Slow Down, Mama
Today, I had a serious case of the "I want it nows" meaning, I wanted something to happen faster than the process was allowing it to move. It took a few minutes and a chat with a friend to realize that time, although elusive, must be allowed for most things to occur as they should.
We can apply this to so many areas of life- financial goals, educational goal, relationship goals and of course, fitness goals.
When I hear a friend or client, who happens to be a new mama tell me that she wants to lose the baby weight and, it is ALSO very newly postpartum I can really only say one thing- slow down, mama.
Trust me, I know how hard it can be to step back after having the baby and allow yourself the time to slow down and let your body do its job, but you must. There are too many risks in jumping back too quickly and not allowing the body to heal or, not allowing the body to use its precious resources the wrong way.
There are a variety of issues that need to be assessed and addressed but the priority at this moment is taking care of your body so that your body can take care of the baby.
Cutting calories in an effort to lose weight can not only affect your breastmilk supply but it can affect your energy levels- leaving you feeling worn out and possibly exacerbating any postpartum depression or anxiety you might be dealing with. Additionally, you cannot afford to exercise so hard or so long that you become dehydrated or create a calorie deficit so large that your breastmilk supply and energy begine to wane. This is also not a time to be overly restrictive with your diet. Eat when you’re hungry and drink lots and lots of fluids. You absolutely should not sacrifice your physiological and psychological well-being for your outward appearance.
I understand the burning to desire to wear a pair of pants that don’t have elastic at the waist or a top that doesn’t have a spot specifically for the belly but if you’re sacrificing your health, or the health of your baby, is it really worth it?
Exercising during the postpartum recovery is NOT about getting back to your pre-baby body because in all honestly, it might never really get there. It IS about helping with your recovery and enabling you to be strong enough to pick the baby and hold them longer. It IS about making sure you are healthy enough for the upcoming years and other possible pregnancies. It IS about nourishing you psychologically so you have an outlet for overwhelm and frustration.
You will have your day again- when you can focus on weight loss and squeezing back into those size 4s, I promise. But for now, focus on squeezing that baby. Time is fleeting and is the only thing you really have to lose.