As a woman progresses through pregnancy, her body goes through quite a few changes that prepare it for nourishing and carrying the child. As you already know, weight gain is inevitable, but many women will also notice a decreased functional capacity, lower levels of energy, decreased sex drive, and more. After the baby is born, you'll probably find that you've been left with a body and mental state that you hardly recognize. Obviously, your body will never be the same after you have children, but if you want to get back to feeling like yourself, here are a few habits you can adopt to bring your body back to its former glory.
GETTING YOUR ENERGY BACK
If you've found that your energy has been absolutely depleted now that you're no longer pregnant, there are tried and true ways to help re-elevate these levels. Start by taking a women's multivitamin once a day and making sure your sleep schedule is in line. If you're trying to shed baby weight by eating very little, this could also be a culprit to your lack of energy. Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, and try to steer clear of white foods and candy. Remember, you'll be tired for the first few weeks, and you'll be sleepy for a long time. Once you've had a chance to rest after the birth, you should start to regain some of your energy, but you'll need a little help from your diet and extra vitamins. It's tough to find a remedy for sleepiness, since the best fix for that is sleep (which is something new mothers don't get much of.) You can expect to be sleepy, but you don't have to settle for less energy during your waking hours.
RE-TIGHTENING YOUR SKIN
After giving birth, you'll find that you have loose skin in a few areas, which you'll likely want to get rid of. As time goes on, your skin will start to mold back to the old form, however, you may need a little extra help getting the skin to tighten like it should. The trick to re-tightening that skin that got caught in the crossfire of pregnancy is to combine a few timeless tricks. Exfoliate the loose areas using a sugar rub or a shower scrubber. Additionally, don't underestimate the importance of toning the areas that are a little more loose than you'd like.
EXERCISING TO TIGHTEN THE BODY UP
Not only will you experience weight gain during your pregnancy, but the sheer weight of your stomach will naturally pull your shoulders and head down. This ultimately ruins your posture. Try shoulder and head lifting exercises to build muscle in these areas, and use cardio to battle flab. Stomach exercises will help tighten the stomach back to its former mold, and any muscle-strengthening exercises you can do will help the overall shape of your body. Even if you didn't work out a lot before the baby, your muscles have lost strength during pregnancy, so you'll have to work to get that muscle back. As you start to strengthen your back and core, you'll be able to shake the weak feeling you might have been experiencing since the birth, making it easier to exercise on a regular basis.
DEALING WITH A NEW CUP SIZE
Most commonly, women's breasts will increase in size during pregnancy, and remain that size after the birth while they are breastfeeding. However, once they stop breastfeeding, many women's breasts will shrink back to size, and often sag or droop. Unfortunately, this is a change that is not easily un-done, and the more children you have, the more your breasts will likely sag. After the changes their breasts experience during pregnancy and while breast feeding, many women hope their chest will eventually feel “normal” after they stop breastfeeding. The truth is, this is one part of your body that likely won't ever feel or look the same again, so be prepared for the changes that could take place.
INCREASING YOUR LIBIDO
Many women report a significant decrease in libido after they've given birth. Estrogen, hormonal, and stress changes can have huge impacts in libido, and it's imperative to alter this if you want your sex life back. Try over-the-counter water-based lubricants and although you will be a busy new mother, make time in your life for sex. It can be frustrating to deal with these hormones after you've had raging pregnancy hormones for nine months, but as you make an effort to return to your formal levels of sexual activity, you will notice improvements in your overall health.
REGAINING YOUR CONFIDENCE
Before your pregnancy, you might have gained a lot of confidence from your appearance—your smooth skin, flat stomach, or toned muscles. You get used to looking different when you are pregnant, but after the baby comes, you'll likely miss your old body. Don't put crazy expectations on yourself from the beginning—work slowly to restore your body in a healthy and normal time frame. If you set small goals, you'll gain confidence as your body grows stronger and slowly returns to its natural state. Don't get discouraged when you don't feel like your old self right away. You're a new mother, and no one expects you to bounce back to your formal glory over night—and neither should you.
Overall, try to stay as active as possible, and keep your body hydrated and nourished so that it can fully replenish your old skin with new, elastic skin. You'll be exhausted for the first few months, and it can be tough to fully take care of yourself when you are focusing on the new baby. Just make sure that you don't focus so much on baby that you forget to take care of yourself. As the baby grows stronger and healthier, you should be too—so don't neglect daily practices that will get you back to normal. Getting your pre-mommy body back takes time, but with effort and hard work, it can be done.