You are just returning from the hospital or birthing center and the first thing you can think of is food or sleep or painkillers. Food, because you and baby just completed a marathon and are famished. Sleep, because you have been awake in labor for hours or days. Painkillers, because you so sore from the C-Section or vaginal tears. As if you don’t already have enough on your plate, your postpartum body is still there to think about. You literally start to think, “maybe I’d get back to my shape after breastfeeding is complete.” “I hear if you don’t exercise as soon as possible, the baby weight will NEVER leave.” “My friend Ana lost all her baby weight in just 3 months.” Blah, blah and blah!!!
The thoughts start to flood your brain. We have all been there mama. Stay calm and practice these tips for accepting your postpartum body just as it is.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. As you already know, comparison they say is the thief of joy. You don’t know if the person you are comparing yourself to has 2 full-time nannies, a chef, a cleaner and a personal trainer to get them back in shape. Try as much as possible to avoid comparison because it only makes you miserable.
- Don’t compare your body to others. Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes and everyone will lose weight at different rates and paces. We sometimes fall into the trap of wishing we had somebody else’s body because we think it looks better than ours. Instead, work on your own body and embrace the transformation no matter how long it takes.
- Give it time. If you had a baby a few days or weeks ago you are not going to bounce back right away. Depending on how your delivery was, it takes time to heal so be patient and don’t prolong the recovery process by rushing to get back into shape. You will get there.
- Exercise to bolster you mood. Engaging in light exercises like pilates, yoga, taking walks or going to the gym increases your endorphins while helping you lose some weight, which in turn boots your mood. Win-win.
- Accept your body. After birth your body is changing and gradually getting back to its old self so embrace the journey at every stage.
- Celebrate every success throughout the journey. You may have not reached your post baby body weight yet but one of the best tips for accepting your postpartum body is to acknowledge and appreciate any and every progress. Whenever I lost a pound of baby weight or I noticed my favorite top was not as snug anymore, I would jump with excitement just because. Hooray!
- Wear stretchy clothes. Stretchy clothing is always accommodating for every and any shape so why not flaunt your curves and new body? My favorite piece of clothing are leggings. They are very comfortable to wear and perfect for your recovery journey.
Don’t forget that you are still you so stay beautiful, you will get there.