In many ways, motherhood changes you in a way nothing will ever do. And while it’s exciting to feel these different emotions as you watch your kid grow, there’s also something else you must face: the difference that pregnancy makes on your body. It is no longer the way it used to be. People who get their bodies back right after pregnancy are gifted individuals. The truth is that your body will change completely – from the wide hips to the breast shape to even the shoe size.
It’s important to take care of your mental health during this time. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t only be taking care of your kids, but yourself, too. You have every right to demand a “me time.” You need help with the kids so that you can get a moment of rest. Having kids is wonderful, but that doesn’t mean you need to love every minute of it. Giving yourself a break is one of the first things you have to learn once you have kids. Don’t feel guilty for wanting to take care of yourself.
Ask for and Accept Help
Whether that help will come from your partner or others, make sure to seek and ask for it. Being responsible for another human being is a scary thought. If you are not taking care of yourself properly, you are also risking that baby’s health. Remember that if you are breastfeeding, stress impacts the quantity and quality of the milk that your body produces. Disrupted sleep and exhaustion will affect the baby, too. Ask for and learn how to receive help whenever you can.
Demand for Personal Time
You cannot get your body back if you do not demand personal time to do the work you need to do. Since you have to work out, ask your partner to take care of the baby while you’re in the gym or talking with a trainer online. But being a busy bee is no excuse for not making sure you’re making the most out of that time. One of the first things you need to do is make sure your trainer took the right personal trainer courses for your situation. Also, you have to ask your doctors about exercising right after giving birth.
Have Reasonable Expectations
If only all mothers could get their bodies back the way models and celebrities do, right? Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. There is no sense for you to compare your body to others. You are on your own journey. It’s unrealistic to compare yourself to celebrities who have personal trainers and chefs, too. Their whole team understands that part of that celebrity status is maintaining their physical attributes. They spend thousands of dollars on making sure they get their bodies back after pregnancy. That’s more than you can say for your household budget.
Breastfeed or Not
Breastfeeding has many benefits. It is healthy for the baby, and it helps the mother lose weight. However, if you don’t feel like it, know that you can feed your baby formula milk. Sometimes, the mental anguish of not producing enough milk can make you feel so stressed. Don’t do that to yourself. Rather, take a moment to consider what you want to do and how you can get there. If you don’t think breastfeeding is for you, then don’t do it. There’s nothing wrong with mothers who cannot and do not want to breastfeed. Don’t stress yourself over it.
Start any way you like it. Remember that this is not a race. Some people might get their pre-pregnancy bodies three months after giving birth. Some mothers will take years. And then, some might never get their bodies back in shape. It’s okay. The important thing is to live healthily-eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Don’t force yourself to shed that extra weight because the stress can be detrimental to your goal of losing those extra pounds.
Mothers can be too hard on themselves. They need to take care of their kids and, at the same time, will force themselves to work, lose weight, maintain the household, and many others. You don’t need to do all these things at once. You can be chill about breastfeeding and losing weight. Focusing on yourself first is acceptable and even advocated. Weight gain during pregnancy and after pregnancy is not a joke. Mothers face all kinds of mental torture after pregnancy, so the least you can do is be kind to yourself.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.