How to Bounce Back

How to bounce back from pregnancy and labor.  First of all, when you’re pregnant, don’t over do it with the eating and laziness.  Keep moving as much as you can.  Regular cardio is good for you and good for your baby and will help the bouncing back afterward to go well.  Just because you’re pregnant does not mean you just let go.  Everything in moderation.  Eat healthy to grow a healthy baby and have a healthy body!  Next, start moving as soon as you can after you have the baby.  Resume exercise as soon as possible.  Start with a walk to the end of the block, then around the block then the neighborhood.  Whatever your favorite form of exercise is, do it.  And do it as much as you possibly can.  I started going back to boot camp once a week and then twice a week as much as I could.  It’s one hour of your life.  Leave the baby for one hour with someone and come back and snuggle the shit out of her.  I ate way too much comfort food in the beginning because I struggled with depression.  Now I’m eating at least two sides of salad a day because it makes me feel good!  Try and stay away from sugar.  It does nothing for you or the baby and just makes you fat.  Eat fruit instead!  Speaking of depression.  I definitely had one of the lowest bouts of depression after having the baby.  It started with everything not going as planned followed by way too many visitors.  Limit visitors until at least two or three weeks after you have the baby.  To get out of my depression I did many things until cumulatively they all worked.  First of all, right after that morning feed, put the baby in the stroller and go for a walk in the sunshine.  It will get both your circadian rhythms set to AM, your blood will be flowing, and it will feel nice to get the day going even if you’re exhausted.  Next, if you are depressed go to a therapist to have help with the mental stuff.  The mind can be really tricky and lie to you.  I was extremely negative in my thought patterns for the first month and a half.  I worked on the trauma of labor in therapy and even went to a session with my mother in law to work out some of our differences.  In between counseling I did my own mental health work by using CBT.  CBT is a super easy and helpful technique that you can do on your own using a thought record. Basically when you feel anxious or depressed ask yourself why?  For example.  I feel anxious right now that the baby is going to wake up.  Why do I feel this way?  Because if she wakes up I might not get my thoughts out and I might never finish this blog post.  Then question the belief.  What part of the belief is irrational?  That’s right, I’m jumping to conclusions.  I am assuming that if the baby wakes up I won’t finish this post.  I don’t know the future.  I may or may not finish this post but just because the baby wakes up does not determine whether this will get published or not.  Then think of a more rational thought.  The baby will wake up.  If I’m not done I’ll finish this later and if I am done, I’ll edit and post later.  Also, she might not wake up and I might have time to do it all.  See how easy that is?  Now you try! I’m feeling a lot more present and relaxed after doing that exercise.  It’s something you have to do again and again to train your mind to not just repeat the anxious thought over and over.  The brain likes to move in mental grooves.  Meaning if you have thought a thought a few times it will keep repeating it.  It needs your help to analyze whether thoughts are rational or not.  Other things I did to get out of the baby blues phase is get out of the house as much as possible.  I did all sorts of things.  I got my nails done, I went to coffee with friends, I went on dates with my husband.  Babies are super portable and pretty easy to take care of out there in the world.  I don’t regret doing this as soon as possible because staying in doors all day breastfeeding looking out the same window at the same squirrel all day would drive anyone bonkers! Finally, open up! I talked about my feelings with my friends as much as I needed to even when I knew I sounded like a broken record machine.  They loved on me and it made me feel not alone.  I want you to know that you’re not alone and if you have any questions feel free to post below.  Any other tips that helped you get out of your post baby funk feel free to comment!

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