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5 Ways to Get Back Your Toned Figure after Pregnancy

5 Ways to Get Back Your Toned Figure after Pregnancy

The miracle of birth has no parallel — it’s the most wonderful and most natural thing in the world. Women who decide to become mothers are giving the gift of life to the entire humankind, and there’s nothing that can be compared to this.

The funny thing is that mothers can’t really see the bigger picture here, because it’s very difficult to deal with the physical consequences of giving birth. It’s a whole new mess that needs to be sorted out, and it’s very difficult to deal with the new body figure that comes postpartum.

This problem can even lead to such an amount of dissatisfaction that it can cause depression, which is something you need to steer clear from because your life has a new purpose now — your newborn. Therefore, you should take precautions so that you can avoid some permanent pregnancy marks, but it’s very important not to take your actions to far.

1. Lose Weight at a Slow Pace

While your baby grows inside of you, your stomach swells up; this happens because your body makes room for the baby’s growth and proper development. Now, your tummy isn’t a balloon — although at some point, it will look like it — and you can’t expect it to shrink back to normal the minute after you give birth.

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Hormones know how to behave, and you need to give them time to do their job — all those fluids that amass during pregnancy will start to leak, but that is one slow process that must not be rushed because of your baby’s health and your own.

Those leaks will manifest to sweat, urine and vaginal secretions, and any additional weight you might have picked up along the way will enter a fast-forward calorie burning process.

2. Mind the Bra Size

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    This goes for both — before and after birth. If you don’t pay special attention to the way your breasts change, you will experience unpleasant pain, and that discomfort isn’t something you should add to the list of all the other sensations your body is going through.

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    While your pregnancy is developing, so will your breasts, and you can expect to see a new change each trimester. This is why you should get refitted accordingly. In order to feel maximally comfortable, make sure to wear supporting bras even during nighttime.

    If you’re nursing, you’ll need convenient bras that save you time and help you relieve the pain you might be experiencing. However, you should be aware of the fact your new bra size will reveal itself a few months after you stop breastfeeding, not after you give birth, which is why you need to be patient and wear appropriate sizes.

    3. Be Patient With Your Tummy

    First of all, you need to face the fact that your body shape may change for good after you give birth — your body is going through a huge change, and it’s only natural that it can’t bounce back completely. Only time will tell here, which is why you shouldn’t be impatient.

    Mothers need to give their tummy muscles time to accommodate, and the length of the period necessary for that to happen depends on the shape of your figure before you became pregnant, how much weight you added during pregnancy, your physical activities postpartum, and of course, your genetics.

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    My suggestion is to talk this out with your mother, and learn about her experience on this subject; she can tell you how long it took her to bounce back and which mistakes she made, so that you can steer clear from them.

    Breastfeeding can actually help you with this, because by doing it, you become 500 calories lighter each day, which is one motivating thing to have in mind. As a new mother, you’re a milk machine, so to speak, and your body will invest about one kilogram per week in order to produce enough food for your newborn.

    If you’re eager to get back to the gym and exercise, you need to be gentle with your body because forcing yourself will make you constantly exhausted and that can only lead to a line of serious problems for both you and your child. You can try with postpartum belly wraps — the support they provide can relieve the pressure on your spine, which can take damage during pregnancy, and it can help you get your abs in shape more quickly.

    4. Take Good Care of Your Skin

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      Moisturizing is of essential importance here. Because of the lack of elasticity while you’re getting bigger as your pregnancy envelops, your skin tends to crack which is why stretch marks appear. It’s quite important for you to understand that they will tone down in time, and that they won’t be that visible after a while, so don’t panic.

      However, you can affect the final outcome by moisturizing, and my suggestion is to go with gentle oil-based skincare products, because I have seen them in action, and they do their job well. Just make sure that you’re using creams and oils which are pH neutral and baby-friendly.

      5. Love Your Body

      Not having the perfect body is a very small sacrifice when compared with what you get by giving birth. I know it can be really frustrating — I think my mother never got over her stretchmarks — but if you continue to dwell on it, the problem will only get bigger and bigger inside your head. Learn to love your new motherly figure because it gave you a child, if nothing else, and that’s definitely the biggest source of unconditional love.

      Allow these things go by in their natural course — your body is programmed for this process, and you need to allow it to react. Have in mind that your health is of vital importance to your baby and having to wait a few months longer to be satisfied with the reflection in your mirror is okay. Give yourself time.

      Featured photo credit: https://www.pexels.com/u/freestocks/ via pexels.com

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      Published on June 24, 2020

      How to Be a Successful And Happy Stay at Home Mom

      How to Be a Successful And Happy Stay at Home Mom

      I can’t think of a more rewarding job, nor a more challenging one than being a Stay-at-Home-Mom (SAHM)! There is no shortage of opinion, however, as to the pros and cons of going on active duty until your kid/s turns 18 and flies off to college.

      When you choose a career such as this, you’re in it for the long haul. But by the end of your journey, you’ll be decorated with every possible medal of honor. And may I say, indisputably deserved.

      Think about it: a SAHM is a queen. She has one of the most important jobs of all—managing the castle, all that it entails, and its inhabitants.

      For most of you, your home is your castle. It is where your most valuable possessions reside—your loved ones, your pets, your memories, and the special items you’ve collected over the years. It is where you feel comfortable, uninhibited, and free to be yourself. It is where you dine, sleep, and relax. It is everything!

      Being the queen of your castle is like being the president. What other position carries as much clout other than being the president?

      Taking care of that castle and its occupants is no easy task; it is a highly-ranked position that deserves every available merit.

      Yes, staying at home can be a big decision, especially if you have a career and have been used to praise, socialization, and a regular paycheck. You might even think that if you decide to stay home, it is a “step down,” a demotion of sorts. But nothing could be further from the truth.

      Why Being a Stay-at-Home Mom Is an Important Career

      Being a SAHM requires wearing a litany of hats. You’re a full-time babysitter, a Lyft driver without tips or 5-star ratings, a nurse, a chef, a behavioral therapist, and most importantly, a teacher.

      Teachable moments abound. You get to teach your children all the important things you want them to learn. Sure, there are no days off or summer vacations in store for decades, depending on the age of your little one/s, but imagine what amazing human beings you are helping to create!

      Being stellar SAHMs are big shoes to fill. Not just anyone is up to the task; not everyone has the patience or the stamina it requires. Think triathlon here, but more—much more.

      To put it simply, being a SAHM is one of the most important careers in the world. Let’s take a look at why this is so.

      1. Your Child Is Always With Someone Who Loves Them

      When your children are home with you, they are loved 24/7. They are happy and comforted.

      In a daycare facility, the most important person in your life will be with someone who is just doing their job. They’re there for the paycheck, not because they love your child.

      As you know, there are good and bad employees. You won’t necessarily know if your child is with a great employee or with one who is half paying attention to one of the most highly-treasured people in your life.

      2. You Don’t Have to Deal With Office Stress and Deadlines

      Working outside of your castle generally demands that you be present wherever it is you work—a hospital, a warehouse, a car dealership, an office, etc.,—when they want you to be there.

      There are petty fights, nasty gossip, stressful projects, bad bosses, jealous co-workers, etc. You might often find yourself looking at the clock and waiting for the weekend.

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      If you’re a SAHM, you make the rules! That alone should cause you great joy.

      3. You Get to Witness Each of Your Child’s Milestones Firsthand

      Think about how many milestones working moms miss. As a SAHM, you get to be there. You get to take those pictures, those videos, and see your little one grow up—in person, not via Nanny Cam! And if you’re children are middle-school-age and older, you get to keep an eye on them when they get home from school.

      In an article in the American Journal of Nursing Science, it states that:[1]

      “Economic and social pressures are forcing more parents into the workplace at a time when children appear to most need adult guidance and supervision. These children, in turn, face a growing number of problems such as physical and sexual abuse, crime and delinquency, depression and suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional and behavioral problems, learning difficulties, school attendance problems, domestic violence, pregnancy, abortion, and venereal disease.

      Many “latchkey” children experience stressful and even dangerous situations without ready access to adult guidance and support. It is estimated that as many as 10 million children care for themselves before or after school. Many latchkey kids begin their self-care responsibilities at about 8 years of age.”

      4. Your Child Gets to Grow Up in Their Castle With a Queen Who Loves Them

      When you’re home with your child, you provide love and comfort. That makes for a happy child and eventually, a happy adult. True, some adults were raised with their queen and don’t fare well, but in those rare cases, there are other factors involved, too numerous to list here.

      In general, children do better when they know they are loved and cared for. And for children, the presence that would create stability and warm-fuzzy feelings is Mom!

      5. Your Child Will Grow Up Feeling Happy, Safe, and Secure

      Personally, I grew up with a SAHM. My mom was always around. We knew we could count on her for anything. She’d keep the house clean, cook great meals, and take us swimming in the summers.

      I have very happy memories. I always felt secure and loved. And when my dad would get home after work, the family was complete. Fun times! If you are a good, caring mom, the best gift you can give your children is YOU!

      Creating happy children is one of the biggest successes you can experience.

      6. Your Child’s School Performance Will Improve

      Research shows that there are excellent benefits to children staying at home, such as an increase in school performance. Those benefits extend way beyond the early years of that child’s life.

      Did you know that homeschoolers generally score 15 to 30% points above public school students on a standardized test?

      In the article, Does Being a Stay at Home Home Benefit Your Kids?, it states:[2]

      “A British study in the ‘Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health’ reported that children of stay-at home-mothers are more likely to participate in organized sports than those whose mothers worked, possibly because their mothers had more time to take them to sports practices.

      Other studies have found that children of stay-at-home moms were exposed to fewer germs and suffered from fewer illnesses. In addition, stay-at-home moms can have more time to prepare healthier foods and they rely less on convenience foods, partially for financial reasons.”

      It’s Normal to Feel Iffy at First

      Even after having read the six above-mentioned amazing reasons to stay at home, you might still feel iffy about it. Not because you don’t love your children but because you feel you will lose yourself—your identity.

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      It’s understandable to feel that way. Shifting your perspective is key here. Staying at home doesn’t have to go hand-in-hand with losing your identity. You simply add to it; it’s another layer, another facet of who you are.

      In the beginning, you may need to make some adjustments, but isn’t life, in general, an adjustment? Things are happening every day that oblige us to change course and go with the flow.

      How to Be a Successful Stay-at-Home Mom

      If you decide, that yes, you are going to stay home with your child but aren’t sure how to navigate the new waters without completely losing yourself, allow me to offer you some ideas that will make your experience an exceptionally happy one.

      By following through with the suggestions below, you will feel successful, happy, and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.

      Here are some tips on how to be a successful stay-at-home mom:

      1. Wake Up Early!

      Some SAHMs complain that they don’t have enough time for themselves. Valid point. Try getting up early, before the kids do.[3] This is the first thing that you should keep in mind if you want to be a successful stay-at-home mom.

      Being up before everyone else offers you alone time to get some personal things done. The house is quiet and peaceful—the perfect setting to do what you need to do. That could be taking an uninterrupted warm shower, reading passages from your favorite book, having a cup of coffee while streaming one of your favorite shows or movies, writing emails, etc.

      Waking up early offers you many opportunities to do what you need to do so that you don’t feel as though you’re missing out.

      2. Dress Up!

      No, I don’t mean dress up like you’re going out dancing, but you don’t have to be in your pajamas or sweats all day, either. How you dress makes a difference in your mood—on how you feel. So, dress casually but nicely.

      In an article by Corina, How to be a Stylish Stay at Home Mom Without Compromising Comfort, she writes, “You don’t need a ton of clothes! Stick with what fits you well and makes you feel pretty without much fuss.”[4]

      You can be at home and still dress to impress. You will feel so much better about yourself.

      3. Exercise and Have Fun With Your Kids!

      Taking care of your little ones doesn’t mean you give up on yourself. Take some time during the day to exercise. It will keep you strong, toned, and happy.

      Have the children join you, and make it amusing by playing some fun workout music. They’ll use up a lot of energy and enjoy the time with you simultaneously.

      Here’s an example of a mom who’s having a lot of fun with her kids as well as entertaining her audience. Watch Sophie Ellis-Bextor on YouTube.[5]

      What a fun thing to do with your kids!

      4. Schedule Weekly Outings!

      To add excitement to your week, plan a weekly outing to the zoo, the botanical gardens, the library, the park, etc.

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      Of course, at this point, the outings depend on personal safety and each state’s guidelines, so you’ll have to check on that. But bike rides around the neighborhood and picnics will work just as well.

      If it’s too difficult to get out for whatever reason, there are many fun things you can do at home, pandemic or not. You can schedule a Stay At Home FUN DAY! Making a fun environment for your children is important in being a successful stay-at-home mom.

      In an article by Andrea Browne Taylor, 16 Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic, she lists many activities to do with your kids.[6] Even I want to do these!

      5. Establish a Break

      During the day, it’s important to set aside some time to do something quiet; perhaps set aside 20-30 minutes to read, color, etc.

      During this break, each person can do something they personally enjoy. Encourage your kids to get creative. Research shows that creative activities, such as art, are wonderful for children.

      In her article, Why Art and Creativity are Important, Paula Bernstein states,[7]

      “Fostering creativity won’t just increase your child’s chances of becoming the next Picasso. You’re also helping him develop mentally, socially, and emotionally, says Ecklund-Flores.”

      And for you, pick up that hobby you put on the back burner. Whether it is painting, crocheting, knitting, writing, whatever, use that time to get some creative YOU time in! You are going to feel so much happier and accomplished afterward.

      6. Make Your Castle a Beautiful Living Space!

      Decorate your home in a way that is soothing to you. Choose the colors, the decor, the furniture, the pictures, the artwork, the plants, etc. that make you feel at peace in your own castle.

      Play music that is both calming and energizing. Living in a space you love and find comforting makes all the difference in the world. If you create a happy environment, you’ll feel happier, and so will your children.

      For ways to make your home a happier place, check out Olivia Heath’s article, 8 ways to make your home a happier place.[8]

      7. Set Up a Routine!

      Most people respond well to a routine. For instance, from 8 – 9, breakfast and cartoons; from 9 – 12. chores and homework; from 12 – 1:00 p.m., lunch. After that, nap time, if appropriate, or personal time.

      The routine, of course, will be based on the age of your children and your own personal views. According to a Skilled at Life article:

      Setting up a routine “creates structure in our lives. a daily routine provides structure and a logical sequence in our lives. It provides the framework within which we live our lives and conduct our daily activities. Soon we become familiar and comfortable with what we have to do each day. It allows us to experience a flow to our day.”((Skilled at Life: 18 Reasons Why a Daily Routine Is So Important))

      As a SAHM, you’ll benefit from the routine and take comfort in knowing what to expect. This is the time for you to incorporate anything into your daily routine that makes you feel relaxed, happy, and stress-free.

      8. Meet Up With Other SAHMs

      Meeting up with other SAHMs will provide you with support. Additionally, the kids get to socialize with other children and you with other like-minded moms.

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      Not working outside the home sometimes can feel isolating, so talking to other adults is a nice treat. Below, I included a link to help you find just the group for you! Check it out.

      9. Hire a Babysitter!

      Sometimes you might like to go out with friends, get pampered at a spa, or what-have-you. A babysitter or a trusted family member can help with that.

      These little breaks can be the fuel you need to keep going. It’s like getting a mini-vacation. It’s revitalizing. Once you get home from your spa treatment or the movie you saw with your friends, you will have renewed energy. You can now refocus on your castle tasks. And remember, a happy mom, makes for a happy child!

      Final Thoughts

      As a SAHM, you might make the mistake of thinking that if you don’t bring home a paycheck, you’re not valuable or helping with the household expenses. You’re actually helping more than you think.

      You don’t need a paycheck to add value to who you are. You are already one of the most valued members of society. You’re watching over human lives—your children—making sure they are safe, healthy, and happy. And as far as expenses go, you will be saving on daycare costs and transportation expenses.

      If after reading all these amazing things about being a SAHM, you’re still conflicted, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not for everyone.

      As I mentioned above, staying at home can be challenging. And in all honesty, it can have its drawbacks. That’s also why I provided you here some tips on how to be a successful stay-at-home mom.

      For example, being at home with your children all the time can make you feel a little depressed or bored. You might not feel like you’re being stimulated by life or adult-like situations. Maybe some of the hobbies you used to enjoy get neglected, or you might feel financially dependent on your husband.

      Furthermore, you might think you’ll lose all your abilities; the opportunity to utilize the educational training you received. Or maybe you miss the ritual of getting dressed, driving to work, and being around other people who are doing similar things. That’s all valid.

      Only you can make that decision. While you’re thinking about it, though, let me remind you that as a SAHM you will be missing some things. But you’ll be gaining so much more.

      Doing a presentation at work may get you kudos and accolades, but hearing the words, “I love you, mommy” is priceless. Watching your children grow up before your very eyes? Priceless. Making sure they’re safe and sound with you loving them all day? Priceless.

      There is no other job in the world with those kinds of benefits. As a SAHM, you are the heart and soul of your castle.

      Remember, too, that your children will grow up. You won’t have to wait until you’re 65 to retire. And although your job as Mom will never be done, you’ll be able to do many things that you didn’t get to do while on active duty.

      When you are “done,” you will have the satisfaction of having accomplished an amazing feat. You can feel proud because success like that isn’t easy to come by.

      The title of Stay-at-Home-Mom, despite what any group might say, is a powerful and inspiring one.

      Are you up to the challenge?

      Want to know more about being a successful stay-at-home mom and its benefits? Check these out:

      More Tips for Stay-at-Home Moms

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Dummer via unsplash.com

      Reference

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