3 Steps to help you learn to love your postpartum body

Get your body back after the birth of your baby’, ‘Lose the baby weight’, ‘Flatten your mum tum’. These are phrases you may have heard so much after the birth of your baby, and it puts an enormous amount of pressure on all new mums to return to our pre-pregnancy shape and snap back to our pre baby body in a short space of time.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the importance of loving our postpartum bodies and how crucial this is not only for our confidence but also so that we can live life to the fullest and be the best role model we can possibly be for our children.  I have worked with hundreds of women over the years and I often wonder how we can look at ourselves in the mirror and pick a part our flaws rather than celebrate our beauty. It’s amazing how we compare ourselves to the other women and mothers around us. We often find fault within ourselves, we often feel guilt and more often than not, we neglect the temple that gave us our children.

Celebrities can often make it appear so easy when it so obviously isn’t and such quick weight loss is unrealistic and unhealthy for the average new mum. It’s unrealistic for most postpartum women who are getting very little sleep, experiencing hormonal shifts and still healing after a vaginal or surgical birth. And, it’s still unrealistic for some postpartum women a year, two years or more postpartum. Your body was put under a huge stress and load to carry and nurture your baby or multiples, then you went through childbirth. The last thing your body needs is bootcamp fitness classes or strict exercise or diet regimes! Of course, your body has changed. Your body is fierce and strong, it carried your tiny human (humans!) and that is nothing short of a miracle.

Learning to love your postpartum body is about so much more than loving what you see in the mirror (although there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting this to be a part of it). But if you learn to love your body because of what it does for you each day and how it makes you feel, and that you admire it for its strength, power and grace then you will see so much more when you look in the mirror each day. Treat your body with love, kindness and respect and it will reward you with the True Vitality and energy you deserve and it will help you live life to the fullest.

Your body may not resemble what it did before you became a mum but learning to love and embrace your post-natal body is about so much more than this. Make your post-baby body plan one that helps you learn to love the woman you see in the mirror, one that fuels your body with nutrients, finding a routine that makes you healthy and happy, one that allows you to walk in the park with your children and enjoy every moment, one that helps you strengthen your body and appreciate your body for its strength, power and grace and also one that fills you with the energy you need to look after your little ones. This one is super important for me with three children including twin boys to look after!

Stop comparing yourself to others and learn to be a healthy role model for your children so you can pass your healthy habits onto them and most importantly learn and to love the new body that is yours and rock the determination to become the healthiest version of yourself.

Here are my top 3 steps to help you on your way!

(1.) Get out a pen and your journal or a sticky note and write down this mantra ‘My self-esteem is high because I honour my body for everything that it does for me.’

Post it on your computer, your wall or in your journal or phone – somewhere you will see it several times a day. Repeat it to yourself. Often. Repeat it so often that you believe it to be the absolute truth.

We all struggle sometimes to look at our bodies in the mirror with acceptance and grace, if not love. For many of us it can take a ton of work to develop a love for your own body and to be comfortable with its size and shape—but you can start by looking at how you value your self-worth.

(2.) Eat lean, clean and green.

It is too easy to get into that unhealthy routine of coffee shops, cakes and sandwiches at home but since good nutrition is responsible for how we feel each day as well as 80% of fat loss it is super important to eat well and to nourish your body with a natural wholefood diet.

Forget the fad diets and avoid anything extreme as it will only leave you feeling depleted but instead focus on foods that give you energy and that will fuel you and your family with everything it needs to feel your best every day. If you feel healthy, energised, less bloated and nourished by the food that you eat your love for your body and your appreciation for how good you feel will grow and develop so much. Learn to love your body for how healthy you feel and for the experiences it allows you to have every day as well as for how you look. There is of course nothing wrong with wanting to look good to but just check in with yourself every now and again that the way your are eating is for your long-term health and wellbeing and not to help you reach some new short-term and unrealistic goals.

(3.) Admire your body for it’s strength, power and grace.

To strengthen your postpartum body can be one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself both physically and emotionally. I’m a big believer that a healthy, strong body helps to create a healthy mind but it can also help you prevent injury, increase your energy levels, tone up and of course boost your metabolism. During the early postpartum days and beyond it is also important to move and strengthen your body so that you have the strength to carry your babies around, get up and down off the floor 500 times a day and get a pushchair in and out the trunk of your car!

Long walks are the perfect way to keep your body moving in the early postpartum days, and Pilates and resistance training are the perfect exercise to introduce after your 6 week check to help you strengthen your post-natal body Bootcamp fitness classes or extreme workouts will only leave you feeling depleted but by helping your body to become stronger and more powerful it will help you in so many ways you never imagined.

Step back, admire the strength, power and grace of your body, it’s ability to carry and birth your children and to help you do everything that needs to be done each day. It is hard work and by learning to love how your body works for you and how strong it feels you will learn to love and feel more connected to your post-natal body.

It’s so easy to get into a cycle of self-criticism or worse—wanting to be anywhere but where you are. Part of moving beyond the post-natal period is wanting to be in the moment, fully. The only way to do that is to accept your body with all of its imperfections and to recognize the beauty in them. This is a great lesson of motherhood, and it is one that begins with your body. Embrace it and be kind to yourself on your post-natal health and fitness journey as your body has been through much and when you think about it like this the woman’s body really is nothing short of a miracle.

Learn to love your body now for everything it does for you and how it feels and I promise you the rest will follow.

Big Hugs Laura xx

Don’t worry if you didn’t exercise throughout your pregnancy and have a fit pregnancy, you can still lose the baby weight, strengthen your core and pelvic floor and get your body back with the correct nutrition and post-natal exercise. For more information about the True Vitality 4 Mums post-natal 12 Week Transformation Programme, please email laura@truevitality4mums.com xx

If you are looking for a Personal Trainer in Richmond, Personal Trainer in Twickenham, Personal Trainer in Kingston, Personal Trainer in Ascot, Personal Trainer in Windsor and Personal Trainer in Surrey contact www.truevitality.co.uk or  laura@truevitality.co.uk