This post is written by contributor Chelsea Becker
Something that surprised me about postpartum life was how much I missed feeling healthy. The end of my pregnancy had me craving everything from ice cream to pizza and I won’t lie and say I didn’t give in to those requests. And while I stayed active during my pregnancy, it was mainly long walks and gentle yoga.
By the time I gave birth and my cravings diminished, I was actually thrilled to get my healthy lifestyle back. I obviously had to wait 6-7 weeks to get back into my full exercise routine, but here are 4 things I did to feel healthy ASAP.
I quickly realized that the lack of sleep with a newborn means you don’t have time to make many meals. We had a lot of frozen dinners ready, but it was breakfast that seemed to be the trickiest. During naptime, I started preparing bags of smoothies for the week so that I could grab and blend in the mornings – even while holding bebe. Getting the extra burst of greens was helpful for energy in the early mornings and throughout the day.
One of the hardest transitions of motherhood, in my opinion, is the lack of you time. Most of your “free time” is spent taking a cat nap or doing loads of baby laundry. But what I found was that even taking 10 minutes a day to dedicate to myself (and not a chore or sleep) did SO much for my mental state. Whether that’s getting back to your skin routine, calling a friend, or browsing Pinterest, find those moments for yourself. You absolutely deserve it!
Meditation while feeding
When I first started feeding my baby, I’d play on my phone while he fed, which I quickly stopped doing for a couple of reasons. One being that I didn’t like the idea of cell radiation close to his head and two being that I wasn’t getting anything out of it. I was exhausted both mentally and physically and the last thing I needed was to see friends going to brunch or someone’s perfect body on Insta.
So I decided to start using that time to meditate or at least take deep breaths. I noticed immediately how much this practice not only cleared up my head, but it seemed to calm my son, too. Maybe I was imagining that last part, but me being relaxed and grounded can’t hurt either of us, right? Right!
Not everyone wants to leave the house within the first couple weeks and obviously this depends on your level of physical trauma during birth, but going on walks helped me tremendously. By week 2, I’d either go on walks solo or bring the stroller for some fresh air – both the light physical activity and time outside did wonders for me.
If you can’t walk or you don’t want to go far, even having tea outside or hanging with your baby in the shade can be great for both of you. Natural light helps both baby and mama sleep, plus we all know the benefits of nature on stress levels in general. Sitting by a window is the next best thing if you’re not comfortable getting out.
What helped you feel healthy after baby?