Having a new baby may have come as a surprise or they may be a long-awaited arrival, but whatever the circumstances, you may find it wasn’t what you expected. Your baby may be beautiful and everything you anticipated, but what about you? Your body has been through a major upheaval: nine months of pregnancy and the trauma of giving birth, whether naturally or by c-section.
You may have the consequences of carrying a baby for nine months: stretch marks, loose skin, extra pounds and leaking, cracked breasts plus the physical consequences of giving birth itself. Alongside all of that, you have a little person to look after who may or may not be sleeping and eating as well as you had hoped. But don’t worry, you’re not on your own; you’ve joined an elite club and passed the initiation processes!
1. Struggling with breastfeeding
It is a myth that breastfeeding comes naturally for everyone. Yes, it may do for some, but many struggle, with some giving up while others persevere. Breastfeeding is recommended for both mother and baby for the benefits it can give you both, but, either way, it’s your choice and something that is personal to you. Don’t be influenced by others or made to feel guilty for whatever choice you make. No one else is walking in your shoes and ultimately a happy mother is a happy baby.
If you feel strongly about persevering, there are help groups out there for advice and your health visitor or midwife are a fountain of knowledge to help you. Give yourself time and space with your baby to get the right positioning and maybe ask a friend who has already successfully breastfed to check you are doing everything you can.
2. Feeling lonely and isolated after having a baby
Once your partner may have returned to work and the offers of dinner being made for you have dried up, you may be starting to feel isolated and alone with your baby. Your life and routines have changed completely, and you may feel like everyone else is getting on with their lives while you are struggling to get out of your dressing gown by dinner time.
The best advice is to find other mothers, or fathers, in the same position as yourself. There are groups and clubs you can join where you can meet parents going through the same things. Local NCT communities organise a range of different opportunities for parents to get together, share stories and have a laugh or even a cry! There are Mum meet-ups, Dad meet-ups and shared interest groups.
Buggyfit is a great way to get back in shape after your new arrival and meet other new mums. Whatever your postnatal stage there are programmes to suit your needs, instructed by experts in postnatal exercise. No earlier than six weeks after birth, you can take your baby, meet new mums and get fresh air while regaining your fitness.
3. Struggling to get back into shape after having a baby
It’s easy to look at celebrities back in their size eight jeans and feel despair that you will never get back to your pre-baby shape. If Buggyfit isn’t for you, start walking. This is a gentle way of getting back into shape, and you control the amount of time or effort you need to spend.
As soon as one to two days after delivery, depending on what kind of delivery you have and as long as your doctor approves, you can start kegels and pelvic tilts. This increases the blood supply to the perineum and helps speed up the recovery process. By exhaling and drawing in your belly to activate the transverse abdominals, you’ll get a strong foundation to get your abs back as your hips and abdominals start moving back together.
4. What will happen to my breasts after having a baby?
Will your breasts ever be as perky again after having a baby? Most women say that the shape and look of their breasts changes after they give birth, becoming bigger and less firm.
Women who feed their babies with baby formula often have similar changes to those who breastfed. Being older, weighing more, hormones, the number of pregnancies and having a larger pre-pregnancy bra size will all affect the shape of your breasts after birth.
5. What are Mummy Makeovers?
The reality of getting back to shape after having a baby is not easy. More and more people are choosing to have a “Mummy Makeover”. Whether opting for an individual procedure or multiple procedures, Enhance Medical has the solution for you. The range of procedures can include breast augmentation and breast lift, tummy tuck, and liposuction to the thigh area. It’s disheartening for some women who struggle with maintaining a shape they are happy with following childbirth, so to help you regain your pre-pregnancy figure, these procedures address all the areas that you are likely to be dissatisfied with. With that, an increase in confidence and self-esteem follow, and you can continue your healthy lifestyle secure in the knowledge that you look your absolute best.
As a new mom, you’ll likely receive a lot of advice – some of it helpful, and some not so much. Remember to appreciate the input, but ultimately, trust your own instincts and do what you feel is best. What’s most important is that you’re doing your best, and that’s all that matters.