Today, I’m sharing some more tips for new parents, but this time relating to body confidence after having a baby.
It’s incredibly important to look after yourself, and particularly when you’re a new mum.
Raising awareness of body image issues
As I write this, it’s currently Maternal Mental Health Month, which is putting the spotlight on the mental health issues new mums can experience. Plus, it’s also Mental Health Awareness Week (13-19th May 2019), a campaign which, this year, is focussing on body image and appearance.
Shockingly, the organisers of the Mental Health Awareness Week found in a survey into body image and mental health, held last year, that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That’s almost 1 in every 3 people!
I imagine that that statistic would be even higher if they had surveyed just women who had recently given birth!
I know from personal experience, as well as from what other mums have told me, that post-pregnancy, the confidence we feel in our bodies can dip dramatically.
It’s well-documented that pregnancy causes many changes in the body and that some of these can prove difficult to deal with. Maintaining a positive body image after giving birth is something that many, many new mums struggle with.
Inspiring body-confidence in new mums
So today, I wanted to share some tips that I hope will help you.
If you’re feeling low about your own post-partum body right now, in these early days and weeks after birth, remember that it is absolutely possible to get your body confidence back over time.
Chances are, if you’re not in love with your body at the moment, what you’re experiencing is likely to be completely normal. However, do always seek professional medical advice if you are concerned.
Tips for feeling good about your post-baby body
1) Celebrate your body rather than focus on the wobbly bits!
Remember, your body is amazing! It’s grown, carried and birthed a baby. What could be more wonderful and more awe-inspiring than that?!
While you may have the battle-scars to prove that you’ve recently carried and delivered a baby, one thing that you should never forget is the sense of achievement that you felt at that moment your child was born.
You and your body achieved something truly brilliant! Respect yourself for what you have done!
2) Get as much sleep as you can
I know, I know. You’ve heard it before. But do try to get as much sleep as possible throughout the day if you are not managing to get much in the night.
Sleep when the baby sleeps and don’t feel guilty for leaving the chores until later or for your partner or a helpful friend or family member to do.
When you’ve had some sleep, you’ll feel more refreshed and will naturally feel better about things. You’ll be less likely to get overwhelmed with the commitments of caring for your new baby and will likely feel better about yourself and your body too.
3) Get out and about in the fresh air
While you may not be ready to start exercising yet, there are definitely benefits to getting up and out of the house and getting some fresh air. The physical activity will do you good in so many ways.
While you can choose to get involved in exercise classes, see our list of local ones below, or even head for a light stroll with your baby in their pushchair. This will be enough to boost your mood, clear your head and make you feel better. It will also distract you from your worries about your body and give you something else to focus on in your day.
4) Educate yourself about what to expect after your baby is born
There’s a real benefit in educating yourself about what to expect from your body post-pregnancy too. If you have informed yourself about what’s normal after birth, you’ll be less likely to worry about things that you may be experiencing. You’ll be better informed and feel more in control as a result.
Flabby tummy? Sore boobs? Bleeding for weeks? Yes, these are all symptoms which can be completely normal for a woman in your position.
5) Share your concerns
A final tip is to talk openly to your partner, your mum, a friend – anyone who will listen and support you. Just talking about what’s worrying you can help to lighten the load, and you’ll probably find that they can reassure you and perhaps even share their own experiences that help you feel less alone.
If you’re feeling insecure about your post-baby body, feeling disconnected from your partner or just not feeling like your old self, an honest discussion can do wonders to get your concerns out in the open. A problem shared is a problem halved, after all.
Lacking body confidence after having a baby?
The moral of the story is, simply be kind to yourself.
Trust in the process and know that probably every new mum struggles with the same issues that you’re perhaps experiencing around low body confidence after birth.
When things are tough, think about the advice you’d give to your sister, daughter, aunt, best friend if they were in your situation. Chances are you’d be a great support to them, so tell yourself the same positive things!
*Don’t forget to seek professional advice and support from your doctor or midwife if you are concerned about anything relating to your baby, your body and your mental health. These tips are not intended as a substitute for medical advice.
Interested in a newborn photoshoot? Newborn photography needs to be done in the first weeks after birth and so is ideally booked well in advance in order to secure your preferred date in our busy diary. Get in touch today to find out about our availability.
local baby classes
Hot Mamas - Fitness Class - click here
Bumps, Bairns and Buggies - click here
Strong Mama Moves Aberdeen - click here
Claire McGowan Pre and Post Natal Training - click here