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WHY THE ‘UNIVERSAL HEALTH AND WEIGHT LOSS RULES’ DON'T WORK FOR NEW MOMS AND WHAT TO DO INSTEAD.

I know, I know. The first year after giving birth is a tough one. Our whole world goes through metamorphosis and there are so many things in our lives that we desperately want to fix.

 

One of the things that most new moms want to fix, though, is their body. If you google ‘How to get into shape’ you will see that there are a few universal rules that health and nutrition experts, and wannabe-experts from all around the world suggest.  But we all know that there are no quick fixes or ‘simple, basic rules’ which to follow in order to reach our best shape and health after giving birth. It is a process, and it requires extra effort, dedication and most of all: patience and self-love. Here is why those ‘universal golden rules and fixes’ don’t work for new moms and what to do instead.

 

Get enough sleep

Yes, yes. 7 hours minimum. It has been proven that a good, uninterrupted 7-8 hour sleep each night gives you enough energy, helps regulate your metabolism, repair your muscles, boost your athletic performance and more. Sounds tempting. But what does your colicky, hungry, teething, grumpy baby think about this rule? A new mum is considered lucky if she gets 3-4 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

 

What to do instead:

Get a few more hours of sleep during the day. Try to sleep when your baby is napping.

 

Eat your meals on a regular schedule

The words ‘regular’ or ‘schedule’ simply don’t exist in a new mum’s dictionary. It is a real miracle if you manage to eat more than once a day, and regularity in your daily eating routine seems like a distant mirage from the past.

 

What to do instead:

Never skip the breakfast. If there is one meal a day that you could eat, let it be the breakfast. The first meal of the day is essential as it blasts your metabolism, helps you manage your weight, gives you energy and helps you with your overall health.

 

Pack healthy snacks

Diapers, extra clothes, toys, wet wipes, diaper rash cream, formula, hand sanitizer, a few bibs, a binky …that is only a small part of the things that you have to pack in the stroller bag to go for a walk with your baby. The last thing that you need to think about is what snack to pack for yourself. 

 

What to do instead:

Don’t pack, just go with the flow. No matter where you are you could always find something simple and healthy to snack on. A freshly squeezed juice, some raw nuts or a banana: it is as simple as that.

 

Check the fat and sugar content of food labels

When you have fifteen minutes to half an hour to do the groceries for a whole week, exactly how much time do you think that you would have to read the labels of each and every thing that you buy?

 

What to do instead:

Stick to natural foods that don’t need labels, like fresh fruit and vegetables, lean proteins (meat, fish, sea food), starches and seeds. When you have to buy packed food, look for an organic option. 

 

Portion wisely

A balanced plate should contain 50% non-starchy vegetables, 25% lean protein and 25% grains, and starchy foods. Creating that kind of a perfect plate wouldn’t be a problem if a new had all the time in the world on her hands. You hardly have any time to grab a quick bite and you usually don’t even care what exactly you are eating. You eat to survive. 

 

What to do instead:

Eat small portions of food a few times a day. Grab quick bites of various healthy foods, instead of having three main portions per day that you have to plan wisely in advance.

 

Exercise more

The first 3 months after giving birth are a mess. You are physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. Plus, you are still recovering from delivery. A new mom doesn’t have time or energy to actively exercise.

 

What to do instead:

Do long walks every day. Walking is a great way to go back on track postpartum and introduce active movement to your body in a gentle and respectful way. 

 

If you have enjoyed this article check also LET'S TALK ABOUT MY BREASTS. AND BREASTFEEDING.

Thank you for reading this blog post. For more health, wellness and yoga related information, materials and inspiration download 2Health App (available on both Android and iOS). 2Health App and all its updates are available for a single charge ($0.99p). You access all content, all the time, anywhere. No monthly membership fees and restrictions. We would love to hear from you. Tell us what you think.

 

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