When I had Claire I didn’t know anything. Like, nothing. I read the book and stuff, but you know, that was it. I refused to take advice from people and none of my friends were having babies at 22.
Weight loss is typically the first thing that women will google when they’re pregnant. I’m one of those weird people who love postpartum weight loss. Not at the end, but in the beginning. For the past 7 days that Audrey’s been alive, I’ve lost a pound or two a day. It’s kind of fun. But of course, I know once I get within about 10 pounds of prepregnancy weight, I’ll stop and then it’ll be frustrating, but until then, I’m enjoying the easy part of breathing and subsequently losing weight.
I gained just shy of 30 pounds this pregnancy, which is kind of insane to me because I was so active, but whatever. I don’t look like I gained 30 pounds and isn’t that all that matters? Just yesterday when I went to the gym to coach my RPM class, I got the beloved compliment that all post-pregnant women love to hear, “You JUST had a baby?!” So, 29 pounds gained equals whatevs in my book because I still look good.
Plus I’m already down 15 of them. So win again.
Weight loss is hard postpartum once you hit that plateau. The only thing that worked for me was running, the gym and kind of watching what I eat. I’m not a huge calorie counter. I am going to attempt to try the My Fitness Pal app, but I have a feeling I won’t keep going with it long enough to really benefit. But who knows. I may surprise myself. I kind of figure with how much I teach and already go to the gym I’m a shoo-in, but honestly, who the heck knows. Every postpartum body is different so, who knows, this may be the super rebellious one.
Anywho, I’ve learned a thing or two over the past 6 years of gestating on how to take care of yourself postpartum without going crazy. There are things I would never do without, and some things that are for the birds.
First thing? Take your damn stool softeners. Don’t be a hero and don’t blush over poop. It’s poop. Everyone poops. But you won’t if you don’t take them.
On to more fun things. Belly binding.
I never did this before. So I figured after reading about it at length (read: insomnia) I figured it couldn’t hurt to try.
Now I’m not one to go out and spend 70 bucks on a belly binder when all I have to really do is use an ace wrap. I knew that I wouldn’t have much to bind and I would only do it for a few days until I got back to flat. BUT, for those who have a c-section or have a significant belly (ain’t no shame) belly binding is really cool.
I bound my belly when I got home from the hospital for a few hours during the day, then at night and today at day 7 PP, I’m flatish as if I never had a baby, and won’t bind as much. I will when I start back to teaching core next week for support, but that’s about it.
Did binding help? I sure think so. My muscles are back together and I don’t fear having diastasis recti. Because that stuff is real and I personally know someone who still is suffering from it 7 years postpartum. No, thanks.
After I had Mae, I wrote about my hips and how I used a hip binder to pull them back in. I’m happy to say it worked, but the velcro wore out and I couldn’t use it this time. Instead this time I’m using Hip Slimmer which is basically a corset for your hips. Therefore, you can’t sit in it, or bend in it or do much in it, so I wear it at night. The construction is super awesome and I’m a huge fan. I like it a lot more than my Shinkx that I wore last time, and in fact, when I walk around it’s super comfy. I’ve already got a 1/2 inch back and I’m happy to say it’ll keep on sucking them back to normal. I’ve got a few inches, however to go, so fingers crossed.
After breaking my pelvis in the army, I don’t mess with the hips anymore. I’ve read that women who have had multiple children are at a higher risk of hip fracture later in life because of hip spacing. So, when you have the last 6 to 8 weeks of the hormone relaxin in your system, why not take advantage? It’s practiced all over the country and the US is pretty much the last to catch on. (As is belly binding.) By bringing my hips back to normal, or as close to normal as possible, I’m narrowing the gap for injury, or at least hoping to. So bind your hips, ladies! It’s worth the money, completely. And if you are in current need, I’ll lend you mine when I’m done. I only ask that you pass it on to someone else and keep the love going. It’s not just for vanity, but it sure is nice to fit back into jeans that you never thought possible.
Next. Don’t be afraid to rely on your husband or significant other for help. They can handle it.
They helped make the kids, they get to help take care of them.
Always get a shower. Even if you don’t want to. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others.
Sleep is pretty fantastic. After three nights of solid newborn sleep, I’m like a new person. I welcomed the sunny day with a smile and no fog in my brain. Even the kids look cuter to me.
Doing one thing a day for just you.
Yesterday I went to the gym and coached my RPM class. I left the house for an hour, albeit with Claire and Luca, and did something I love to do. Sure I didn’t physically bike, but it felt so great just to get out.
Today? I’m going to walk slow on the treadmill and coach my RPM class. Watch out, guys. I’m feeling great and I don’t care who knows it.
Don’t rush the postpartum weight loss. It’s not worth it. Do you like to bleed for 6 weeks? I don’t either. But after I had Luca, I was so excited to get back to running that I ended up with a knee issue and bleeding that wouldn’t quit. After Mae, I got smart, listened to my body and while, yes, I was back to running 2 weeks postpartum, I did it smart. I only ran short distances at a slow pace and if I felt tired, I stopped. When I go back to teaching RPM on the bike, I’ll only do half classes until I’m back up to speed. Sure, I was on the bike the day I went into labor, but it wasn’t pretty by any means and I was tired as all hell. And my body is still tired as hell. So I’m taking my time. I’ve got the rest of my life to get back into shape, so I’m being smart.
If you’re feeling anxious, know that some of it is normal, but a lot of it isn’t. Don’t be afraid to talk it out. I’ve had to say out loud, “Those are just the hormones talking, just breathe.” But when it becomes more than that, don’t be afraid to seek help. I lost a bunch of months with Luca by being too proud and I’ll never get those back. Learn from my mistakes.
Apparently it’s not selfish to say, “I’m tired, can you put the kids to bed tonight?” Who knew?
Drink water. Drink lots of water. And when you think you’ve drank enough? Drink some more.
Then when you’re done with all of that nonsense, love on a baby. Because she has hiccups.