) while you are breastfeeding too. When you have finished breastfeeding, remember to adjust your diet.
- Take regular naps – it helps keep you happy, healthy and stops you binge eating.
- Prepare healthy and easy snacks. Cut up veggies, add a dip, make some protein balls (or ask for healthy snacks from your friends and family)
- Consider joining a mums and bubs fitness group. A great way to meet other nearby mums too.
- Be patient – your body needs time. Dont worry about it just ensure you give your body lots of healthy foods.
You are beautiful and glorious and so is your precious little bundle. Take time to enjoy the little things, get outside and use your support networks. Love to you all.