After having a baby, there is no way for women to get their life “back to normal” as now they will have to define a new normal because of the new little person in their life. However, there are a few things that can get “back to normal” including a woman’s body. Pregnancy takes a toll on women’s bodies in more ways than one.
Most obviously, it takes a toll on women’s bodies physically. The tummy that housed the baby inside for nine months will not shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size—and it definitely will not do it all on its own. Women’s feet often swell when they are pregnant, so one can only hope that their feet will go back to normal after the baby is born, but that is often not the case.
Cup size changes all over the place–first it increases for a while, then it decreases, then it seems to decrease some more. As for all of those beautiful, shiny locks that showed up during pregnancy, a lot of that hair will fall out after giving birth. Another way pregnancy takes a toll on women’s bodies is mentally and emotionally. Adjusting to a new normal can be very difficult after all of the trauma a new mother’s body just went through. So, try as women might, there are a lot of things new moms can do to “get back to normal.”
15 Take Some Rest
One big thing that new moms need to do after birthing a baby is to take a bit of a rest.
New moms rest at hospitals for at least two days for a reason—their bodies are worn out.
No matter if a woman had a baby naturally or by a Cesarean section, her body needs a little TLC.
While there is only so much rest to be had after giving birth and bringing home a newborn, women should take advantage of any rest they can get until their body is recovered. One way to do this is to avoid knocking boots for the first six weeks postpartum. Doctors advise it to prevent infection and make sure that everything has healed down there, but it is also likely that down there needs a break, too.
14 Crazy Cardio
To get rid of all the baby weight, there is one secret and one secret alone—cardio. This means running, walking, pushing a stroller, biking, dancing around the house while holding a baby or hitting the gym. There are tons of different kinds of cardio workouts that will get women’s heart rates up and get the calories burning. Some gyms even offer baby-friendly classes for new moms.
No matter what workout methods new moms choose, if they want to lose baby weight, it is vital to keep moving. But, it is also key to not overdo the cardio right away. A new mom’s body is not what it used to be and it will take some time to get back to any hardcore cardio workouts. Be sure to start small and build endurance first.
13 Skin So... Saggy? Stretched? Striped?
A large majority of pregnant women will get stretch marks, usually on their stomach area, but sometimes other places like hips and buns. There is no real cause or cure for stretch marks, and many scientists believe it is linked to genetics. Stretch marks create “stripes” on the skin that vary in color like pink, purple or brown but often fade into pale, thin lines.
There have not been any proven ways to stop women from getting stretch marks.
But many stand by the belief that lotions like cocoa butter or drinking extra water will help prevent them. After having a baby, some women opt to have laser treatments in hopes of fading their stretch marks away. It is a rather expensive procedure and can be painful, but many women stand by it.
12 Crunches Will Do it
When women are pregnant, as their uterus grows it puts more and more pressure on where the ab muscles meet in the middle of the stomach. This can cause abdominal separation, which is one of the things that make it so difficult to get that flat tummy back after pregnancy. It does not happen to every pregnant woman, but happens over two-thirds of the time.
To get one’s abs back together after giving birth, new moms should take it slow. Some trainers suggest sucking in one’s stomach and holding it there while the legs are in different positions. Exercises like crunches, Pilates and yoga are good ways to start slowly as well. Building up to hardcore ab day can take time, so do not be discouraged if that tummy fat just is not going away.
11 Make Some Time For Yourself
During those first few months with a new baby, new moms have varying experiences, but many stay home with and take care of their baby. In situations like these, a mom may feel kind of lost because nothing is her own anymore. It is important for her health and for the health of the baby that a mom takes some time for herself.
One way she can do this is to develop a support system of family members and friends that she can talk to on a daily basis.
Another thing a lot of new moms can do is pass the baby off to their partner for a bit and take a rest, whether that means reading a book, getting a pedicure or soaking in the bathtub.
10 Unwanted Hair Removal
When a woman is pregnant, hair on her head appears lusher and grows faster, but that can, unfortunately, be the case everywhere else on her body as well. Some women have hair grow on their face, their nipples, their stomach and/or everywhere else. There is no scientific cause for this. What often happens is that hair that was light and unnoticeable before has just gotten darker and coarser because of pregnancy hormones.
However, after pregnancy, a lot of that new hair growth falls out. There are tons of different options to remove unwanted hair. Hair removal cream or gel is a popular option, though some women have allergic reactions to it. Waxing and shaving are also good options. Some women even opt for laser hair removal, which is advisable only when a woman is completely done breastfeeding.
9 Go Out, Mama
New moms should make an effort to get out of their house on a regular basis. If possible, women could leave the baby with a trusted babysitter like a grandparent or close friend and spend some time out with their partner. Women could also try leaving their baby with their partner and catching up with their girlfriends. (On nights like these, be sure to pump and dump.)
Other options are joining a baby-friendly workout class, joining a mommy support group or taking the baby out on daily walks.
Getting out of the house can even mean going to the grocery store. While many new moms are nervous about taking their babies into the big, bad world of germs, occasionally getting out can prevent mommy from going stir crazy.
8 Breastfeeding Benefits
Besides all the other benefits of breastfeeding, one big benefit of breastfeeding is all of the extra calories burned on a daily basis. The average woman burns 850 calories a day by breastfeeding. That is a whole lot of calories. When women breastfeed, the fat stored in cells during pregnancy is used to fuel milk production and feed the baby, thus burning calories. However, with those extra calories comes extra cravings.
Some women skip out on those cravings and opt for more healthy snacks, which in the long run can increase weight loss. Eating more small meals will help keep milk supply up and will help drive away cravings for unhealthy foods. It is important to not dip below 1,800 calories a day when breastfeeding though. Most doctors advise women to eat 300 more calories a day when they breastfeed.
7 Abdominal Atrocity
Some women choose to get a tummy tuck–a reconstructive procedure–to get a flat stomach again. They may also choose to do this if they have abdominal separation. This procedure has become vastly more and more popular in the past few years climbing over 88.7% since 2000. Women are also getting tummy tucks in their 20s and 30s,
whereas before most women getting tummy tucks were post-menopausal.
For common tummy tucks, a horizontal cut is made between the pubic bone and the belly button. The skin is then pulled back, the fat is sucked out and the ab muscles are repaired. Tummy tuck pain is very intense and will put a woman out for over a week or more. Realistically, a tummy tuck will not give women back their original stomach because the patient has to put in some work as well.
6 Try A Fresh Look
One way to establish a “new normal” after giving birth is to create that new normal. A fun way to do that for new moms is to try a new look. Because a lot of that beautiful pregnancy hair will fall out anyway, why not try a new hairstyle? Moms will also have a lot less time for their hair than they did before, so why not get a short cut or something that can easily go into a ponytail.
Babies are also always reaching for something, so getting long hair out of the way somehow is a big plus. Another bonus to trying a new hairstyle is that if a woman looks good, she is more likely to feel good. Maybe try some new clothes, too!
5 Establish A Routine
It can be really hard to find oneself again after having a baby and bringing it home, but one way to aid the cause is to establish a routine as much as possible–while still being flexible because new babies need attention when they need attention.
A routine will help a new mom stay sane.
Moms can try to build their schedule around their baby’s feeding and nap schedule.
It might also be good to examine how one’s home is laid out to maximize mobility and the ability to multitask. In the first few months, it is really important to prioritize sleep because heaven knows a new baby will not prioritize its mom’s sleeping habits. Establishing morning rituals to start the day off right is also helpful in establishing a routine.
4 Eat Your Colors
Like “look good, feel good” comes “eat good, feel good.” Good, healthy foods will provide moms with the energy, vitamins, and minerals their body needs to thrive. Dieting and cutting calories are generally not advised by doctors however because it is not necessarily healthy for new moms, especially those who are breastfeeding. Instead of full-on dieting, try swapping out unhealthy calories for healthy calories.
Aim for lean meats, whole grains if any, fruit, vegetables and low-sugar foods. Drinking lots of water is also really important. It will keep moms hydrated, speed up their metabolism and fill up their stomachs so they are not constantly hungry. Keeping a filled water bottle around is a good habit to have if one wants to drink more water. Overall, there are no legitimate cons to drinking more water and eating healthier foods.
3 Find Some Sleep
For new moms, opportunities to sleep become even more valuable than gold. The majority lack sleep because they are up every few hours to feed their newborn or change a diaper.
Interestingly enough, sleep plays one of the biggest roles in reacquiring a pre-baby body.
When a woman is tired all the time, she is less likely to want to exercise. She is also more likely to opt for quick, unhealthy snacks instead of healthy ones.
Furthermore, just being tired will slow down her metabolism. If possible, new moms should aim to sleep when their baby sleeps as much as possible. If they can, they should ask their partner for help at night, or at least on the weekends. One can never realize how much they need sleep until they are missing lots of it.
2 Don’t Stress It!
Avoiding stress is also a key to getting a pre-baby body back. It is okay to feel a little stressed because moms are adjusting to taking care of a whole other person besides themselves. While avoiding all stress is totally impossible as a new mom, things like working out, getting enough sleep, eating healthier and finding time for oneself can help relieve some of it. Try to take it all one day at a time with stress.
Lots of stress can not only impede weight loss, it can increase weight gain, too. Plus, it can hinder a new mommy's growing milk supply. When one is stressed out, they are much more likely to eat junk food. They are also more likely to be sedentary. Not having enough sleep can also add to stress because it makes people more frazzled, especially if they are up most of the night between feedings and diaper changes.
1 Practice Patience
No matter what, it is important for moms to be patient when they are trying to find their new normal after bringing their little baby home. It takes a lot of time to get back to feeling like oneself again or even close to a state of normalcy.
Moms should strive to be patient with their partners, with their baby and, most of all, with themselves.
New moms should avoid getting down on themselves if they are not seeing the results they want with finding a state of normalcy or with recovering their pre-baby body. All those things will sort themselves out eventually. Strive to stay motivated and positive throughout the process because it will make everything easier. Having other people as support is another big help for new moms.