My Top Tips for a Post Partum Mama
How do I get my body back? Who will I be once I become a Mama? What will my tummy look like? Will it be awful? These are questions many women as themselves in the late stages of pregnancy. The pressure from society and ourselves is full on. The reality is that for the first 6 weeks after giving birth, you need to allow yourself time to recover. You know the celebs who are in their skinny Jeans a month after birth, well to do that, they would have to be in a calorie deficit ( not recommended for PP Mama's) created by eating very little or by exercising which again isn't recommended until at least 6 weeks Post Partum. So, give the 'Bounce Back' idea the peace sign and take your time. Here are my Top six tips from one Mama to another x
ONE // SELF LOVE
Before anything else this is THE most important thing to do. Your body has just grown a human and birthed it. Out the Vag or the sunroof, it's been through a lot. It needs love and care, not hate and neglect. Of course It's normal to look in the mirror and be disheartened by how you have changed and worry you will never be the same. But that's not how it has to be. Look after yourself and you can be BETTER. Emotionally and Physically.
TWO// FUEL So when we start from a point of self love and recognizing all our body has done for us, what follows is a desire to look after ourselves. You are going to be hungry, Really Hungry!!! SO EAT. EAT. EAT. Never starve yourself. You are hungry for a good reason, your body is still working, repairing healing oh and probably producing milk too. All this work requires extra energy. It's estimated a breast feeding Mama can need up to 500 extra calories per day. BUT the most important thing to think about is what are we giving our bodies for fuel? What does it need? Grains, protein, healthy fats, dairy. What does it not need? High salt, high fat, nutritionally void foods. When I was PP and the hunger set in, I made nutritious snacks for my fridge that I could easily grab because I noticed I was heading for jelly snakes and bikkies because they were easiest to grab. Don't get me wrong of course I still had some of those and enjoyed them but mainly I tried to eat nutrient dense food. Bliss balls and chopped veggies were my go to for snacks and then at dinner time I wasn't shy about eating my carbs. Brown Rice, Pasta, spuds all excellent sources of the energy we need as new Mama's.
Find the little things you can do for yourself in those early weeks that bring you joy/comfort/ relaxation. Look, let's not be too ambitious here.The first six weeks you will be feeding your tiny human what feels like constantly and in between that there is the cooing, the nappy changing the picture taking, the sniffing, the crying etc etc. So, we have to look for little ways to care for ourselves. It can be as simple as showering each day. Trust me, you will feel like a new woman and yes this is a treat once you become a Mama. Especially, if said shower is audience free 🤣 Pop on a facemask after. Have a tea. Take 30 minutes to read a book/ meditate, whatever floats your boat. Make yourself a 6 week check up with your GP. Don't forget about YOU, because You are so important.
FOUR/PELVIC FLOOR So, So, So important. Incontinence, difficulties with sex and reaching orgasm. Things we want to avoid right? All reasons why we need to work our pelvic floor. They can be done 24hours after birth so get squeezing that penis, sucking in that tampon, whatever analogy works for you. It's muscle and the more we work it, the stronger it will become. I know, it's soooo hard to actually remember to do them so set an alarm or do them each time you feed or each time you eat? ( of course I am doing mine now as I type. Have you just started too?) 😂
FIVE//BUMPY BEGINNINGS Something I don't think many new Mama's expect is how the arrival of your precious bump is going to change your relationship. As soon as that baby is in your arms this primal instinct just kicks in and they are number one. It's like every fibre of your being is focused solely on keeping this baby alive and your poor hubby is instantly bumped down the pecking order. Throw into that two very tired parents, nerves in relation to your new roles, unsure where the division of labour now sits , hormones etc and don't be at all surprised if you find yourselves taking it all out on eachother. It's totally normal and to be expected. You will get through it just keep communicating.
SIX//MOVE ( gently) We move so much as new Mama's. Think, rocking our baby's, lifting them from the cot, lowering them back in, holding them whilst feeding, twisting to grab the nearest bib etc . If we do these movements more mindfully, making sure we engage our core, activate those glute they become the building blocks to regaining our strength and moving onto more complex movements. Also as soon as you are healed, walking can be so beneficial for the body and the mind. Start really short , at a slow pace and build from there. Go at your own pace there is no rush.
Listen to your body and start with the basics. After all, she just gave you a bloody baby.