By Mimi Greenwood Knight
You’ve just done one of the most astonishing things any human can do. You created a life! Where there was once nobody, now there’s somebody—and that’s worthy of some reflection and appreciation. With that phase of your amazing journey newly complete, it can be tempting to focus exclusively on the glorious, demanding, astounding, confusing little person you just made. But one of the best things you can do for your baby is to take care of yourself, too.
The First Month
Now is not to the time to panic or feel insecure about the marks pregnancy and childbirth have left on your body. It’s time to focus on being kind to your baby and yourself. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Get daily exercise, starting slowly and building up as you’re ready. It’s surprisingly easy to get so tired or busy with the baby you forget to eat (as you may have noticed). Plan ahead for simple, healthy meals and plenty of water, especially if you’re breastfeeding.
Don’t panic if you’ve gained weight. That’s how nature planned it, since added weight helps build stores of energy for your recovery and for breastfeeding. Just as you naturally gained weight to sustain your pregnancy, you can naturally lose it with the passage of time, a sensible diet, and adequate exercise.
It takes an average of six months after childbirth for hormone levels and skin elasticity to normalize. Once enough time has passed, you may consider a non-invasive or minimally invasive surgical procedure to help regain your pre-baby body.
A tummy tuck involves the removal of excess skin and fat that pregnancy leaves behind on the abdomen.
A breast lift involves the removal of excess skin to smooth, reshape, and lift the breasts, and may also include the shifting of the nipple and areola for a more aesthetic look.
Breast augmentation involves the insertion of an implant behind the skin and tissue of the breast to reshape and enlarge it. If you have sagging or drooping breasts after childbirth and breastfeeding, this can help restore the previous appearance of your breasts.
Body contouring through liposuction can be used to resize and reshape your body and can be used to target nearly any part of the body bearing excess fat, such as the thighs or buttocks.
These procedures can be done individually or combined for a “mommy makeover.” For instance, liposuction can be done in conjunction with a tummy tuck to further shape the abdomen and remove pockets of fat which aren’t subsiding naturally.
Take Care of Yourself
Lastly, be kind to yourself during this precious time. Schedule time for sleep, time with your partner, and time with friends. Accept the help that’s offered. Remember, this time is a mere blip on the screen when compared to all the wonderful years you will get to enjoy being a mom.