HOW TO GO BACK TO 'YOU' AFTER BABY

My Maternity photo shoot done over the course of 11 months

My Maternity photo shoot done over the course of 11 months

Having a baby was the craziest ride of my life.

Turns out I have really underestimated what a new mother goes through. It’s a very exciting, scary, rewarding, draining roller-coaster of feelings that leaves wondering how the hell you have ever survived it.

I have to admit. It really took me a while to get back to ME.
And by getting back, I am referring to the whole package: body, looks, happiness, daily routine and social life.
It happened eventually, but I also had to work hard to get there.
So, here are my very humble few tips and tricks to help you survive the post baby phase, and emerge as this one woman everyone is asking “How the hell did she do it!?”

WAITING ON WEIGHT

WHAT'S THE ISSUE? 
I gained in total 20 kilos during my pregnancy. There, I said it and its a LOT.
I attribute it mostly to being overdue, depressed and ordered to bed-rest and as a result eating anything my eyes fall on during the final 6 weeks.

I was horrified when I looked at myself in the mirror after delivery. I was always slim and wore small sizes, Now I can barely fit in my maternity clothes and my body is unrecognizable. Can’t you all relate?

HOW CAN YOU ACE IT? 
Don’t sit and cry and wait for it to vanish. You really need to work at it but you don’t need to torture yourself. After a year of yoyo-dieting I found the solution simpler than I thought. Basically 3 main things have worked wonders for me:

  • I followed a fun and creative diet called: Fitgirls diet (still following it) I absolutely loved this one since the meals were very creative, tastes great and by no mean boring. It also teaches you a lot of very good eating habits such as integrating the “Super Greens” in every meal and much more.
  • I took Barre workout classes 3 times a week. They are tough but wow, what a difference I saw in less than two weeks! You also don’t need to be a fitness guru to do it, which is a plus.
  • Walking. Yes as simple as walking. In the rest of the week I tried to keep myself moving through walking with the stroller and running after my baby in the park or even house.

Results? I lost 21 kilos :-) Yaay!

THE SOCIAL LIFE

WHAT'S THE ISSUE? 
After i had my daughter, I fell into a weird mood where I did not want to see anyone. I was mostly too scared that people will start negatively commenting on my weight/looks and it just seemed like I had no social life whatsoever. So I was constantly avoiding any occasions and always using the “baby-excuse”.

HOW CAN YOU ACE IT? 
Here are a few steps you can do every week/maximum two weeks to help you fill that social calendar again.

  • DO NOT give in to this haze. You literally need to do the effort and push yourself out of your bed and out of your door.
  • We are very lucky we live in an era where loose dresses, skirts, pants and tops are SO in! Put on a nice dress, some light make up, and invite 1-2 girlfriends (less intimidating than big groups) and go out for coffee or even drinks.
  • Plan it in 2-3 hours intervals so you also work around the breastfeeding schedule. If you can’t get any one to watch the baby then choose somewhere baby friendly and preferably timed with the baby’s nap so you have quality talks.
  • Laugh, talk, have fun and take pix. It will serve as a great memory to you once this whole phase is over.

WORK-ING IT OUT

At a conference in London 4 months post-partum

At a conference in London 4 months post-partum

WHAT'S THE ISSUE? 
When my maternity leave was over, I felt like this was how hell is supposed to be like.

You have to basically be a super woman to pull off pumping/breastfeeding, work stress, leaving your baby behind, dealing you’re your baby’s (unexpectedly hard) separation anxiety, being on top of your tasks and still do all perfect.

HOW CAN YOU ACE IT? 
Again, simple.

  • First and foremost, make sure you kiss your baby goodbye and tell them that you will see them again soon. They will slowly understand that you are not disappearing on them. On the other hand, shower them with kisses and hugs the minute you are back so they are always looking forward to this moment.
  • Instead of stressing, create a To-Do list with everything you need to get done,and with a clear (and realistic) deadlines and who you need to do it with. Sit with your boss/colleagues/subordinates to align their expectations.
  • If you are still breastfeeding, Make sure you locate a private room/space to pump in. Set your alarm to go off in the same intervals your baby feeds in so you keep up your supply. 

FROM THE HAZE TO HAPPINESS

My little family at 2 months

My little family at 2 months

WHAT'S THE ISSUE? 
Out of the hazy period and into happiness and actually enjoying your new life IS possible. You need to follow the above but also make sure you get a few other things in place.

HOW CAN YOU ACE IT?

  • Start taking care of your skin so you get back that GLOW (check out my earlier post on the 5 beauty products that will transform your skin here).
  • Take care of your health; take your vitamins and supplements as well as eat well and balanced.
  • You need to surround yourself with positive people who are understanding and ready to support you get back to YOU. You need to be a bit selfish with this regards and cut out all negativity from your life.
  • Give yourself a little pamper session every week, get a massage, a nice long bath with a book or similar. Two hours a week should be enough to lift your mood while feasible to let your Mum/Husband/a friend is watching your baby.
  • Book a date night with your partner every single week. Even if its just cuddling on the sofa with Chinese takeout and watching your favorite movie
  • LOVE your body, LOVE your baby & new family and CHERICH your time with them. Remember that this is a true blessing at the end of the day and that no matter how hard it is today, the best is yet to come - you are one HELL of a MOTHER :-) #besuperproud #behappy
Nada ElMahdi10 Comments