The ‘Gram has you gasping. How did she get back into shape so quickly after her delivery? Sleep deprivation and sore nipples make it hard for any mama to feel their healthiest (and happiest) postpartum. And those glossy social media photos of new celebrity mums don’t make it any easier!
We break down the myth of “bouncing back” after birth and share our tips for getting your groove back the smart and safe way instead.
1. Comparison is the thief of joy.
We know, mamas. It’s hard not to look in the mirror and wish we had our old figures again! But don’t forget. Our bodies adapted to accommodate the growing lives they held for nine months, and they can certainly change again in the future. The important thing for now is to focus on your postpartum recovery.
Remember: comparison is the thief of joy. What you see on social media is highly curated. Often, those mums you’ve been comparing yourself to have teams of stylists and experts to get them looking the way they do!
Don’t place unrealistic expectations on yourself to lose your pregnancy weight quickly. Instead, focus on adjusting to your new normal and give yourself a pat on the back for every small (but significant) parenting milestone you’ve hit.
2. Take the time to self-care.
It can be tough to focus on yourself when you’ve got a new little life to take care of. But don’t forget that your wellbeing matters, mamas! The best thing you can do for your baby is to get yourself to a good place: physically, mentally and emotionally.
Some important things to bear in mind:
- Say yes.
Many new mothers struggle to ask for help, especially in those early days. We’re here to remind you that you don’t need to have it all together. (Trust us: no one does!). Don’t be afraid of saying yes to an extra pair of hands or a kind offer of help from family members or friends. Tuck that to-do list of yours away for a bit and focus instead on catching some much-needed me-time.
- Protect your mental health.
Most mothers have experienced some form of the baby blues after giving birth. Postpartum depression, on the other hand, is a different (and far more difficult) ballgame.
It can feel overwhelming and, often, extremely alienating for new mothers who are going through depression. Lean on loved ones during this time and know where you can turn to for help. Try connecting with support groups and speak to your healthcare provider if you think you might be experiencing symptoms of postpartum depression.
- Treat yourself.
A spa day often works small wonders for the soul! Pop a face mask on, light some scented candles and pamper that postpartum skin of yours.
Take care to use paraben-free skincare products and give extra love to problematic areas. To reduce the appearance of stretch marks, make sure to apply a hypoallergenic cream that is rich in anti-oxidants and contains ingredients that will help to nourish your dehydrated skin. This Stretch Mark Cream by Mama’s Choice is a perfect pick, with safe, halal and natural ingredients such as cooling aloe vera to relieve itchiness, shea butter and jojoba oil to keep your skin supple and Lipobelle Soyaglycone to enhance collagen production and repair the tiny tears in your skin.
This cream can be applied consistently on your belly, hips and thighs from your second trimester until at least six months postpartum to prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
3. Reconnect with your partner.
It’s all too easy to forget about your other half when there’s an (adorable) third party in the mix. Relationships often go through understandable changes when a new baby arrives. But remember that your little one is meant to complement, not consume, your relationship.
Try to carve out some time with your partner in the midst of all the new baby chaos. Small practices, such as implementing early bedtimes for your child, arranging date nights and consciously engaging with each other on non-baby related issues, can go a long way.
4. Get your body going.
Your body has been through a lot during pregnancy and delivery. While it’s important to keep mobile postpartum, pace yourselves. Overly strenuous activities or high intensity routines can hamper your body’s healing process.
Start small with easy walks first, before slowly increasing your exercise regime. Be aware of your body’s needs and understand your limitations. Mothers who have been through a Caesarean section should take extra care, with many experts recommending exercise only after six weeks have passed from delivery.
Don’t overlook the importance of Kegel exercises too! This helps to strengthen weakened pelvic floor muscles and is particularly effective for bladder control issues and conditions such as diastasis recti after delivery.
5. Cut out the junk.
Endless bags of potato chips. Secret tubs of ice cream for “calcium”. We’ve all been there! We know that breastfeeding works up a healthy appetite – but the key word here is healthy.
Make sure that you’re eating right and maintaining a balanced diet, post-delivery. Doing so helps your baby- and you. It can be easy to pack on the pounds by snacking on junk food. Try swapping this instead with nutritious snacks, such as pieces of fruit, yoghurt or dried nuts. Remember as well to stay hydrated, take your vitamins and catch up on rest whenever you’re able.
Forget the fad diets, too. You’ll need the calories to boost your milk supply, so put aside your weight loss worries and just enjoy this time of bonding with your bub.
Good luck, mamas – now go and get your groove on!
This is a sponsored post by Mama’s Choice.
New mum and baby brand Mama’s Choice has hit Malaysian shores, after previously making waves in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand’s online marketplace. Their best-selling, all-natural Stretch Mark Cream is available for purchase on their website and on Shopee and Lazada.