Guest blog post by Lilu
The first few weeks postpartum are a whirlwind of emotions. Bringing a long awaited new baby home, settling into a new family routine and all the hormones can have varying effects on new moms. Generally overjoyed with their new roles as parents for the first few weeks and months (sometimes even years), moms tend to put their own needs second to that of their family. Eventually though, moms seek to feel like themselves again, both physically and emotionally.
This can be challenging given the demands of taking care of a newborn coupled with the demands of everyday life. So here’s a list of things that can truly make a difference in how you feel about yourself and help you feel more like yourself again postpartum.
1. Work on your fitness
During pregnancy and childbirth our bodies flex, stretch and change dramatically to make room for our growing babies. Postpartum moms realize that their bodies changed in both expected ways– like gaining weight, developing stretch marks, or having new c-section scars– and unexpected ways– your old jeans may fit, but they seem to fit differently and your body’s strength and muscle tone are likely to have changed as well. This leaves new moms feeling strange within their own bodies.
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You should always check with your doctor or general practitioner to make sure your body is ready to resume a workout routine, but finding one that helps you regain your strength and sense of confidence in your body is paramount for your mental sanity. Generally speaking you should ease into things and make sure you pay special attention to your pelvic floor muscles.
Regaining strength in your core and pelvic floor will help you feel stronger and more secure when going about your day. It’ll increase your confidence when wearing your old or new clothes, while keeping those muscles strong.You’ll also be able to keep your body properly aligned and ready to pick up and play with your baby or toddler.
Along with the things we love to do to feel good, like taking a walk around the neighborhood. We’re starting to see women consciously take care of their pelvic floor muscles; this is the part of the body so famously involved with pregnancy and childbirth. Kegelbell is a life changing device that’s convenient and won’t take up too much time while also having maximum impact on strengthening your pelvic floor. Within just two weeks, five minutes a day for three times a week, you’ll notice an improvement in your pelvic floor muscles!
So often it’s said that after having a baby, women experience bladder leakage from coughing, exercising and even laughing! Kegelbell gives you your confidence back and women say they notice changes extremely quickly.
2. Find the right bra
Your bra is often overlooked, but having a properly fitting bra that’s comfortable and holds your breasts properly can have a major impact on your outlook for the day. While pregnant your breasts are likely to be the first part of your body to change and while breastfeeding these changes will be more noticeable and dramatic. Having the right bra that facilitates your goals for the day can make a world of difference.
Not only will your bra make your clothes look better on you, it can make the difference between a wardrobe malfunction and easing through your day, especially while nursing.
There are many nursing bras out there at all price points that offer support for your breasts and easy access for your baby; from comfy sleep bras to cheap but sturdy Amazon bras, and fancy ones that easily transition from day to night. Working and nursing or exclusively pumping moms can also rely on tech-enabled pumping bras that actually help them produce more milk while pumping completely hands-free, like Lilu.
Whatever you choose, make sure that the bra helps you accomplish what you set out to do during your day and that it makes you feel empowered and supported. On the same note, clothes that fit (even if that means sizing up) will also make you feel better about yourself, while nursing pads will help keep your boobs from ruining your outfits.
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3. Talk to someone
Many new moms report feeling isolated postpartum. Human babies requiere non-stop attention for the first months to years of their lives, with moms having to work around the clock to keep them safe and thriving. This can make new moms feel disconnected from friends, family and/or work, all of which provide a sense of belonging and connection.
If you ever as a new parent feel overwhelmed, stressed or disconnected, reach out to someone. It can be a therapist, family member or trusted friend. If you can’t think of anyone, join a local parenting support group or make a friend at daycare. The pandemic forced parents to find new ways to connect and now it’s easier than ever to join a Facebook group or connect with a parent you identify with via DM on Instagram or Twitter. Whatever you decide, remember that parenting is hard, but that does not mean you have to go at it alone and people are often willing to help you if you ask.
All and all the most important thing as a new parent is to remember that as a parent you cannot pour from an empty cup, so you can’t let yourself–who you are and what you love– get lost in parenting. Having a sense of self and being confident in what you do and how you do it will give you a sense of control over your life and will enable you to go from being a good parent to a great one, after all the most important person in your baby’s life is you.