Shake Off the Shame: How to Love and Nurture Your Post-Pregnancy Body

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Joy and gratitude attend the arrival of a new baby. Strangely, however, the happiness is often marred by the need to step up to the expectations set before new mothers. Right after acing what is perhaps the greatest challenge that life can throw at them, new moms often don’t have a chance to feel that they’ve earned the right to some well-deserved R&R. Instead, they tend to feel pressure to embark upon an all-new set of challenges: getting their body back and their life back, and keeping people from thinking that they’ve just let themselves go.

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Start with pride

Over the first several months after you have your baby, it would make great sense to simply pat yourself on the back, and be proud and grateful for what you’ve just achieved. Take a serious look at your body, and think of three ways in which you feel good about it. You could think of anything — it could be the way your body is able to provide enough nourishment for your new baby, or it could be the way your arms are getting a workout with all the heavy lifting that you are doing carrying your baby around. Some women even think of calling their stretch marks their tiger stripes, or their battle scars.

Demonstrate your appreciation

What would an athlete do after winning a major event? They would probably give their bodies a little special pampering — rest, massages, hot baths, a great new mattress, some fresh air on a cruise, or a new wardrobe, among other things. There’s no reason why your body shouldn’t deserve such tender love and care. It’s been through so much, and done so well; it’s time to show it how you feel.

Never mind what the magazines and the Internet think

flat-belly-weight-loss-body-sexy-hot-fitness-abs-waistwomanFrom actresses and Hollywood moms to famous athletes, many women do manage to get their pre-baby bodies back in mere months — in time for a movie or a sporting event. The Internet is full of great stories of what some manage to do.

It isn’t fair to compare yourself to those who get paid large sums to stay fit, however. Not only do these people have more reason to stay motivated, they have access to trainers, special diets and other resources, as well. Certainly, it’s okay to look at these role models for inspiration, but doesn’t make sense to be literal in the way you apply their example to your life. Everyone has a different set of priorities.

If such magazine features get you down, it would make sense to not look at them. Instead, hang out with cool, carefree friends who make you feel good.

Get the loving that you deserve

The pregnancy hormones work differently in each person. Some women completely lose their libido through pregnancy, and for a while after, and others feel no change. If you do feel ready to get it on again, you shouldn’t put it off and worry about how you might look in bed. Whatever you’re worried about, it’s all in your head; your partner will absolutely see that you look spectacular.

Allow yourself to be happy that you’re a couple sizes bigger now

Whatever size your breasts were before you became pregnant, you’re much bigger once you’ve finished lactating, and you’ll stay that way. If you’ve always disliked the idea of surgery for an improved bustline, you have your wish now. And it’s without any of the challenges that cosmetic surgery comes with.

Don’t push yourself too hard at the gym

700-gym-workout-pilates-fitness-ball-exerciseFor many women, it isn’t the actual exercise at the gym that turns them off. Instead, it’s what they feel when they push themselves too hard. It makes a lot of sense to experiment and find a routine that’s both effective and fun. As long as you sign up to something like the Bikini Body Guide (BBG) workout by Kayla Itsines, there is no way you’ll be bored.

After the baby arrives, it’s selfie time

If you can’t stand the idea that you’ve put on some weight now, you’re likely, hardly in the mood for proud selfies. You need to remember, however, that you really are proud of what you’ve just achieved with your body — brought a life into the world. It’s time to put everything on the record. You want selfies that cover every angle. You’ll need them for the great before-and-after shots that you’ll share on Facebook in a while.

Nothing should take away from how wonderful it is to come home with a brand-new baby — not even the expectations that you (and society) bring to the party. No one says that you need that kind of pressure to get the results that you need. Start with simply loving your body, uncritically. You’ll get what you want, eventually.

Melissa Palmer writes about exercise and fitness for new Mom’s, Mom’s to be, and those with an established tribe! Her informative articles provide useful information to get you back into shape and feeling great.

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