As a new mom, you should expect changes both inside and out. After you give birth, your clothing, your breast, your hip and even your shoes might be different. They are the evidences how your body worked for 9 months. And don’t forget that, your mind and emotions are changing too. Don’t be alone going through all of it, you deserve support from others!
Ask for and Accept Help
It can be scary to realize that you are now responsible for another human being. According to Sharri Lawson, M.D., medical director of general obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, new moms can easily get anxious over plenty of things, such as fear of something that might harm the baby or shortage of breast milk. These feelings can be amplified if their sleep is disrupted or they are constantly overtired. She suggests new moms asking for and accepting help from their partner, family and friends. By doing so, they have time to rest and recharge themselves, which is the most important.
Reasonable Expectations About Losing Baby Weight
News often talk about celeb moms who can get back in shape quickly after giving birth. You might have wowed at Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian and Serena Williams with their postpartum bodies. “If they can do it, I sure can”. We know how motivated you are to get your figure back in a snap, however, you should put it in perspective. Those celeb moms all have personal trainers and personal chefs, so it’s unrealistic for you to compare yourself with them. It takes your body 9 months to change drastically, surely it can’t take only a few weeks to get back to the pre-pregnancy state. So what should you expect? You will naturally lose some weight during the first six to eight weeks (before your first postpartum doctor’s visit). And after that, normally there are still 10 to 15 more pounds to lose if you followed your doctor’s recommendation for pregnancy weight gain.
Burn Calories with Breastfeeding
Researches show that breastfeeding offers many benefits varying from preventing illness, providing perfectly balanced nutritions and also lessening the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. But it’s not an easy job, it takes energies to produce breast milk. If you are worried about shortage of breast milk, you should make sure to get 300 more calories a day by eating an additional snack such as fruits or yogurt. But don’t worry, you won’t gain weight with those extra calories as breastfeeding, along with a healthy diet, helps you lose the baby weight.
A Postpregnancy Workout with Core Strengthening Exercises
As your torso takes the hardest beating when you are pregnant, postpartum workout should focus on it! Along with moderate cardio, you need to start core strengthening workouts. During your pregnancy, it is impossible to exercise the rectus abdominal muscles as they are too stretched. Some women even have rectus abdominis diastasis (separation of the abdominal wall muscles) and workouts that target this condition can help bring back the muscles.
Don’t just throw away your prenatal vitamins as you are still in need of them (especially if you’re breastfeeding). You need more nutrients to restore the ones you lost during pregnancy as well as to support your body to produce breast milk. You might be recommended taking an iron supplement and vitamin C (for better iron absorption).
Strengthen Weakened Pelvis Floor Muscles with Kegels
Normally, the changes inside the body freak out new moms the most as it’s hard to see and revert. Prolonged pushing, a forceps- or vacuum-assisted childbirth during delivery might lead to some bladder leakage afterwards. However, don’t worry just yet as this is usually temporary. As the body heals, you will experience improvement within several weeks to months. For quicker results, you should perform Kegel exercises to strengthen the weakened pelvic floor muscles. But if the leakage is worrisome, you might need to consult a pelvic health therapist.
Lessen Stretch Marks with Retinol
Stretch marks can be a confidence killer, so make sure to slather on creams and oils during pregnancy. However, you might still see some deep purplish or pink lines. To avoid permanent scarring, retinoid creams will be of good use. Derived from vitamin A, this cream helps lessen the appearance of new stretch marks. You need to apply them while the marks are less than a few months old or it will be too late. Once the mark turns white, you will have to live with it!
Resume Your Sex Life
One of the biggest concerns of new moms is how the walls of their vagina get after delivery. For vaginal birth, the walls must stretch quite a bit. But worry not, they do spring back into place. So as soon as you feel ready and get the green light from the doctor, you can resume your sex life. Expect to have less lubrication if you’re breastfeeding as your body is producing less estrogen. But a vaginal lubricant can always come to rescue if you feel discomfort.
Accept Your New Life
You now have become a mom! And it’s gonna change your life forever! No one can tell you exactly how your early parenthood is going to be, so it’s important to expect then changes and recognize them. It might be overwhelming with frequent feedings, night wakings, etc, but it’s well worth it. Your new life will now be filled with love, thrills and wonderful memories!