All too often the popular press and magazines print images of celebrities looking fantastic shortly after giving birth, but for most women, physical recovery is not as easy as the stars make it look.
During pregnancy, while the hormones are flowing and about-to-be mothers are complemented on their glowing skin and radiant appearance, the idea of maintaining that glow as their pre-pregnancy body returns makes the notion appear a relatively straight-forward and enjoyable affair - the physique they’d once enjoyed can finally be reclaimed as their own.
However, in reality, this transformation suddenly becomes secondary to the emotional, hormonal and physical upheaval that takes place in all aspects of a woman’s lifestyle once a baby arrives. Responsibility, fatigue, and plummeting levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone which gave a pregnancy body its radiance mean that efforts to reclaim that pre-baby body quickly becomes a gargantuan task.
Getting reacquainted with the physical self when it has, in all likelihood changed significantly, can often be distressing and overlooked by nearest and dearest who have shifted their focus to the new life that has sprung from it. Heading to the gym or the salon may not be a realistic option, but there are some simple steps women can take to make the post-baby body less troublesome.
Drinking plenty of fluids is not only vital to physical and mental hydration, but crucial to feelings of well-being. Keep drinking plenty of water and try having hot water with lemon in the mornings to kick-start a digestive system that has become sluggish.
During pregnancy a healthy diet becomes all about a baby’s needs, both for its healthy growth and development and for the formation of breast milk to sustain it after birth. However, a healthy diet packed with natural sources of vitamins and protein is important for physical resilience. If muscles and skin are to retain their elasticity and strength to bounce back, then they need to receive the right fuel. During the last few months of pregnancy, make an extra portion with every meal and freeze it. Once the baby comes along, peeling vegetables and preparing a balanced diet may be difficult, but with a stash of meals packed away already, getting a healthy daily meal will be easy.
One of the most common complaints about a post-pregnancy body are stretch marks and although people will try and tell women they are an honourable badge of motherhood, knowing that does little to return the physical self-esteem the new mother previously held. However, there are now some great products available which can limit stretch-mark development and speed up their disappearance. SilDerm Stretch Mark Prevention Oil is packed with Centella asiatica, a plant extract which stimulates collagen production and vitamin E which helps prevent tissue damage.
It’s easy to become convinced that a pre-baby body will never return, but becoming excessively stressed or upset about it will do nothing to shed the weight or improve feelings of self-worth. Be kind to yourself, enjoy motherhood and the old body will bounce back with a little tender loving care.