The pressure to ‘bounce back’ after childbirth is common in mothers, but how healthy is it for your body? Here’s where you can place your focused attention on instead.
Postpartum is one of the most vulnerable times for a woman. From the hormones to feeding a small human and not sleeping, they often try to ground themselves with familiar rules by seeking structure and order in their newly chaotic lives.
One way in which women attempt to do this is through a self-imposed timeline or goal related to “losing the baby weight” or “getting my body back.” However, true postpartum wellness has so many layers and dimensions that go beyond a number on a scale.
Here are 4 things to focus on that doesn’t involve imposing expectations of weight loss or food rules.
1. FULL RECOVERY
Not just the generic 6 weeks, or getting your well check at 6 weeks. This is about genuinely checking in with how you feel in your body. Childbirth is not for the faint of heart, and integrating activity too quickly can do more harm than good.
New moms must look at this period as “wound healing”, regardless of the type of birth experience you had, or what tissues were damaged and are in need of repair. No matter what, you will require rest and sufficient nutrients. Take this time to really explore the type of movement you authentically enjoy and would like to eventually return to. Just remember, everyone’s timeline is different and it’s OK to honor it.
2. DITCHING THE SCALE
External measurements by stepping on the scale can further detach you from the experience you are having in your body. The number that shows up on the scale is a poor determinant of “how you’re really doing”, especially when there are other factors such as fluid fluctuations, milk supply, and increased fluid and nutrient requirements.
These will give you a number that is not hardly accurate, so save yourself from the potential freak out and unwarranted stress (which could lead to more restricted eating and long-term weight gain).
3. SPIRAL UP
Many women are hyper-aware of their diet during the postpartum period, mostly due to breastfeeding and wanting to remain vigilant around any potential signs of a baby’s intolerance. For many moms, this can spiral into a ball of anxiety and awareness around every single food choice.
By focusing on adding in nutritious choices rather than limiting yourself, you can help promote balanced nutrition that ensures all macronutrients are within each meal. You can also pair 2 macronutrients for healthy snacking.
4. NOSH OFTEN
Breastfeeding mommas require higher calorie needs (about 500 kcal/d) for a single kiddo. There’s no need to count calories or check labels, as eating in response to hunger can guide you to exactly what you need.
Snacking often every 2-3 hours can give you a nutrition boost, keep your metabolism high, and provide sustainable energy for that 11th feeding of the day.
Just keep your mind on nourishing and caring for your body –
And you’ll be just fine, momma.
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: IRINA MURZA
Jaren Soloff, RD, CLE is a San Diego-based Registered Dietitian, Certified Lactation Educator and Nutrition Therapist. She brings an integrative approach to her practice, implementing complementary healing methods alongside evidenced-based practices for supporting your health, from preconception and through pregnancy, postpartum and beyond. Her practice, Full CRCL embodies the natural shifts that women experience during their life and reproductive cycle, and how they can return to their intuition + innate strengths. Through her practice, Jaren works to empower women to reach their most authentic health, so they have the space to nurture, create, and transform our world.