Because we live in such a superficial world full of superficial people, women are always feeling the pressure to look perfect and have perfect bodies. We have all seen how many celebrities and influencers appear a few weeks after childbirth looking transformed as if they were never pregnant. So many women feel pressurized to bounce back after having a baby lest they get that hard to swallow phrase — “Umejiachilia”. It can come from your husband, your family and even your friends. Whatever the case, that phrase is probably the hardest pill any woman who’s just had a baby can swallow. So if you’re here looking to start your bouncing back journey after you’ve just had a baby here are some dos and don’ts:
Appreciate your body as is
You might not recognize your new body. It might have more stretch marks and loose skin than you’ve ever known. It’s also stronger than you maybe thought possible. This body grew a human and brought it into the world. And whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or doing a mix of both, you’re helping this child to grow. Appreciate what your body has done and what it continues to do for you and your baby.
The trick to bouncing back after having your baby is easing right into exercising. Postpartum exercise isn’t about marathons and vigorous exercises — it’s about functional movement and repairing your muscles. It’s recommended to give yourself a recovery window of 6-8 weeks (possibly longer if you’ve had a caesarean).
Beyond that, the key is listening to your body. If you’re feeling well and up to moving sooner, a walk with is a great way to ease back in, or low impact movements, such as post-natal yoga or pilates, with a strategic focus on your pelvic floor, deep abdominal muscles, lower back and hips are key.
Bouncing back after having a baby not only requires you to exercise but to also eat right. Unless you are breastfeeding, going on diet will help your body bounce faster than you’d expect.
Don’t compare yourself
It’s easy to fall into the destructive behaviour of comparing yourself to others who’ve had babies and seemingly bounced back easily. However, our bodies react and heal differently. Listen to your body and give it what it wants to recover. Some people you may be comparing yourself to such as celebrities may have personal trainers and nutritionists who may be helping them bounce back. So don’t beat yourself if your body doesn’t bounce back after a few months.
Don’t starve yourself
If you are breastfeeding, starving yourself is not recommended. In fact, breastfeeding alone could be your one-way ticket to bouncing back after having a baby. But this works differently on everyone. Some women will lose weight from breastfeeding while others won’t. Eat reasonable amounts of food, check your calories intake and avoid junk food.