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.
Because everyone’s idea and thought of starting a family is different, there is no right or wrong way in deciding where to begin. I personally did not put much thought into the “trying process” of conceiving until the time came. The time! So when really is the ‘time?’ It’s when you and/or your partner decide to start your family. For those who are married, there comes a time after the wedding when the relatives and family start to ask, “when are you having kids?” Well, you and your partner are the only ones that can make that decision.
Below are 6 signs that can tell you are ready for a baby.
- You are capable of taking care of yourself. In order for you to take care of a little human you should be able to take care of yourself first. Remember how the plane safety instructions asks you to make sure your oxygen mask is secured first before helping your neighbor? Yup, that’s it. Are you ready to be the healthiest and best version of yourself in order to be the best for your little one(s)?
- You have a strong support system in place. This wouldn’t have made much sense to me before I had my daughter, but now that I am a parent, I understand how much of a strong support system and community you need while parenting. Like the popular saying goes, it takes a village.
- You are responsible. There’s a deep raw responsibility that comes with having a baby. I mean you will be responsible for taking care of a little human’s life for a VERY long time. How is your attitude? Do you have bad spending habits? Do you clean up after yourself? Are you ready to be selfless? If you answers are somewhat in the lines of YES then you may be ready.
- You are open to change. Change is inevitable and welcoming a child into your life is going to be a big transformation in your daily living. Are you willing to wake up in the middle of the night to feed your baby? Are you ready to give up your social life for a little while to be home with baby? Don’t be scared. Change is good because it helps us grow. And trust me, becoming a parent for the first will teach you that.
- You are willing to make sacrifices for someone else. Becoming a parent is a very rewarding and blissful experience but requires a lot a sacrifice and selflessness. If you asked me before I had my daughter, would I want to my baby to be attached to my breast every 2 hours even through the night, I would have yelled a big NO. And yet, when it was my baby who was hungry or unable to sleep, it was me more than willing and ready to sacrifice anything to be there for her.
- You just know you want a BABY. Whether it is now, whether it is tomorrow, whether it is next year. You just know you want to be a parent but scared you may lose yourself or the time you have with your partner. No more “us” time or “me” time. The truth is, aren’t we all scared? Aren’t there times when we want to venture into something new but have a plethora of thoughts that hold us back? It’s because we are human. Rather than asking yourself if you are ready to be someone’s mother, ask if you want to be a mother.