It amazes me what women can do in the span of one year. Conceive, carry the growing fetus for 9 months, give birth to a beautiful human and supply its entire nutrition for several months - a year! Going through this miracle of life can be the most incredible thing we do as women, but it can also create challenges mentally and physically. Mental changes occur due to hormones and then lack of sleep and overall exhaustion, but I never knew the meaning of listening to your body until after Baby Parker arrived! I was eager to jump back on the spin bike and shed the baby weight, I did not listen to my body. I realized this after rushing into it all too quickly when I threw my back out. Take a minute to give yourself a pat on the back for all you have just accomplished and ease into the routine.
My steps for success:
1. Relax - Your child is going to pick up on your stress levels faster than you can acknowledge it. Be sure to relax. Know that there is not one way to raise your baby or take care of your baby. Give yourself some credit for the 9 months you have just completed and give your mind and body an opportunity to be at ease.
2. Feed Your Tummy - Eager to lose the baby weight, yet still breastfeeding creates a challenge as hunger consumes you as you continue to eat for 2. This is not the time to diet, but it is the time to watch what you eat to ensure your milk supply is filled with nutrients that your baby needs.
3. Yoga - I was never a Yogi until recently after having a baby. It provided me the ability to sweat and mentally and physically challenge myself. Your yoga practice is about YOU and nobody else and you should find comfort in the fact that 'fetal position' is always an option
4. Patience - Patience is key for any new mom, whether it be with yourself or baby. Find activities that allow you to have more patience. Perhaps its Grandma or Grandpa watching baby for an hour while you go get a manicure or shop! You will come back with a clean slate mentally and ready to take on new tasks. Patience is also key with your weight loss. It is not going to come off overnight.
5. Date Night - find time with your husband/partner to be alone. Again, another mental must for you! Finding time to go see a movie, grab a quick bite or simply going on a walk (without baby) is key to relaxing the mind and body.
AUTHOR: Emily Bernstein