The legendary -love handles’, the well recognised pot belly, thunder thighs, big bottom, droopy bust, dark circles under your eyes, stretch marks that make your body look like an arterial road map, aren’t pretty.
After pregnancy, your body has been to hell and back, on what is ultimately the most incredible journey any woman can experience. There are many remaining -souvenirs’ from your amazing journey to constantly remind you of what you’ve endured. Whoever said being a mother was easy? No one, and that is why women carry the babies because if men had to do it, the human race would probably go into extinction.
Some mothers come out of the delivery room, and look absolutely radian. Within two weeks they are back to their slim pre-pregnancy body and can afford to throw on a pair of jeans and strappy top. Some mums may even look better than before they fell pregnant – imagine that.
Then there are those mums who don’t look so fabulous. Those moms may need a bit more time to get back to shape. This can take anywhere from 12 – 24 months. You have to remember that it took 9 months for your body to change so dramatically in order to nourish this new life. Therefore you can’t really expect it to bounce back in flash. Give yourself a break and take it easy. Enjoy your baby and your new body.
Whilst you don’t want to constantly beat yourself up about your -new body’ whatever shape or size it is you also don’t want to be stuck with this body forever. Don’t use your pregnancy as an excuse to let yourself go. It will take some hard work but it is possible to be a -yummy mummy .
If you are able to breastfeed this is a great way to kick start the weight loss. If you’re not breastfeeding don’t worry, you’ll still lose weight. During the first few weeks your body will start to rid itself of all the extra fluid that was needed during pregnancy. You may find that you need to urinate more frequently and perspire more than usual. The first 8-10kgs or so will usually drop off quite quickly, it is the stubborn 3 or 4kgs that take a bit more time.
We all know the basic principles to healthy living but to actually do it is something else.
Drinks lots of water and I mean lots. Carry a water bottle around with you all the time. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it can make to your skin, weight loss and mental well being. Start the morning with a cup of warm water and lemon – this is a great way to start the day and your digestive system.
Lack of sleep can leave you with very little will power to make healthy food choices so don’t put yourself in a tricky situation. Remember it all starts with your shopping trolley, if you buy healthy food then you won’t have to resist the temptation.
Never skip any meals and make sure your snacks are healthy ones – give the chocolate cake, crisps and doughnuts a miss.
Give yourself at least 6 weeks post-partum to recover from the birth, whether it was natural or c-section, then slowly start introducing light to moderate exercise. Swimming, brisk walking, yoga and pilates are excellent ways to start getting into shape. You can also start doing abdominal exercises to strengthen your core muscles but ultimately you’ll need to do total body workouts to achieve optimal results.
Studies show that exercise is a great mood enhancer and can reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Whilst I don’t think our bodies will ever be the same after having children I do believe that all the wobbly bits are worth it. So next time you’ll feeling fat and frumpy, pick up your baby and head to the mirror and look at this magnificent life that your brought into the world – what a blessing!
– Lucy-Anne Monastursky