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For the past few months, on Brielle’s monthly birthday, I’ve been sharing some advice and recommendations from my perspective as a first time mom (FTM). Today I wanted to focus on a few points about YOU and your post baby self.
You are now responsible for the life of a cute little bundle. You rarely go for long stretches of time without changing a diaper, wiping a mouth or feeding someone before yourself. But you are still a person! Take note on a few of the below pieces of advice:
- Give yourself a break when it comes to weight loss. Fact 1: when you leave the hospital, you will still look about 6 months pregnant. It takes a little while to lose some of that weight or for some parts of you to shrink back from their stretched out shapes. (and some things may never be the same!) Think about this if you start getting down: Nine months on, nine months off. Give yourself some time to slowly lose the weight! It did take you about 9 months to gain it so it probably won’t come off right away. If you are breastfeeding, you burn a lot of calories just in feeding your precious little one. Most doctors would highly suggest you don’t diet when breastfeeding or don’t work out until given approval at your 6 week post partum checkup.
- Buy transitional clothes. Fact 2: you will still need to wear maternity clothes in the early weeks/months after baby. Do yourself a favor and after a few weeks, buy some clothes that fit you, even in this (hopefully) transitional size back to a smaller self. I spent about $65 and purchased two pairs of skinny style jeans in a size bigger than I had been pre pregnancy and they were the best $65 spent! I felt more like “me” in styles that I had hard worn previously and I felt they were more flattering than squishing myself into smaller sized, unflattering pants for the sake of my ego. (Confession time: at about 3 months PP, I tried to wear one of my pre pregnancy skinny jeans. I “fit” into them but when I went to pull them up by the leg, I ripped them! Whoops!)
- Take a daily shower. This one seems obvious but is easier said than done with a newborn. I know I was a lucky one (as I noticed this from reading online message boards), but I never went a day without taking a shower since Brielle came home. Even when I was home alone watching her all day, I somehow found time to hop in the shower for even a quick 5 minute rinse and it felt great. Granted, little Brielle did come in the bathroom with me and sat in her Fisher-Price Newborn Rock n’ Play Sleeper while I played peek-a-boo behind the shower curtain, but at least I was accomplishing something I needed to do for myself. Even if you shower and put on a new pair of yoga pants when you get back out (guilty) it helps to keep that routine for yourself.
- Treat yourself to a little beauty time! The first time I left Brielle with Derek for longer than a 30 minute trip to Shoprite was for a root canal. Whomp Whomp! The second time, it was for a two hour trip to the hair salon for a cut and highlights! It was good to have some “me” time but also to get a little refresher in the beauty department. This was the second best money spent on myself, post baby, after those jeans! (Friends/family of an expecting mommy reading this: buy them a gift card to their favorite beauty/nail/massage place and offer to babysit once the baby arrives!)
- Stay in touch with friends. With today’s modern technology, there really isn’t an excuse to not keep in touch with someone, even in written form. I’m personally not on Facebook but since my phone was pretty much glued to me to track feedings, I was able to keep up with my friends via emails, texts or pictures during those first crazy months. While we didn’t make every event we were invited to or meet up for lunch at the drop of a hat, I think I did a good job of staying in touch with the friends who have grown with me through all these milestone life moments.
- Find time to do things you enjoy by yourself. Sure I don’t get to take as many bubble baths or go for a run as much as I used to since Brielle’s birth, but I have tried to keep up on some other hobbies that I enjoy. I’m still keeping up with blogging, scrapbooking, planning parties and hosting family holidays. These were all creative things I enjoyed prior to the baby and something I hope to do alongside her when she’s older.
Do YOU have any tips on being you, post baby?