My Postpartum Recovery

I thought I would share with you what I have been using/doing to help in my postpartum recovery. Now that I have been through this twice I have some comparisons to make and advice for some of the expecting mothers out there. Keep in mind I am not telling you what to do. I am only sharing what has helped me 🙂

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First off. I told you about my amazing vitamins a while back. Click here to read that post. I absolutely love my vitamins. I packed them in my hospital delivery bag making sure not to miss a day. They really do help with my energy level and keep my body in excellent working order. When in your postpartum weeks you really need to take care of yourself. I know its difficult with a brand new baby but if you start lacking in certain areas like sleep and substance, life really does become more difficult. Just because you had baby doesn’t mean you need to forget all about your health! You are the one caring for this child! Make sure that you have good vitamins and remember to take them daily!

Next, the belly band! I was so excited to use it and now I can tell you… I LOVE IT! After I had my first son Danny I felt really self conscious of my flabby tummy. It doesn’t stay that way for to long but its a little shocking to see when your baby finally pops out. I was prepared for it with my second child but I can honestly say the belly band did help a lot with pulling my stomach in faster. They suggest wearing it for the first six weeks after delivery. I wore it religiously for the first two weeks now its a little more sporadic. Its really not that comfortable. I started using it the second day after delivering my second son Eli and I instantly started feeling better. I helped my aching back and because it added a lot of support, it made it easier to get up and move around. When your baby pops out you don’t have much stomach muscle so the support it offers is wonderful. Every day I wore it I could see a difference. I could pull it just a little tighter every morning and visually I could see my tummy shrinking. Now that I am three weeks postpartum the effects of it are slowing down but my core is tighter and stronger and I honestly feel like I have healed faster because of it. I definitely suggest using it!

Another item I have fallen in love with is Bio-oil. This helps with any kind of skin blemish including??? You guessed it! Stretch marks! Now I don’t have horrible stretch marks but there are visible and they bother me. I didn’t start using the Bio-oil until very late in my pregnancy. however, I have been using it constantly since baby was born and I love it! The red areas are already starting to fade, the skin feels tighter and oh so soft after using it. The smell is my one complaint but it isn’t that bad. It’s a little strong while applying it but fades over time. I know I said I might take a few before and after pictures but just couldn’t bring myself to do it 🙁 You can Google results from Bio-oil and find many before and after pictures there.

One other thing I did was purchase some postpartum clothes. I didn’t spend that much or purchase a whole new wardrobe! I just bought a pair of lose fitting yoga type pants and few lose fitting shirts. I went up a size from what I normally would purchase and it worked great. Of course all the shirts are meant to be lose fitting as well. This has helped eminentsly with my self esteem! I was wearing my husbands clothes the last couple months of my pregnancy so being able to switch back to women’s clothes made me feel like a normal woman again! That is very important in the recovery weeks. Stay comfortable and wear things that help you feel pretty.

Maybe its just me that feels self conscious after giving birth. I feel like my body is a complete mess and I wonder if I will ever get it back in shape! I know I will, but looking in the mirror with a postpartum body can be a little shocking and/or depressing. I cant be to hard on myself though. After all my baby is beautiful and healthy so I must have done something right 😉

Any who… all the items listed above have really helped me. I didn’t do very much after having my first son and the transition was difficult for me. I am so glad I took the time to research and take better care of my body this time.

Next on my list is to start doing some stretching/yoga DVD’s. My body is sore and my back aches. I know doing some small workouts will help with that. Along with a couple chiropractor visits 😉 I have been waiting to start these until I got some stomach muscle back and well, adjusting to a new baby has taken up most of my time lately.

Hope you find this helpful and are able to use if for future references. Just remember to find what works best for you and take care of yourself! If it means spending a little extra money than do it! Postpartum depression is a serious thing and anything you can do to help yourself feel healthy and beautiful will help protect you from that. It has helped and worked for me anyway. Best of luck to all you mommies out there!

Baby Body Blues…

I can hardly wait to start getting this baby body of mine back in shape! I love a healthy life style and even though I have been healthy through this pregnancy I am ready to start diet and exercise in a enthusiastic, lets make a difference, kind of way!

I remember how difficult it was losing the weight with my first baby. It was a long frustrating process but I did it! I was back to my pre-baby body in 10 months and it felt great! It was amazing watching my body transform week by week. It was very empowering and all the complements along the way were so helpful! I had a lot of encouragement from family and friends as well. Complements and encouragement are two important factors when trying to reach any goal.

I am having this baby in the season of Fall, my favorite season, and I am very grateful for this! Why? Because I can cover up and bundle up while I try to shapen up! Ha 😀 I also feel like it will take some stress away knowing I wont have to worry about tank tops or shorts being around the corner. After all I will have two children this time and that means double the trouble! Right? So I’ve heard… I’ll let you know.

Never the less I am as determined to lose this weight as I was with my first so I know in time, I will reach my goal! Nothing feels better than reaching a goal. Specially when it comes to weight! Am I right ladies?! Can I get an Amen?! Or a Hallelujah?! Sorry, I’m just remembering how good it feels!

Without further adieu, here is my plan:

Baby Eli is due late October to early November so I will take November as my “time to heal month.”

November: Rest, relax and try to find a rhythm. I will not be dieting or exercising at this time. I will not stress or push myself to do much of anything. I am going to take this month to heal and enjoy our new little family. Goal, no stress!

December: I will begin small workout routines three times a week, more if I feel up to it. I have a couple postnatal yoga DVD’s that I will begin with and from there I will try to add a little cardio with my favorite exercise instructors, Chalene Johnson! Love this woman! She has many workout routines ranging from 20 to 60 minutes with little to lots of cardio. Perfect for slowly working my way back to full recovery. I will continue to eat healthy but will not stress about counting calories just yet, it is Christmas season after all and what is Christmas without an indulgence here and there?

My workout DVD’s by Chalene Johnson. They can be purchased from Beachbody.com or found on Amazon.com. The two DVD’s on the counter use to have a case but I wore it out 😉 I have owned them the longest.

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My goal for November to the end of December is to not gain any more weight but to lose between 5 to 10 pounds. Also have the stamina to be doing cardio at least once a week with the yoga session in between.

January: The beginning of a new year and really time to start hitting the workouts hard and to begin counting those dreaded calories! Agh, I know. The simplest and best way I have accomplished this goal was with this website http://www.myfitnesspal.com. Its free and easy to use. They have apps for just about every device and it offers as much or as little support as you want. Also, I would love to take a yoga class at night at our local gym and with this being my birthday month, maybe I could get a little yoga birthday gift from the hubby 😉 It is always nice to get away even if its only for an hour. I feel like it would keep me on track and help me reach my next goal for this month.

My goal at the end of January is to have lost inches around my tummy, arms and legs and to have lost another 5 to 10 pounds. Like I said, slow and steady. I want to take it one month at a time so I don’t get discouraged. I will have many a discouraging day but not reaching a goal is one of the worst feelings.

February: Continue with my workouts stepping it up a noch every month and continuing to count calories. Again, my goal is to lose 5 to 10 pounds this month.

See where I’m going with this?! Losing 5 to 10 pounds a month and staying steady on my workouts is the only way I know to get back in shape. Its simple really. And then, it isn’t. Finding the time and the energy is the hardest part but I know I wont be in this alone. My mother and sister are excellent supporters and I know we will be working toward a summer goal together. Its always way more fun when you have someone doing it with you! Yes losing weight and exercising can be fun. It all depends on your mindset. Stay positive!

Below is a picture of me running Bloomsday. This picture was taken almost exactly two years after I had my first baby. I was at the level of fitness I wanted and I was also at my goal weight. I will use this image to help propel me forward and to remind myself it is possible!

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I don’t want to get back in shape just for the sake of being fit and thin. I want to do it so I can keep up with my two active kiddos! I want to do it so they can see the important of health and taking good care of the magnificent body God has blessed us with! As a mother I feel it is my duty to demonstrate being active and taking initiative to better yourself on a daily basis. Not only with exercise and healthy eating but in all other areas of life. I don’t ever want them to stop learning or bettering themselves. There is so much knowledge to be learned and shared.

I believe a good strong foundation to all of that is health! When you are healthy you have the stamina and the energy to really apply yourself to goals you want to reach! It keeps your mind sharp and your confidence up.

There is more to health than just the physical. There is also a relationship with Jesus Christ. Without this relationship the other stuff is obsolete.

I pray and share my goals with God. He wants to be involved in every part of my life and I need His help and support. I pray daily for my boys, for my husband and myself. With Him all things are possible! God has blessed me with a wonderful, beautiful life and I want me and my family to live it to its fullest!