Oh the dreaded baby weight. You spend 9 months gaining the weight and 4 weeks after that precious bump appears in your arms, you’re looking in the mirror like, “Shouldn’t this fluff be gone by now!?” I know because I’ve been there. Actually, I’m there now.
I had my precious baby girl at home on Christmas Day and about a month into sweet motherhood, I found myself staring in the mirror wondering why all this nursing hadn’t eaten up the 30 pounds I gained. I swear someone said it would!?
Aren’t there 24 hours in a day?
Nope. Not after you have a baby.
Can I get an “amen”?
The struggle is real and if you’re a new or seasoned mama, you know the feeling. As a Nutritionist, I thought that getting back into the grind of meal prep and my usual fare (minus the added preggo carbs and such) would be a cinch and all would be well. I honestly thought the weight would fall off in the first few weeks and I’d be feelin’ like a million bucks in no time.
The reality, as many of you have experienced, is that taking care of a sweet little or young children takes a ton of energy, time, focus, etc., all of which we give willingly as our babes are our greatest treasures! This makes taking care of ourselves more challenging than ever. And that baby weight? Good night!
But, if there were ever a time in your life that you needed to take care of yourself, now is that time.
As mommies, we forget that taking care of ourselves is one of the best ways we can care for our families. And for a few reasons.
- As a pillar of the family, everyone is watching and learning from you. What mama eats, how she talks about herself, how she looks at herself in the mirror, what she says, what she believes in, etc. Our kids are watching our every move (creepy, right!?) so our moves as mamas matter and can affect our children for the rest of their lives. Self-care is no exception to this.
- It is hard work taking care of a family so if you are not taking care of yourself, your energy, focus, patience and overall wellbeing will be affected. When you feel like crap, often times you act like crap. Get it?
- If you are like every other mom in the universe, you want to be around for your little ones for a long, long time, you want to feel good, you want to run and jump and play with your babes and even their babes (I know, I know. I’m getting ahead of myself on that one!). I find that most moms put themselves last thinking that they are doing the best for their family. But without you mom, life would be in shambles, let’s be honest.
3 ways to love on your new mom bod (and how to drop the baby weight while you're at it)...
1. Nourish that bod.
Question of the day. Do you want to get back to your pre-baby weight? “Um, duh!” you say? What you put in your mouth is key to dropping that baby weight, but keep in mind that every body is different. For me, doing Whole30 affected my milk supply in a bad way so doing something that strict is just not in cards for me right now. BUT! Keeping sugar off of my plate and focusing on nutrient-dense, whole foods is definitely doable.
Elevated blood sugar and therefore insulin levels puts your body in storage mode rather than the desired fat burning mode. Take the time to nourish your amazing body with whole foods, making sure to include plenty of healthy fats and protein sources and making sure to avoid processed carbohydrates and junk food like chips, white bread, cookies, candy, soda, Frappuccino’s, etc. I'm not asking you to be perfect, I absolutely love to enjoy a homemade cinnamon roll or a grain-free chocolate chip cookie here and there, but the majority of your intake needs to be rich in nutrients and low in sugar.
Though you’d literally kill for a quadruple shot frilly Frap, these types of food items not only mess with your blood sugar, but can also have a negative affect on your gut health, hormones and cardiovascular system. Choose to reward yourself with non-food related goodies and fill up on whole foods.
After all, a healthy mama is a healthy family!
2. Get your "me" time in with a detox bath.
What better way to reward yourself for all that hard mommy work than an hour of quite time, sipping on a big glass of champa…I mean, lemon water, while enjoying some much needed “me” time in a warm detox bath? Arrange for the hubs to hang with the babe(s) for an hour so you can get some much needed “mommy time”, at least once a week, where you can unplug and de-stress.
A detox bath is a great way to gently cleanse the body and just unwind from the busyness of the day. Emotions can often times be all over the place as a mommy so you can choose different essential oils based on the mood you are trying to achieve. Here’s how to make it happen: fill your tub with warm water, add 1 cup of Epson salt, ½ cup baking soda and 10 drops of your favorite essential oil or essential oil blend (I absolutely love Balance and Serenity together and this combo helps to balance emotions and creates a calming affect naturally). Soak in the bath for 20 minutes. I know, I know. You’re welcome. [Details below on how to get the purest essential oils into your bath and wellness routine...I've got goodies to giveaway so scroll down!]
Detoxification is part of healthy weight loss. If your body has the opportunity to gently detoxify on a regular basis, it won’t need to store toxins in your adipose tissue (aka fat! Think of the fat cells like little jail cells for toxins!). When your fat cells are keeping your body safe from all these toxins, it doesn’t really want to let go of the fat. Give it a reason to by taking regular detox baths and exploring other gentle detox methods.
Breast feeding mamas...beware of detoxing...we don't want baby to get your junk. Gentle, everyday methods that encourage natural detoxification like dry brushing, rebounding, detox bathes, etc. are fine, but definitely stay away from intentional detoxification programs where you may be moving large amounts of toxins or heavy metals around your body.
3. Get out the house.
Get out of the house, even if baby is in tow. One thing I’ve heard from mamas who have suffered from post-partum depression is that getting out and about with other mamas or loved ones is a great way to help overcome some of those really difficult times. Figure out what brings joy to your heart, makes you laugh, gets you excited and do it! Often. And with others. By creating opportunities like this, you create a plethora of “happy chemicals” or neurotransmitters in the brain leading to more contentment and happiness in your life. When our neurotransmitters are stable, our mood, eating habits, blood sugar and so many more important aspects of life become balanced as well.