Why Improving Your Post-Pregnancy Health & Wellbeing Is So Important

When I sit back and reflect upon my pre-baby body, a hint of nostalgia slowly creeps into mind.  Before I became a mum I was a slim and healthy woman of 24, who took care of my body, which was something I had always believed would support me through pregnancy and with any luck, help me to ‘bounce back’ into shape post-pregnancy.  Being in my early 20’s, you could say I was still very young and a little naïve.  You could also probably say I was a little under-informed at the time.  You could definitely say I was very appearance conscious and wanted to stay looking like my friends and peers.

lisapeele wonderling pre-pregnancy body

Until I was around 6 months pregnant I remained much the same as I had before pregnancy.  I didn’t really show until I was 6/7 months pregnant during both pregnancies and due to sickness in my first trimester (something which I have spoken about at length in my previous posts), I was actually slimmer than before I was pregnant.  I had remained active and ate healthily throughout and always saw this as being a crucial step in maintaining my health and wellbeing.  At around 7 months my bump got a lot bigger at speed and so did everything else.  I was fortunate enough in that I could survive in leggings and baggy tops, with minimal discomfort.  Whilst I hadn’t grown as rapidly as some, my natural size had increased considerably and I started gaining stretch marks and struggling with a lot more tasks.

I don’t believe that anyone actively welcomes stretch marks.  I am not in denial about the fact that I openly spent hours scouring the internet for the best lotions to repair the stretched skin.  I wanted my pre-baby body back desperately and wanted to feel like myself again.  As I spent more and more time pondering about how I looked and how I felt in my own skin, identifying what was genuinely important to me as a mother, not just superficially, really helped me create a plan to get to where I wanted.
There were three key areas that I worked to improve:

1, Diet & Nutrition

As I was breastfeeding, I made sure that I was eating healthy, wholesome and nutritional meals.  Breastfeeding, in supporting your baby, deprives your body of a lot of calories so this is vital.   I had breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and snacked lightly in between.  For breakfast I had porridge with berries, which ensured my energy levels were where they needed to be & kept me full until lunch.  For lunch, I had chicken or salmon salads, which I often prepared the night before when my little one was sleeping.  When I didn’t have time, I would throw together an omelette and some fruit.  For dinner I had meat, potatoes or rice and vegetables or a pasta dish.  Of course I had the odd off-day where I enjoyed pizza or a Chinese, but as much as possible I tried to stick to my plan, to correctly nourish myself and my baby.


2, Exercise

Whilst in the early days I didn’t have time or energy to carry out a full routine, I made time every day to go for a walk with my little one.  From when Ethan was 3 days old, I walked a mile to and from school to pick my daughter up, twice daily.  Just getting out of the house helped me to feel like I had a routine again.  When I had built up a bit more strength I tried some light resistance workouts, which I will detail in forthcoming posts.  I gradually increased the frequency of these as my little one slept more & as I felt more able.  Exercise releases endorphins, so not only are you helping your body, you are creating those natural happy hormones at the same time.


3, Time For Myself

I love being a mum.  It is the best experience, I believe, in life.  Nothing is more rewarding and challenging.   But I am open enough to say that there is more to me and my happiness than just being a mum.  I need time to do the things I enjoy and to grow as a person.  I make time to do a few things each week that I enjoy.  Be it, going for dinner with my friends, or going shopping, or going to an exercise class, even having a long shower and pamper session at home with the door closed, undisturbed.  After having a baby your life is consumed with all things baby, and it is vital to your mental health that you have an outlet.  Yes you are a mum, but you are still you and you have needs and desires outside of parenting.  And it is important that you acknowledge that.  I really believe that acknowledging this helped me to start to feel like myself again.


Post-pregnancy health both physically and mentally, is something that needs a lot more encouragement and promotion.  Yes, it is great that we are widely versed on how to prepare for the needs of our babies.  Of course this is essential and fundamental to the task ahead, this would never be disputed. But what is widely promoted and facilitated to assist us with the impact of pregnancy on our minds and bodies?

Pregnancy is a process which deprives our bodies of essential vitamins and nutrients in order to nourish our growing babies.  When we come to give birth, this applies even greater stress on our already depleted energy levels and then we are faced with a lack of sleep and for some, breast-feeding, which applies further duress.

Then there is the emotional rollercoaster which we teeter on from day one of our pregnancies.  The high’s and the low’s take a toll on us without a doubt.  As the big day creeps closer and closer our anxiety levels rocket, with worries of how and when our little ones will arrive.  A growing number of us experience ‘the baby blues’, with no known remedy available.  And then we are faced with a societal demand to return to our pre-baby bodies, in line with various celebrities, (whom are privy to the best trainers & nutritionists available – unlike ourselves).  It is a miracle that we make it out alive!

I struggled for a long time, with feeling like I was being selfish for wanting to feel like myself again.  I had a beautiful newborn baby, that I loved and cherished and a wonderful family with whom to share this experience with, but I also longed to have some time for myself and a sense of control over my changing body.  I now realise that this is vital in moving forward post-pregnancy.

We need to help and support each other and promote health and wellbeing amongst new mums.  There needs to be a better support system in place to help new mums, who are struggling.  There needs to be better direction and facilitation for all mums, in balancing the demands of parenthood with their own personal demands.

In my coming posts I plan on putting together a series of posts looking at the following:

1, Fitness routines for new mums, with Qualified Personal Trainers recommendations, tailored to the post-pregnancy body.

2, Meal plans for new mums, that can be prepared in realistic timeframes and provide all of the nutrients needed, as recommended by a nutritionist,

3, Suggestions for new-mum activities and pampering, which encourage health and wellbeing.

I would really love for you to join Wonderling in this plan, so please subscribe to be notified of new posts.

Much Love,

Lisa xx

 

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21 Comments

  1. March 29, 2017 / 7:22 am

    I haven’t had kids yet, but I can relate with getting older and recognizing the changes that your body goes through. I feel like after 25 is when I really started to notice a change. I think it’s great that you’re encouraging health & wellness for new moms, and inspiration on how to feel good in your body again. I can only imagine how big of a change your body goes through during a pregnancy.

    • wonderlingblog
      March 29, 2017 / 7:26 am

      Thank you for your comment, I think we should all encourage better health and wellness in general. The best investment is in our health I really believe.

  2. Afia Yale
    March 29, 2017 / 11:21 am

    I have just had my second child (she is 7 weeks old) and I am so glad I read this. I can identify with many points you make about pre and post pregnancy. Second time round, I feel I have more of a balance, though still adjusting … I know I need to modify my diet so I have less sugar … Thanks for the insight, very encouraging

  3. March 29, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    Really great postpartum advice! Also, you look amazing pregnant!

    • wonderlingblog
      March 29, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you Leah that is so kind of you to say! X

  4. March 29, 2017 / 3:00 pm

    These are great tips and I’m looking forward to reading more in this series. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! 🙂

    • wonderlingblog
      March 29, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you I look forward to sharing 🙂

  5. March 29, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    I probably need to get with a program like this. I didn’t get stretch marks, but I definitely have a lose ab section! 🙁 i just don’t have the discipline to stick with a daily regimine yet at 7 wks post partum.

    • wonderlingblog
      March 29, 2017 / 9:42 pm

      Oh gosh no you should definitely just rest and do whatever you can as and when you can! I remember just feeling a bit housebound after a few weeks and even a nice brisk walk made me feel better.

  6. March 30, 2017 / 8:00 am

    “After having a baby your life is consumed with all things baby, and it is vital to your mental health that you have an outlet. Yes you are a mum, but you are still you and you have needs and desires outside of parenting.” – I can’t agree more!

    I’m guessing since I obsess about things easily, I will be sucked into the “parenting vortex” once I have a child. It’s a great reminder that we need to take care of ourselves and not lose ourselves in the whirlwind of the great juggling act that is parenting! #selfcare

    I also feel that support is crucial, and it’s wonderful to see so many mom bloggers now. Feeling assured that I’ll be in good company when (if) I become a mom too 🙂

    • wonderlingblog
      March 30, 2017 / 8:29 am

      It really is crucial. I think as women we naturally try to juggle it all and never want to be seen to be ‘not managing’, but there needs to be more support in place for new mums. I instantly felt like I wanted to be a size ten again and back in my skinny jeans and have the family life, but still be able to go out to dinner with my friends. There is just so much pressure on new mums, both externally and that which we put upon ourselves.
      Thank you for your comment! I hope you will join me with my post-pregnancy health and wellbeing plan!

  7. March 30, 2017 / 8:47 pm

    Being a mom of three, I can totally relate. This post is really insightful thanks for sharing.

    • wonderlingblog
      March 30, 2017 / 9:06 pm

      Thanks for your comments Jessica!

  8. Peter Minkoff
    March 30, 2017 / 9:15 pm

    Great tips for new moms! Post-pregnancy health and wellbeing is essential!

  9. March 30, 2017 / 9:43 pm

    This is such a great post and I totally agree that healthy eating and exercise are the way forward whilst you are busy nuturing a new born.

    • wonderlingblog
      March 30, 2017 / 9:59 pm

      Thanks Nayna!

    • wonderlingblog
      March 31, 2017 / 8:57 am

      Thank you! That is so kind x

  10. March 31, 2017 / 11:14 am

    Will have to file this away for some future time

  11. March 31, 2017 / 11:21 am

    Such a great post! It is very important to stay healthy during preagnency, not only for your sake, but also the babys. Loved this. The pictures are amazing too! 🙂

  12. March 31, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    This is important! I feel like women don’t speak about post pregnancy very often. Thank you for the post

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