When I got pregnant the first time, I couldn't begin to fathom what was about to happen to my body—and I certainly had many moments where I really didn't believe my belly was ever going to be flat again. But, to my surprise, it is.
Being fit before pregnancy is key and remaining fit during pregnancy is equally as important, but not stressing over it and embracing this seriously incredible journey is crucial.
As with many things in life, when we stop stressing, things kind of just fall into place. Learning to just roll with the changes of my body helped me prepare for all the things I am unable to control in motherhood. My body will never be exactly the same and that's OK, because how could it? I've carried and delivered two children. So, at some point, I had to just let go and direct my focus to being my healthiest self instead of trying to return to a body that was never going to be the same.
I also became a big advocate for embracing easy ways to get back into shape—such as these 10 methods...
1. Actually, don’t get started right away
You just delivered a human and that's a BIG DEAL. Your goal is to take care of you so you can take care of your baby and that starts with getting rest. I'm sure your to-do list has grown exponentially since giving birth, but it can wait. You need to break when your baby is napping and try your best to go to sleep at night when your baby does.
2. Nourish your body
Nutrition is key when it comes to feeling your best so take this time to start to incorporate foods that are rich in nutrients. This will help your body begin to heal, normalize hormones and increase energy. This is not the time to crash diet or cleanse, but a time to be mindful of the foods you are putting into your body.
3. Take walks with baby
Babies love to move since they spent nine months moving with you—so strap your baby in a carrier or place them in the stroller and get outside. Our bodies heal when they are in motion and you will not regret the numerous health benefits from a 30-minute stroll.
4. Don't skip the lotion
I'm sure you spent much time slathering on moisturizer in order to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy (kudos!) but you still need it from head to toe. As a new mom, I know you are limited on bathroom time so find a spray lotion and make it quick.
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Whether you are breastfeeding or not, you still need H20 to keep your insides working and your outsides glowing. I love an ice-filled glass with lemon wedges and summer time is the perfect time to create some deliciously fruit and veggie infused options. (After my second child I was hooked on water with cucumber, mint, lemon and ginger.)
6. Make time for yourself
Me-time is going to be crucial for your wellbeing—and your family's—so make time for it! It can be the same thing each week or mix it up, but make sure it happens. There are numerous things you can do but your number one priority is to make certain you don't allow yourself to feel that awful feeling known as mom guilt. You need this time and so does your baby.
7. Work out with baby
Turn mommy-and-me time into a workout by beginning to strength train and sculpt your body with your baby. Babies can be great weights and motivators with all their cuteness. So grab a yoga mat, the Boppy and start working those arms and squeezing your glutes. (Note: I tell all my new mommies to stay away from crunches, twists and squats until they are at least three-months postpartum and at less risk of prolapse and diastasis.)
8. Involve your friends
New moms need time with their girlfriends—and with all of your new responsibilities and lack of sleep it will seem hard to make it happen. Turn girl time into a workout and a juice date. Find a fun class, take a hike, go for a jog then grab your favorite green juice and catch up.
9. Stream home workouts
Bring your workout to you and don't stress about signing up for a class or renewing your gym membership. Try signing up for a streaming workout that fits your needs and create a small space. Check out LEKfit ON DEMAND and get sweaty while baby hangs with you at home.
10. Throw a dance party
When all else fails, turn up the speakers, grab your little one and shake, shimmy, wave your arms and bounce around like you literally just don't care. Dancing around, being silly and singing with your baby is an instant mood-lifter and great way to get moving.
It can be hard to imagine after nine months of growing a baby, but you will soon feel at home in your body again—promise! Along the way, grant yourself some grace for the amazing things you just did and continue to do. ?