In the days and weeks following the birth of your baby, you will experience a myriad of emotions and may be overwhelmed by all that you're likely to feel. However, one thing you're almost certain not to feel, is sexy, at least not in the get naked sort of way.
Even those of us who are the most body confident and tend to rock the sexy with our partners pre-pregnancy are subject to feeling a bit apprehensive about the recent changes in our new “mom bods." Let’s be honest, you just spent several months no longer being able to see your feet while your body nourished your baby day in and day out.
Pregnancy and childbirth changes our bodies, there's no getting around it. In the span of 40 weeks-give or take a couple- your body was the growth pod for another human being. As creepy and 'B' grade movie as that might sound- it’s completely true.
With that in mind, here are “8 Ways to Bring Your Sexy Back After Baby”:
8 Time Is of the Essence
Give yourself time. You need time to adjust to your new role. You are now someone’s mom and while that is wonderful and you're on cloud nine for the most part, it's still an adjustment. The change in roles alone can throw your sexy off a bit, and then if you consider all that your body has been through, well, you’re just going to need some time and to be patient with yourself- think marathon, not sprint.
Stop Googling “How to lose the baby weight” and reading what celebrities have to say about getting their pre-pregnancy bodies back in just three weeks (They are likely not back to their pre-pregnancy bodies, it’s Hollywood, so you can bet there are a lot of “smoke and mirrors” that went into that magazine cover).
You can't realistically expect to snap back to the way you were before you got pregnant
You must remember that first of all, most celebs have personal chefs, personal trainers and nannies. They're held to ridiculous standards for their bodies and then there's the whole photo shopping debate, and no one has time for that. So when you see the pictures of the new celeb moms, remember that underneath that outrageously expensive outfit they are likely swathed in Spanx to the point that they can’t breathe and will kill for a cheeseburger.
Don’t have ridiculous unrealistic expectations for your body, in doing so you're only setting yourself up to feel bad about your body- be kind to you. Instead of trying to squeeze your post baby bod into your pre-pregnancy wardrobe- go shopping. Buy clothes that fit!
7 Eat Your Veggies! (Fruit too!)
While your hormones are likely still out of whack and finding their way back to their pre-pregnancy state, you might find yourself wanting to double fist treats like greasy cheeseburgers and every sweet, gooey concoction under the sun, this is the time that you need to be kind to your body. Try to find a substitute to satisfy your wickedly demanding sweet tooth.
For example if it's chocolate that you are craving, maybe try an ounce or two (not ten!) of dark chocolate, try bananas or strawberries dipped in a bit of chocolate (again, preferably dark as it has less sugar and has the added benefit of antioxidants) or pop some popcorn, add 1 tablespoon of melted peanut butter and a light dusting of cocoa powder.
If you're craving something salty with a crunch, try (lightly salted) nuts or some raw fresh vegetables with a bit of hummus. Rice cakes or graham crackers with a spot of peanut butter can also be a delicious light snack.
Eating right means making some tough choices
Make sure you are eating as clean as possible and that you are taking in adequate daily servings of fruits and vegetables. This is one area you should feel free to indulge- it's a win/win.
Eating healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables is not only going to help you get your pre-baby body/shape back, it's good for your overall health and wellness. Along with eating well you should also continue taking your prenatal vitamins (unless otherwise instructed by your doctor) - especially breastfeeding moms and stay well hydrated!
When you're taking care of yourself you will feel better and good food choices will help keep the self loathing to a minimum. Stressing yourself about your weight and how quickly you can lose the weight will be counter-productive. A healthy body is a sexy body.
6 Couple Time Sans Baby
Of course, in the first several weeks of your baby’s life you're going to want to be close to him/her nearly every waking minute, and that's normal. But as times passes and you and your partner begin to adjust to your new roles, it's vital that you have time for the two of you alone. You will need to learn to be a couple as well as being parents, that can be a challenge for some couples.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to “leave” your baby. You can have time together when the baby is sleeping, but at some point it's good for you to leave the baby with grandparents, an aunt or whomever you might be comfortable with and go be a couple. Having a break will not only strengthen your couple bond, but it will also make you a better, more relaxed and happy new mom.
Enjoy a nice dinner while both of you are seated and no one is waiting for the baby to cry.
As your postpartum time following the birth of your baby begins to wind down and you settle into being a new mommy, you will want to get in the habit of making time on a regular basis for your partner. It's important now more than ever, that you and your partner are working to maintain your intimate connection.
This will be the time that your doctor may also give you the green light to resume sexual activity (we’ll discuss this in greater detail!) so snuggle up together and on the sofa and spend some time remembering what you enjoy about your partner.
5 Be Kind to Yourself
Negative self talk can be a huge hindrance to a positive self image and can even impact our mental health if it becomes a chronic habit. We all have things that we tell ourselves such as, “I’m fat,” or “My body will never look the same”.
This is the time you must learn to practice patience and kindness with yourself as much as anyone else. Stop pressuring yourself to look a certain way. Your partner likely finds you sexier than ever and isn’t giving a second thought to your baby bulge.
You just had a baby, cut yourself some slack and love your body
Your body may never look the same, but this is the time when you need to make sure that your internal dialogue is a positive one! Remember you are strong! You just gave birth to a person and that's a spectacular feat! You are strong, you are kind and you are beautiful! Make that your morning mantra, strategically place post-it notes throughout your house and in your day planner so that you're reminded often of the awesome woman that you are!
4 Talk to Your Partner
Keep the lines of communication open between you and your partner. Even though this may be a very overwhelming time for you both as you learn to add parenting into your maybe already hectic everyday lives, this is the time to make sure you are spending time every day checking in and staying connected.
Greet one another with a kiss and a warm hello, even if you have changed 238 poopy diapers that day, haven’t slept and have baby barf on your shirt--be kind. Spend 15 minutes talking about each other’s day or make plans for a date night on Friday night after baby is down for the evening.
Communication is a form of intimacy
If you're feeling the baby blues, or just overwhelmed, talk to your partner, and let them know what struggles you might be facing. There is strength in numbers.
You likely don’t need anything to add to your to-do list, but this is a must for your emotional and physical well being.
Find what works for you and just do it! Brisk walking or jogging might be your thing, if so, pull out the stroller, and if you're an avid jogger, invest in a stroller built just for this very purpose. As your baby grows you will be setting a positive example as well, teaching them that physical activity is important to their overall health and well-being.
If you're not the outdoorsy type, I would encourage you to do some yoga. Not only is yoga wonderful for strength training and flexibility, it also promotes meditation, relaxation and finding your happy place which may be a very valuable skill set as you adjust to your life as a new parent.
Getting active will help you feel better about yourself, and work towards those pre-pregnancy clothes
If you're not ready to leave baby, there are some really great DVDs on the market. But finding a class during whatever time works for you and your partner might be a good “break” for you, time to take care of you and be in the presence of other grown-ups and maybe even have adult conversation- something you might find lacking in your life, particularly if you've taken a step back from the work force to be at home with your new little one.
So, go for it!
2 Fake It Till You Make It
This point is probably not about what you think it might be. I’m talking about taking care of yourself and looking sexy although you may not feel sexy. In the throes of your new found “mom bod” and the exhaustion that you're almost certainly feeling, your instinct might be to hide beneath an oversized t-shirt and a pair of your husband’s sweat pants- and some days that’s ok, but fight the urge to allow that to become your go to outfit.
Get up, shower, use some nice lotion on that ashy skin, blow dry your hair, put on a little make-up and a spot of perfume- do whatever you need to do. If you do this- I promise you WILL feel better.
1 Take a Trip to the Lingerie Store and Other Tips To Get in the Mood
As time passes and your life gets back to your “new normal” with baby in tow, the time will come when your doctor will finally give you and your partner the green light to get back down to business in the bedroom. Some of us are counting the days until we're able to once again be sexually active with our partners; others of us are just fine with taking our time.
After all, childbirth for some can be almost considered a traumatic experience for your “nether region”- and that's okay. While this is an exciting time in your life, it's also full of change and adjustment, and it can be a little scary. We all have different sexual drives and some are more nervous than others about re-establishing this part of our lives after baby.
With that being said, some preparation might not only help you relax about the impending action, it might be somewhat of a turn on for you and your partner. Make sure that you're already reconnecting in other ways physically.
Touch is extremely intimate, even if it's not sexual
Touch one another often- a hand on the arm, cuddle (I know such a sappy, teenage idea, but try it anyway) while you watch a movie, or take a walk hand in hand. Kiss- frequently, kiss hello and good-bye, and kiss just because, make out with your partner. And make eye contact with your partner, whether it be during conversation or just in passing.
This might be a big one for you, but many women find it helpful. Take a trip to the lingerie store, you can do this with or without your partner- that is completely up to you. The element of surprise might be nice- that’s just a thought. Find something sexy that you will be comfortable in- we all have different tastes.
Some women might prefer a sexy slip nightie with a touch of lace; others might be a little more black leather or garters and the whole nine yards. The most important thing is for you to be comfortable and to feel sexy.
It took time to get that size, and it will take time to work it off
Remember, that your body is different than it was pre-pregnancy. Also remember that your body did a wonderful thing and you now have a beautiful new baby and your body did that. So, love yourself, whatever your shape or size might be post baby and have fun! Enjoy your partner!
Take these tips and do as you wish with them. If you remember anything about this article, let it be this one thing, to be kind to yourself, love yourself and love your new mom body. Women are beautiful, strong creatures and your body just did an amazing thing in bringing another human life into the world- that is a big deal!
Stop worrying about what your partner thinks of the changes to your body and keep the lines of communication open, talk about what you’re feeling and remember your partner is probably so thrilled with your new and improved bigger boobs, they won’t even notice anything else.