My little guy will be 2 in less than 4 months!! Where did the time go? He’s grown so independent – walking, climbing, talking, playing – ahh! Each day feels more and more exciting as he reaches new milestones and nears the two-year mark, and every milestone hits me with another reminder of what an amazing thing my body did – creating and nurturing this little life!
While walking with a friend and her adorable baby boy, we began chatting about our bodies post-baby and my transition back into health and fitness in the weeks and months to follow. As a result of our conversation, here are my Top 10 Tips for Feeling Your Best After Baby’s Arrival!
#1 Take it Slow
Your body went through significant changes while pregnant and during labor, give yourself permission to rest! Wait until you are “cleared” by the doctor to begin exercise more strenuous than walking.
#2 Accept Help
In order to receive the “okay” from your doctor, your body must heal properly. If someone offers to help, they (probably) mean it. Be specific about your needs – vacuuming, carrying laundry up the stairs, cooking a “clean” meal, letting you nap (or shower) for a bit. You deserve it and will do the same for them one day.
#3 Put on ‘Real’ Clothes
I am not telling you to put on jeans, heels and a full face of makeup, BUT a pair of leggings with a bright top or a long sun dress will do wonders for your mood!
#4 Get Outside
If the weather permits, and you feel ready, get outside! Take a slow walk through your neighborhood or at the park. Ask your husband or a friend to join you, or enjoy the quiet time with your baby. Is your baby not a fan of the stroller? Try “wearing” him/her in a wrap or sling.
#5 Eat ‘Clean’
While it seems difficult to find time to eat when caring for a newborn, keep in mind the importance of nourishing yourself, especially since you may be sharing all of your stores with baby. A few go to snacks (most of which are good for helping milk production):
*Raw veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli…) and hummus
*A health shake (link to my TBB store)
#6 Ask Questions
During pregnancy, information seems readily available and we’re constantly at the doctors; however, postpartum, it’s a different story. Us new moms are all in the same boat, and probably have (or had) the same questions. Don’t be afraid to ask – you could help someone else by doing so! Along the same lines, join a mom’s group on Facebook or attend a Mommy and Me class at a local hospital or library.
#7 Drink WATER…
and LOTS OF IT! This one should really be #1 – self explanatory, but so often forgotten. You should drink at least 1/2 your body weight in ounces, especially if you are exercising or nursing. I never go anywhere without a water bottle in my hand. Bored with plain water? Add lemon, lime, watermelon, cucumber, mint, et cetera.
#8 Pick a Fitness Program (4-8 weeks+ Postpartum)
Find a program that works for you – gym or at home workouts? Dumbbells or body weight? Zumba or kickboxing? Time constraints? The possibilities are endless! Not ready to commit to just one program? Check out Beachbody on Demand for access to stream over 150 best selling fitness videos.
#9 Set a SMART Goal
Once you pick a program, set a goal. How many days per week will you work out? How many glasses of water will you drink per day? Choose an article of clothing you wish to fit in to… Make your goal measurable and set a realistic time frame for achieving your goal. Remember: it took 9 months to put it on…give yourself time!
#10 Find Support
This can be your husband, your mom, a sibling, or a close friend, just find an accountability partner or coach. Better yet, join a challenge group and team up with several accountability partners. When someone else is relying on you, you can’t ignore your goals! An accountability partner or coach is more likely to help you celebrate your mini successes along the way and help to keep you moving forward!
What would you add to this list to help new moms get a fresh start on their health and fitness goals?