7 ways on how to look and feel good after pregnancy

7 ways on how to look and feel good after pregnancy
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Ah, the joys of pregnancy and the magical gift of children it brings. The cuddles, the smiles, the unconditional love, the sleep deprivation, the post-pregnancy belly, the stretch marks- Yes, pregnancy and post birth are not all sweetness and light, as some may think. Becoming a mum plays havoc with your body and your sanity. But, do not fear, help is at hand! Here are Motherhood Diaries’ Top 7 tried and tested ways on how to look and feel good after pregnancy.

1. Surround yourself with your support network during pregnancy and the latter stages

It has been proven through various tests around the world that a strong support network around a new mum reduces the chances of postnatal depression and that dreaded feeling of burning out. Take the help when you are offered the chance, whether that be allowing someone else to cook the dinner, tidy up your home or take care of the baby for a couple of hours. Use these quick opportunities to finally go and make something to eat and have a wash, but make it a bath with some bubbles rather than a quick shower. If you’re feeling particularly down, there’s nothing like venting your troubles to someone you trust and then letting it go. You’re not complaining and you’re not being superficial. Being a mum is hard, I don’t know any mum who has gone through their first parenting year without having a few meltdowns now and again.

2. Treat yourself to some new clothes – even if they’re a couple of sizes bigger!

The general consensus about losing weight after pregnancy is that it takes nine months to grow a baby, so it will take nine months to lose the post-pregnancy belly. But, even after the nine months have been and gone, you may still be struggling to lose that extra weight. The whole process seems to be taking forever and you’re too tired to exercise. Please allow yourself a break and embrace the weight gain after pregnancy. Your body just delivered a brand new baby, which is pretty darn amazing, so give yourself the chance to heal and recover naturally. You could always look for a post-pregnancy workout to try when you get the opportunity and you could try a belly band after pregnancy to keep things tight around your waist. Chances are your partner hasn’t even noticed the extra few inches, so why don’t you go treat yourself to some new flattering clothes, like this selection of white blouses at JD Williams and give your partner a nice treat in the process.

N.B – Don’t forget that those celebrities who look amazing just after giving birth employ personal trainers, chefs and nannies to get that toned stomach because they have the money to spend on these luxuries, which, is what they are, luxuries! You will look like them too if you had that kind of money – and time!

3. Make sure your undergarments are comfortable, supportive, and sexy!

You may not be in the mood to strip down to your unmentionables anytime soon, especially when you still have those lingering hormones after pregnancy, a wobbly belly, and drooping boobs after pregnancy. But, getting yourself measured for a well-fitting bra will not only make you feel better about yourself, but it will reduce the back pain after pregnancy and from prolonged wear of ill-fitting bras. Investing in some supportive underwear that holds everything in will make you feel tighter and more confident. You could lose a dress size by just holding that post-pregnancy stomach in with some Spanx. There are loads of great tummy shaping underwear in the shops these days, so it’s worth getting measured up and then browsing the stores. You may find it easier to shop online whilst your baby sleeps, but make sure you actually go in and get your bra size measured, as you may not receive an accurate reading using just online tools.

4. Sleep when your baby sleeps

It is an overused phrase and it’s guaranteed to make most new mums go mad, especially when you’re wondering, “When else would I get to have a shower, watch TV or simply make myself something to eat!?” But, there is a point to this. Sleep regenerates the cells and rejuvenates a tired body. Even an extra 15-minute nap during the day would be enough to make you feel better about yourself and reduce that dreaded onset of sleep deprivation.

5 Eat right and your body will reward you for it

Don’t worry about counting calories or actively watching what you eat. As long as you are adopting a healthy after pregnancy diet and eating everything in moderation, i.e. plenty of fruits and vegetables, protein, carbs and even fat (good fats) then you’re probably doing the right thing and the weight will fall off naturally. When you’re a new 24-hour Supermum, it may be easier to graze on snacks throughout the day, but make sure you’re keeping your energy levels up by eating from all food groups. If you want to have a chocolate bar, then have it. Just don’t have ten in one go because that will probably hinder your chances of losing weight. It’s a good idea to stock your house with lots of snacks like fruit bars, nuts, dried fruit, dark chocolate and popcorn.

Your baby will find a way to stop you from eating a proper meal, so if you’ve missed dinner, eating a high-protein snack will help you feel better and reduce your chances of over-indulging on the bad stuff when you do get a chance to eat later.

6. Exercise every day – even if it’s just gentle exercise, like walking outdoors

After having a baby, you may start to experience cabin fever and feel trapped inside your own house like a caged hen. Give yourself a great excuse to don your new clothes and undergarments and take your baby out for a walk. The physical exercise will clear out the cobwebs and provide renewed energy. Walking in the fresh air also comes with a multitude of benefits: it’s good for your baby (they learn about the great outdoors), you’ll burn a few calories, and your mood will improve. You can use that time to zone out the noise and enjoy a nice walk around your local park. You may find some of that peace you’ve craved for a while now (well, maybe not in some parts of London, but you’ll still feel miles better than when you were stuck indoors.)

7. Look at your baby and remember why you’re doing all of this in the first place

Yes, it’s hard, yes, you need sleep, food, and acknowledgement that you’re being a super mum and time out to just sit in silence. Now, turn and look at your baby. You made that! That tiny ball of sheer beauty is your reminder that someone thinks you’re the most amazing thing in the world. They love you unconditionally and they rely on you 100%, no questions asked. They don’t see your bulge, your stretch marks, your dark circles or the fact that you haven’t been out of your pyjamas all day. Your body is the reason they are alive right now. In a blink of an eye, they’ll be all grown up and they won’t want those night time cuddles or extra attention anymore. You are so selflessly sacrificing your life to ensure they have the best start in theirs, ready to flee the nest and live in their own exciting world. I know it’s hard, but enjoy the time while you can when they’re a big ball of love because time flies so fast when you have your amazing children with you.

Have you got any surefire tips on how to look and feel good after pregnancy? Please share your tips in the comments below.

*Collaborative feature post*

Leyla Preston (595 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: https://www.facebook.com//groups/motherhooddiaries/