Labor and Delivery is tough. Whether you had a vaginal birth or a C-section, serious trauma has occurred to your body. It was totally worth it of course! Your post pregnancy body needs some time to adjust to all that its been through. This list of Post Pregnancy Recovery Tips consist of some ideas and actions that helped me through the recovery process. I can only hope they do the same for you. Congrats momma!
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Ease Back Into It
Everyone is different. I give mad kudos to those Momma’s who have come back to pre-baby form in less than 3 months. That is fantastic, but some of us just can’t get it back that quickly. Some need more time to recover and need to ease back into exercise at a slow pace to avoid injury. If this is you, embrace it!
Honestly, it took nine months to make that beautiful little ball of love. The least you can do is give yourself a break and know it takes times to come back from that. Listen to your body and make smart decisions before diving into a workout routine. Start slow and be realistic. If you had a hard delivery, chances are it may take longer than another mom who had a easy quick delivery.
After my first baby, I didn’t feel quite back to myself until about two years. Yes, this is a long time and you may not even come close to it being this long. I just want to share how I experienced recovery and know that we are not all created equal.
Now that we have covered leniency on your post baby body, let’s discuss how a few ways to get started. Some moms get home and immediately want to work out and get back into shape. First off, the doctor doesn’t recommend you begin working out until 6 weeks postpartum. Also, your body’s joints are still weakened by the Relaxin released for delivery. However, there are some things you can do safely before your doctor gives you the all clear to pump iron dear.
The stomach vacuum is an easy exercise that will benefit you greatly to strengthen your core. This is also a great way to treat distended midsections and those with diastasis recti. This simple exercise is a way to get a head start in your workout routine before you even begin.
To perform the Stomach Vacuum, begin standing or sitting upright with your hands on your hips. Exhale all the air out of your lungs, then inhale, expanding your chest and sucking your stomach in as far as possible. Think of it as though you are trying to touch your navel to your spine. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat up to three times. Do this every other day as needed or as you feel up to it.
Wrap it Up
Before giving birth, your body releases a hormone called Relaxin that causes your joints to soften making it easier for mom to push baby out. This softening of our joints can also cause our hips to widen. After delivery, many cultures have practiced hip binding for centuries to aid in the mother’s hips taking back their natural position.
Currently, there are several fantastic products such as the Belly Bandit to help new moms recover more quickly with hip and tummy wraps. I highly recommend you take advantage of these products as they can help tremendously in the recovery process. Hip wraps or hip binding will help you squeeze back into your jeans and a tummy wrap not only helps slim your waist, it will also assist your uterus as it shrinks down into its natural position.
Click Clack, “What was That?”
This may not be for everyone, but it sure made a difference for me. My hips did not sit properly after my first child and it wasn’t until my second that I was introduced to the wonders of a Chiropractor. I benefited greatly having been adjusted after I gave birth to assure that my hips set properly as the Relaxin in my joints left my body. Rather than my hips being off center and making an odd popping sound every now and again. I am aligned and feel wonderful!
If you have experienced hip pain or discomfort, look into a prenatal Chiropractor and see if it is something you could benefit from as well. Your Obstetrician will most have information about this and can refer you to someone you can trust. Be wary of just anyone, its best to go to a Chiropractor that is well experienced and has references. Do your research.
You Stinky Thing
No one told me how much I would sweat after pregnancy. We are all different, but I stunk. Not only did I stink, I didn’t want to load my body up with chemical packed perfumes and deodorants. As an alternative I used Peppermint Essential Oil and a natural deodorant.
The oil smelled great and gives a cooling sensation too. I would apply the peppermint oil to the back of my neck and on the back of my arms. This way when I held the baby, it would not rub off onto them. Test the oil on a small part of your arm first to be sure you will not have a reaction to it. This is a way to keep you cool and smelling great!
Keep the Preggers Clothes
Don’t throw those maternity tops and bottoms out just yet. Yes, your baby is here and you are no longer pregnant. However, your body just went through a NINE month transformation. DO NOT think that it’s going to sling back to pre-baby form. Give yourself some time to recover and give your body a chance to transition back.
Your maternity tops with the ruched sides are still super cute to wear with no belly. Your maternity bottom will also come in handy as your hips come back into form, you did just have a little person between them.
Get Your Booty Outside
Bringing home a new baby and settling into a new routine may take several days or weeks. Dash in a bit of sleepless nights and you may find yourself somewhat of a hermit. Days may pass before you step outside aside from the occasional pediatrician visits and diaper run. It truly takes time to get acclimated to a new baby and squeeze in some personal time.
With that in mind, it doesn’t hurt to just step outside for about 15 minutes. It’s rejuvenating, invigorating and replenishing. The sun is a powerful force and a mood booster. When the baby goes down for their nap, grab the baby monitor and soak up some sunlight on the porch for a few minutes.
A bit of fresh air can do wonders, not to mention the few minutes of “you time” to just relax and breathe will help your sanity.
The New You
This is Motherhood! It’s messy, magical, beautiful and crazy fantastic! This body made you a mom, now love it! No matter how it looks after baby, love it! This body gave you that sweet little baby to love until the end of your days so be thankful for it. Don’t curse it or sulk over it. Don’t stare in the mirror envisioning the former you. That body is sexy. It’s a new chapter in life, embrace every part of it. This body made you a mother and that is the most rewarding job in the world!
This post gives useful information on newborn care. Check it out!