7 useful tips for postpartum health
Concentrating on both physical and mental health after giving birth is so important. However, chances are you simply won’t feel like it. Those sleepless nights, those crazy hormones accompanied by all those tears (yes there are a lot!), and the dramatic changes to everyday life won’t have you jumping for joy. This is most likely because you won’t even be able to jump, lets face it, even walking is a struggle. No matter how your baby came into the world, it isn’t exactly pain free, and therefore it takes time to feel somewhat normal again.
When I was pregnant with my first baby I took the saying “you’re eating for two” a little too far. I ate for my baby, a small army and me. I knew I was gaining weight but I chose to be both ignorant and naive. The weight just falls off after you give birth right? Wishful thinking.
Second time around I was a little wiser. However, those cravings to constantly have food, I didn’t care what, in my tummy were still there. Resulting in a gain of what I am now embarking on trying to lose – 15kg.
I’ll be honest with you, losing baby weight isn’t easy. However, a few small inclusions and changes to your new and very busy daily schedule can have a huge impact. For me, seeing these changes in my body improved everything. It gave me more energy (even on little sleep), it made me happier and it, in turn, helped me to be a better mother.
Here are some of my tips to help you get on track:
GET RID OF THE JUNK
Motherhood often consists of cold coffee, left over toddler meals and whatever you can get your hands on in the pantry. When I embarked on losing the weight I had gained during my pregnancy the best action I took was to remove the junk from the pantry. It’s so easy to grab whatever is on hand so make sure your only options are healthy.
ASK FOR HELP
Don’t be afraid to ask for a healthy home cooked meal instead of a gift after your baby arrives. This helped me immensely. Having a freezer stocked full of healthy meals also gave me time to fit in some exercise instead of cooking.
Find some inspiration. Look at others who have embarked on this journey and network with them. No one knows the journey of parenthood like another parent. They can be your best go to for advice, motivation and are also great to express your own feelings and experiences.
This takes time. Don’t expect to be fit and healthy overnight. I started by walking and setting small goals to increase my distance and time. From here as my body strengthened, I began circuit training (you can definitely do this at home!). Use your body weight and increase the intensity.
Keep a food diary by recording what you eat, when you eat it. I found that writing down my daily intake of food stopped me from making unhealthy choices.
Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol. If you can, aim for around three litres of water a day – water can aide in weight loss and assist in burning calories. Green tea is also a great go-to and has significant health benefits. The caffeine intake is low, so I found it’s good when breastfeeding.
RIDE THE ROLLER-COASTER
Remember that pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood all have dramatic effects on both your mind and your body, so be kind to yourself. Dealing with the emotional roller-coaster can be tough so talk to others, take time for yourself and most of all enjoy your beautiful little baby.
For more tips, follow my fitness journey after my second bub on Instagram @fitmummadunn
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