At 35 weeks pregnant, my mind has already been drawn to getting back to ‘normal’ after giving birth. I know that some women don’t like to rush it and even feel offended by the topic, but to be honest, I’m one who actually appreciates returning to a sense of normalcy. I had a serious case of the baby blues after my first daughter and didn’t really understand it at the time, but knowing that it was a temporary feeling and figuring out ways to combat it helped immensely when my second daughter was born! I thought I’d share some of my favorite ways to feel your best after baby, because I know how much they helped me and might be helpful to you, too.
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1 – Wear clothing you’re comfortable in. I pretty much lived in leggings and athleisure after my first daughter was born, and it was fine. Being comfortable is important, especially when you’re recovering from childbirth! However, with my second daughter, I found that getting ready and throwing on a simple dress or casual shirt and shorts/pants helped me feel more myself as the days after birth went on. The biggest tip I can offer to feel your best after baby is to not try to squeeze into clothes that aren’t comfortable yet – nothing good comes from it 🙂 Whatever you wear, just make sure it’s comfortable for YOU and it makes you feel good – but never feel like you have to dress a certain way because that’s what everyone says to do.
2 – Get ‘ready’ for the day. This is obviously a personal preference, but I feel better if I wash my face and do a 5-10 minute makeup routine each morning. I know that insomnia can be real with a newborn, but that simple gesture really helped me feel like myself and keep up my ‘normal’ routine despite the big changes in my life.
3 – Caffeinate. That is, if you’re a caffeine person. I have to have a cup of coffee as soon as I get out of bed, especially with multiple kids. I wasn’t great about treating myself to that morning cup of coffee when I had my first daughter and it would get delayed for many hours. With more than one kid to take care of, you better believe I’m going to pour myself a cup when I wake up!
4 – Drink plenty of water. Technically, this should probably go above caffeinating, but let’s be real – moms need energy to feel your best after baby! But, as a nursing mama, it’s so so important to drink enough water throughout the day for your milk production, so grab a big tumbler with a lid and keep it filled with cold water. If you don’t have a spillproof cup, invest in one before baby arrives so you can keep it next to you when you’re parked on the sofa nursing and/or can’t move because of a sleeping baby.
5 – Move as much as possible. It can be hard to get back in the swing of things after birth, but for me, as soon as I felt up to taking walks, I would push the stroller around the neighborhood for a little while. That small amount of light exercise really helped me feel more myself but didn’t overexert my body. I also really love working out, so sitting still with no activity for 6 weeks wasn’t an option for me – plus, I felt like it helped me bounce back more quickly. Obviously, you have to listen to your doctor and your body when it comes to being active, but even small amounts of walking can help you feel more ‘normal’ postpartum even when you can’t go all out.
6 – Don’t drastically change your routine. This was a huge one for me – bringing home our first baby was a shock to my system and we had to get used to a new normal. Or at least, that’s what I thought. For the first few weeks, things just felt so different than prior to having a baby and we didn’t really adhere to our normal routine. When we had our second baby, I felt less like this – maybe because we had already been through the newborn phase once, but also because I knew that we didn’t have to drastically change anything in our life when adding a baby to the mix. I think there will inevitably be some change going from no kids at all to having a new baby, but don’t go into it with that mindset – try to hold on to what makes you feel like yourself and it’ll be a less shocking transition – which is a huge help to feel your best after baby.
7 – Fuel your body properly. I’ll be honest in that I didn’t eat as nutritiously as possible after my first daughter was born – I ate when I had a chance and it wasn’t necessarily well balanced. I definitely made improvements after my second daughter because I had to give up dairy while nursing, so I started following a Paleo lifestyle. And so far, I’ve done an overall good job of eating very healthy and balanced during this third pregnancy, continuing to eat dairy-free and mostly grain-free – so I plan to continue that postpartum. I also want to jump back into the Faster Way to Fat Loss program and counting macros, so I am hoping to do some meal prepping to make life easier with a new baby! There is definitely something to be said about eating a balanced diet and getting enough calories when you’re breastfeeding – I struggled with my first daughter, but had a great supply with my second daughter – so I attribute at least some of that to my improved dietary choices.
Most importantly, be sure you’re taking time to relax and enjoy life with a new baby. It’s so easy to feel like you need to do all the things, but there are so many people willing to help out – so let them! I didn’t realize how quickly the newborn phase passed by with my first, but knowing that after my second daughter was born helped me take a step back and embrace each day for what it was – which helped so much on days where it seemed like I’d never sleep again! 😉