Loving Your Body Postpartum
As soon as your baby is born, the changes never seem to end. The breasts fill and become heavy, and there is an uncomfortable feeling with being bloated. Hormones continue to adapt and you continue to bleed and recover from childbirth. These are just some of the physical changes you may undergo after having a baby. I haven't even mentioned the mental, emotional, and spiritual changes!
There is a 360 degree transformation going on inside and outside of you. One piece of advice to keep in mind is:
nine months in, nine months out
There is no need to make your life difficult by suffering from these changes. The expansion period takes nine months, and the deflation period, for most women, takes about the same amount of time. We often start comparing ourselves to celebrities who are very thin shortly after giving birth. But, how much can we tell from a two-dimensional photo?
Our minds tend to make comparisons, but we have no way of really knowing about a person's life through a photo. I've worked with celebrities and I guarantee they have as much to work on as you do. The fact they are public figures, in many ways, makes their lives more difficult.
What I learned in my career is that celebrities feel like they have to be perfect all the time. This causes immense stress on their mental and emotional state, no matter how good they look in photos.
Losing weight fast in the postpartum period can come with many ups and downs. Poor nutrition can leave women exhausted and with excess air in their body, which can lead to a feeling of numbness, tiredness, anxiety, and depression.
One of the secrets to feeling good in the postpartum period is to eat hot, nutrient-dense whole foods. Hydrate yourself frequently. Rest as much as you can, and be pampered by your family and loved ones. Ideally, you turn off the outside world, and learn to be present with the transformational energy that surrounds you.
The photo above is my son Jasper and I about 4 weeks after giving birth.
I often talk about the importance of confinement for the first forty days. If you are unfamiliar with this concept, here is some information about it:
‘In China, childbearing is viewed as a state that disturbs the normal balance between yin and yang,’ said Elizabeth Rochin, vice president of nursing and clinical services at the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. ‘Sit the month is meant to restore that balance.’
Eating foods like herbs and legumes -- staples of the Indian confinement diet -- after giving birth may lessen women’s symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety, a small study conducted in Singapore found.
The Indian confinement traditions include eating warm foods, avoiding fruits and ‘cool’ vegetables like cucumber and cabbage, increasing ghee (for strength and muscle repair) and skipping ‘windy’ foods that may cause gas.”
During this vulnerable period, it is also important to be aware when thinking or saying non-constructive, negative words to yourself. Yes, your body has changed, but remember, you just created another life; you’ve multiplied into two beings. Focusing on the love and care of the two of you is all you need to do now.
More articles about loving your postpartum body:
- 12 Mantras to help you adjust to your new shape
- How to love your postbaby body
- Love letter to my new postpartum body
- New moms get real about postpartum body
- How I feel about my postpartum body
Written by: Ariel Pinho
Edited by: Lily Zara