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Is there anything that’s as natural yet as traumatic as giving birth? You’ve got another human slowly forming in your body for nine months, and then, in a hopefully brief period, they’re out and into the world. But of course, the hard work isn’t over — indeed, it’s only just beginning. For the next, well, many years, you’re going to be looking after them, providing for them, all in all putting your needs before theirs. This level of commitment will run much more smoothly if you’re feeling good in yourself, both mentally and physically. So, after so much time in pregnancy mode, how do you work on getting back to your brilliant best now that it’s over? We take a look at some tried and tested methods below.
Give Yourself Time
First thing’s first: don’t expect any miracles overnight. No-one leaves the hospital after giving birth and gets right back into the swing of things. First of all, you’re going to be exhausted — as we mentioned above, the process of giving birth is natural, but it’s also traumatic. If this is your first time giving birth, then prepare to spend more time than you might expect to try to get back to your energetic, best self. There’s no rush — and everything will run much smoother if you’re not forcing it, but recognizing that it’s a long-term aspiration.
Meet With Other Moms
You’re not going to slip back into the pace of life overnight — everyone’s going to be living their life to the full, and you, by comparison, will seem a little tired, a little disheveled, a little off the pace. No problem! While you’re waiting to get back up to speed, stick to your own kind — other moms. You’re going to have more in common with those people than you will the “regular” people in your life. This will give you the opportunity to slowly ease into becoming yourself again, with people who are also going through the same thing. Also, keep in mind that motherhood can feel like a lonely experience, especially in the early days, and this is a chance to connect with people that are also going through the same thing.
It can seem like your new role as a mother supersedes everything. Your life is divided into two: your pre-motherhood life, and your post-motherhood life. It’s easy to lose yourself in this way of thinking! There is, however, a group of people who know the real you, the one that you might have forgotten about — your friends. There’ll be supportive and encouraging about your new role, of course, but they don’t just see you as solely a mother, which is how you’re going to see yourself for a while. With your friends, you can bring out the other sides of yourself, which will allow you to reconnect with parts of your personality that you thought you’d lost. They haven’t disappeared forever — they’re just lying dormant. Your friends will wake them up.
One thing that many new mothers struggle with is their relationship with their bodies. No ordeal has a quite as transformative effect on the body as pregnancy. Of course, during the pregnancy stage, the changes are obvious — but it’s not as if the body magically returns to its old ways once the birthing process is over. You’ll need to work at it. The good news is that we now have more information than ever about the best ways to get that body back. And there are other benefits, too — during the act of working out, you’ll be giving your mental health boost, and have some time to yourself. You’ll begin to feel much more like yourself and ready to tackle whatever motherhood throws at you once you’re at your physical best, too.
Signs of Pregnancy
Of course, pregnancy doesn’t just affect your shape and weight. There are also other physical aspects to think about, too, which won’t go away just because you’ve lost the body weight. We’re talking, specifically, about stretch marks. Even when a woman has got back into her best shape, these marks can affect her self-confidence. So take action. To see what you can do about stretch marks on your body after pregnancy, take a look at https://www.mustelausa.com/stretch-marks-after-pregnancy. You’ll be on your way to smooth skin in no time.
Motherhood is grueling work. In your pre-motherhood days, your body was always probably feeling pretty good — but what with all the physicality, tiredness, and general “humanness” of motherhood, you’ll find that a relaxed body is a thing of the past. An afternoon on the couch used to cut it, but not anymore! To get back to feeling your best, something more is needed. Look at having an afternoon of pampering that includes a massage, sauna, and other treatments, and you’ll return home feeling like a million dollars. It’s the little boost that your body needs from time to time.
Get Dressed Up
Most mothers are more than content to grab whatever old clothes aren’t the dirtiest and wear them. And do you blame them? They’ve got bigger things to think about. However, while your day to day style may have its roots in what’s most comfortable, rather than what looks the best, there’s still much to be said for getting dressed up every now and again. Plan a date with your partner, drop the baby off at the grandparents, and go for an enjoyable night at a restaurant. It’ll do wonders for reminding you that there’s another side of you still alive and kicking.
Get Enough Sleep
OK, now, fair enough, the idea of being well-rested, or anything other than exhausted might sound like something of a joke. Parents are just exhausted creatures — that’s the way that it is. However, while you’re not going to feel at your alert best, it’s not like you need to be a walking zombie. The trick to improving the amount of sleep you get when you’re a mother is to make the most of any opportunity you have. While it might sometimes seem like it, your baby doesn’t require 24/7 attention. When you have some free time, don’t sit on a couch and scroll through Facebook — have a quick nap. No-one can be at their brilliant best if they’re more tired than tired.
New mothers are in a state of nearly constant stress. It’s their body’s way of making sure that they’re forever alert and protecting their baby. All good in the wild, sure, when the threat of an animal swooping in was real. In the modern world? Not so much. Most of the threats that are stress reactors respond to aren’t threats at all. Be grateful for this, because it means we don’t need to be as on edge as our mind would have us believe. One effective way to minimize the effects of stress is to meditate and do yoga — they do wonders when it comes to helping us stay calm. You’ll also find it much easier to feel at your best when you’re not shouting obscenities at a dropped carton of milk.
It’s not a nice thing to think about, but the fact is that there are many new mothers who end up feeling depressed after they’ve given birth. While any such feelings that you have will be minor, it’s possible that you’ll need the assistance of professional help in order to get back to your best. These days, there are countless professionals who can give you the support and care that you need to overcome these negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions (which, by the way, are completely normal!). If your feelings of sadness go on longer than is typical, then look at talking through your issues with someone who can lend a sympathetic ear and advice.
You were a fully-fledged individual before you became a parent, and you’re going to be one again at some point in the future. You don’t need to be defined by your status as a new mother — but it’s up to you to branch out and be more! If you’re trying to reconnect with yourself, one of the best things you can do is to simply make plans. All those dreams you had when you were younger? They’re not gone. Everyone’s a little better when they have big ideas about all the things they’d like to achieve in their life!
Your life is going to change once you have a child. You’re never going to be the same person as you were before — you’ll develop into something more, a person with more depth and layers, a more caring side, a more everything really. It is life multiplied. But your new identity doesn’t just take over the previous one. If you manage it correctly, it’ll be a fusion. You’ll become the best version of yourself, all the while being an awesome mother to your baby. It’s a win-win situation that benefits everyone involved.