How I got in shape after delivery?
Updated: Jan 28, 2021
As I mentioned in my previous post, after giving birth to my beautiful son, my objectives were to get back my physical shape and health, follow a healthy diet and find the way to not to go crazy while I am learning how to be a new mum and I am locked down into our apartment with zero visitors from the external world due to COVID, all this with a two months old baby boy.
Well, as one of my objectives were to get in shape again physically and follow a healthy diet, my journey was to work on the following areas.
Exercise, exercise, exercise. It is important not only to get fit or lose the baby weight but for mental health. It is scientifically proven that exercising boosts the mood and decreases the symptoms of depression and anxiety while it increases self-esteem, self-confidence and improves sleep and mental performance. And you can be creative what fits best your lifestyle, while I was locked down at home I did boxing, zumba, walking, yoga, HIIT, cardio, depending what I felt like or how much time my son allowed while he slept. I even get a little injured, so I started to follow some intensive walking videos, again, at home! So there is no limit if you actually decide to move. One important note is not only to get checked by your doctor if you are ready to exercise again, but respect the time your body actually needs to heal. My experience is that doctors tend to give you the green light to exercise after 6-8 weeks if there was no complication during the natural birth or during the C-section, but that is not really enough time for the pelvic floor for healing and you can get serious problems later on that are related to the too early big impact activities.
Get a buddy. I got support as luckily my partner was in somewhat a similar situation and he also wanted to work out more so we agreed that we were going to exercise regularly, we specified what we did and how often. It is always great to have a buddy as communities, groups or sport buddies have huge role in keeping up the motivation on the long term.
Eating healthy. I was cooking at home but you can surely find a good food delivery option as well, the important is to pay attention to what you eat. I was planning the weekly menu, especially as we had to make a weekly/bi-weekly shopping during COVID. We simple didn’t keep at home any junk food, chocolate or anything to handle better potential cravings. I was breastfeeding so I sticked to a balanced diet allowing me to eat a lot of quality food but I eliminated sugar and a couple of other things.
Sleeping enough. Well, sleeping is super important and this is where most of the mums truly suffer. My son slept quite great till he had 4 months and then he just stopped. I believe that there are always things to improve the situation, you can find special consultancy and see what you can do about it. You don’t have to suffer just because all the mums and our mothers had suffered, there must be something to do, maybe it is the question of prioritising yourself and your sleeping, really go and sleep when your baby sleeps or share the load more and communicate with your partner how could he help. I personally read some books about the topic and implemented a very strict routine that helped somewhat. I also slept while breastfeeding during the night, so I didn’t fall into the trap of looking at the mobile at the middle of the night but found a safe position and simple had a nap and it did make a difference.
As a result I lost 13 kilos of baby weight apart from the 10 kilos I lost during the birth and the days after, I actually got as slim as I was back at my single era when I run half-marathons regularly. My skin has almost no signs of the pregnancy any more although I am almost 40, except my scar of the C-section. I am quite well rested and full of energy, my belly got flat and I am never swollen due to the healthy diet and I handle quite well even the hardest nights. I have no difficulties at all to chase my son and stop him touching or pulling down things he shouldn't. Well, deciding to change is the first step, and on the journey there are fantastic coaching tools and techniques to make sure that the motivation keeps high and you actually get your results you wanted.
These were all the changes to get physically healthy, what did I actually change in my life to maintain my mental health and to prevent post partum depression and anxiety?
You can check it out here.