Dear Is This Normal,
I know it’s normal for your body to go through changes after having a baby—I’ve literally been losing clumps of hair every time I wash my hair. But I’m literally depressed about it. Yeah, childbirth is a miracle but I feel like I’ve lost my body for good. How do I get to a point where I can accept these changes and come to peace with my new mom body?
Mom Bod Blue
When I was expecting I remember reading books on just about everything, from pregnancy to baby’s development in the womb, to stages of his first year of life. I felt somewhat ready to tackle sleep schedules, swaddles, breastfeeding, and tummy issues. Unfortunately, I was not prepared to experience the frustration I felt when I did not see my body “bounce back.” I struggled to cope with this unfamiliar body and part of me felt cheated on—why did the books completely skip the chapter on postpartum body changes? How did that mom on Instagram bounce back so fast?
The good news I now know is that you have not lost your body for good—you actually gain a stronger body postpartum. The crazy hair loss is not permanent and within a couple of months new hair will likely grow in. When it comes to the rest of your body, there are other changes that might make us feel not so great: tiger marks, stretchy skin, a loving pouch, bigger hips, new belly button, stronger legs, and what feels like a whole new set of personal attributes.
In the beginning, you might find it impossible to come to terms with your new mom bod. However, if you focus on caring for yourself, embracing the changes your body is going through, and developing habits that benefit your body and soul, you will start feeling empowered by your postpartum body.
These are some easy mama tips to help you feel great through the journey:
- Find a tribe to thrive. It can be an online community, a mommy and me group or a stroller walk crew. These are your go-to ladies that will listen to you vent—they know what you’re going through and will keep you motivated.
- Ask for help. Your body needs rest and grace. There is no rush to check the endless items off your to-do list; most of them can wait and for those that can’t, remember that you can delegate to someone else.
- Munch and Crunch. Focus on eating the rainbow! Include fruits, nuts and vegetables in your daily diet to boost your vitamin intake. It is well known that good nutrition and hydration can decrease depression, fatigue, and inflammation.
- Find time for yourself. Whether it’s putting on your favorite mascara to boost your self-confidence or even just finding five minutes in your day for some me time, don’t forget to invest in yourself and find an activity that brings you back to center. For me, using a rich and energizing lotion to moisturize before sleep has been essential, but it can be as simple as having your favorite lip gloss or blush easily accessible when you need a pick-me-up.
- Five feel-fabulous outfits. Let’s face it, you are trying to get dressed before the baby cries, half asleep, in the dark and with a new body. Find a few staples in your wardrobe that will make you feel comfortable and beautiful with zero effort. Forget about your pre-pregnancy jeans and find something you love for your body right now—remember, that body created an actual human!
One day at a time mama, you got this!
From blues to jazzy grooves,
Is This Normal