When you’re pregnant, there’s usually lots of help available to help you deal with physical and emotional changes, but once your baby is born, a lot of it stops. Everybody turns their attention to the baby, and you can find yourself feeling very alone as your body goes through the slow process of recovery. How can you get your confidence back? The first step is to get a clear perspective on the challenges that confront you.
One of the things that makes it difficult for many women to feel confident after pregnancy is that they don’t have realistic expectations. Most of the images we see of women in this situation come from magazines and television programs celebrating celebrities’ rapid weight loss and how great they look—it’s all too easy to forget that they’re wearing professionally done make-up, probably have nannies and are likely to suffer health problems because they lost that weight too fast. In reality, most women take between eight and 16 months to recover, and few go back to being as slim as they were before. If you’re keen to lose weight quickly, the healthiest way to do it is by breastfeeding. If you can afford it or you have helpful family and friends, getting extra help to take care of the baby at other times can let you focus on getting your strength back.
Get your energy back
The best way to recover your fitness after pregnancy is through exercise. Don’t start this without medical advice and bear in mind that you will have to wait longer if you’ve had a C-section, but be ready to start with little things like pelvic floor exercises (which can end urinary incontinence) early on. Set realistic targets and remember that even things like housework can help, as long as you keep moving. You can also give yourself a boost by eating well, getting a balanced diet with plenty of fluids and, if you’re breastfeeding, with plenty of calcium.
Enjoy your body
Even if recovering your figure takes time, you’ll soon start to look slimmer once the baby is out, and putting on some non-maternity clothes can feel really good. Why not find a curvy girl lingerie site and pick up something that makes you feel sexy again, or buy some new shoes to celebrate being able to walk more easily? If you can find the time, hot scented baths can help you forget the pain and strain and soothe your spirit by easing the tension out of your body. You could also treat yourself to a massage, though you should check with your doctor before your lower body is massaged. Simple things like getting your hair done or trying out a new make-up style can help you feel like you’re back in control.
Although you’ll have a lot to do as you raise your child, once the pregnancy is over, your body is your own again, and that’s something worth celebrating. Enjoy it, care for it, and soon you’ll feel ready to take on the world again.