Nikki C is wearing the 'Sweetheart Bra' in charcoal and the 'Classic Maternity Leggings' in black.
Feeling fit and healthy after having a baby can sometimes seem like an unsurmountable task. I've had a lot of mums ask me what my 'secret' is, but the truth is there's no one thing that magically makes you feel like your pre-baby self, it's really a handful of small, yet important actions that I work into my day in order to help me stay motivated, energised and feeling good.
I want to share these steps with you. Perhaps start with one and work it into your life for a few days, and then choose another and so on. If they work for you of course!
1. Look after yourself.
Don’t be in a rush to start working out. Take care of your body from the inside out first with good food and water (see below).
Don’t feel pressured to workout until you feel you are ready. For some women this can be two weeks postpartum, and for others it may be more like three months. There is NO rush! Exercise will always be there and it's more important to let your body heal properly first.
Trying to do too much too soon can have negative lasting effects, so take your time.
Water is essential for living, we all know that. It's the one thing we need to consume on a daily basis in order to keep our body functioning. This becomes even more important when you're breastfeeding.
A great tip is to keep a decent sized water bottle by your side when feeding and while out and about. Make sure you get a drink bottle that's a funky colour or something you really like so you'll be more motivated to keep it with you. The bigger the better.
3. Eat well.
The food you eat is so important when you're a new mum. Forget feeling guilty about not pounding the pavements, the best thing you can do for your body after having a baby is to fuel it with nutritious food.
Food that's high in nutrients will not only help to produce better quality breast milk for your baby, but it will also make you feel better, give you more energy, aid in your recovery and help fight fatigue from sleep deprivation.
4. Breastfeed before you exercise.
Michelle is wearing the 'Scoop Tee' in lilac.
This will help in more ways than one. By feeding your baby first your boobs won’t feel so heavy and therefore, you'll be more comfortable...especially if you are doing high impact activity.
Secondly, your baby is less likely to need feeding mid-workout, meaning less chance of being disturbed. But, if they do need your boobs every five seconds (like mine do!) you should find yourself a comfortable, yet supportive nursing sports bra so you're ready to feed straight away.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or accept it when it’s offered.
Too many times as new mums we feel as though we should be able to do everything. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. If you're in a position where you have family or amazing friends around you offering help, then don’t be afraid of saying yes.
Whether it be so you can have a nap, or to simply have a lengthy shower and wash your hair! Taking some time for yourself in those first few months is crucial for your mental wellbeing.
6. Just do a little bit.
Nikki J is wearing the 'Smoothie Crop Bra' in confetti/black, the 'Free 'n' Active Tank' in lilac and the 'High Waisted Running Shorts.'
Have a goal of doing just two minutes of movement. It can be dancing for two minutes, a few squats or even lunging in the back yard with the pram. Just anything!
So often we think that unless we get a sweat up for 30min or an hour, then it wasn’t worth doing. This is so far from the truth. Every little bit is doing you good. You might find that you can do 10 squats in the morning while waiting for the washing to finish. Ten lunges holding baby while watching TV, and another 10 squats later in the day while waiting for the onions to brown! It doesn’t have to be ALL at once. Don’t be too hard on yourself. JUST MOVE, that’s all there is to it.
7. Wear clothing that motivates you.
From left to right: Hollie is wearing the 'Cruise Long Sleeve Top,' in tui blue, Michelle is wearing the 'Scoop Tee,' in lilac and Nikki J is wearing the 'Rise Up Tank' in snow.
Once you do start exercising, my best tip for fitting in exercise around breastfeeding, nappy changes, washing, eating, drinking, nappy changes, washing, breastfeeding, nappy changes (you get it)...is to wear clothes that are conducive to exercise. Put on clothes for the day that you're able to exercise in.
When you happen to have five minutes spare during the day while baby is napping, wearing a dress isn’t exactly going to entice you to do some quick exercise. But, if you're wearing leggings or shorts, a good nursing sports bra and a comfy nursing tank you are MUCH more likely to bust out a few squats, take baby for a walk or do some stretches. It’s hard enough to get off the couch some days or even get out of the house, but if you are geared up for it from the get go...you'll be off to a great start.
You've totally got this.
Written by Nikki Clarke.