Guest post by Mackenzie Fox
As a fresh mum, I’ve had some hard time coping with the changes that started torturing me since I got pregnant. At first, there were the body changes with which I could deal. But soon, I felt attacked, even offended by the post-pregnancy stories and photographs launched by the media, where the only important thing seems to be losing weight. I am sure that this feeling of mine is not an eye opener, and that many women actually share my feelings.
If you are reading this as a mother, you must know all the troubles I have been through. However if you are reading this as a mother to be – then I truly hope that you will find some guidance and good advice.
Here are some things that from my personal experience, you need to know – always.
First and foremost, the sense of hugeness is not there to stay. When my beautiful baby arrived, I was baffled why that weight was still on. For a moment, I believed the doctor forgot to pull out another baby (I wish it was that simple). I thought that I would shrink to my pre-pregnancy size, immediately. One month later, I still felt biggish and I was not fine with it. What I have learned is that you are not supposed to ponder or feel desperate about this temporary situation, as it will change if you are willing to work on it.
Secondly, how well do new mums eat? Why is it so important not to deprive yourself of food or skip meals after giving birth? The first year after pregnancy is very important for our bodies and we must nurture it in order to give it a chance to recover. Choose food rich in vitamins and nutrients so as to gain strength and keep regular metabolic functions. Keeping normal metabolic functions causes losing baby-weight naturally. Eat regularly, don’t skip meals, and consult with an expert, your doctor or dietician, on the type of food and the amount so as to keep your health.
Next on the list is sleep. Even though it sounds impossible with a new baby on board, make sure you get enough sleep. Being tired causes the release of stress hormones which affect our body and in the long run may cause weight gain. Take naps together with your baby and you will see how recuperating even a 10-minute nap can be.
Also, get yourself hydrated. Do not forget to drink plenty of water. Soft drinks are not the right choice when it comes to hydration due to the amount of sugar they contain. Instead of taking enough fluids, you will end up taking too many calories through soda and it will result in your gaining some extra kilos. Try replacing every glass of soda with a glass of water to stay healthy.
Shape up! Take up an activity that will allow you to feel your body and work out at your own pace. This can be Yoga, Pilates, Mommy and me gym course, a walk outside with your baby; as long as it makes you feel comfortable. In addition, you can get creative and try to incorporate exercises into your daily life. Be cautious if you’ve had a caesarean section. You might want to start your exercise lightly and only after you consult with your physician. Here are some exercise ideas.
Don’t forget to give yourself time. Realistic prospects are that you will get to or close to your pre-baby weight in ten months to a year. Losing weight quickly, can cause sacked skin and maybe some other health issues. If your body was changing slowly for nine months in one direction, the only logical course of action would be to give it nine months to recoup before attacking it with dieting and exercising.
Do you think you need a tummy tuck? Be realistic and grounded when deciding on this. Surgery is another stress, and you are in for another recovery. Think about it as your last resource, after exercises and dieting haven’t worked. Have in mind that surgery is not for everyone and that the doctor could tell you that you are not a right candidate. Make sure you evaluate the risks before going to the benefits and don’t take anything lightly.
Whichever course of action you choose, you need to be moderate and patient. Let this experience be enjoyable, take care after your baby but do not neglect yourself in any way. Proper diet, hydration, working out and trying to sleep regularly as much as you can, will get you on track at the pace of your metabolism, making the post-baby weight history.