There are no two ways about it — having a baby changes you. And while you stare in adoration at this beautiful life you created, the looming thoughts of added financial expenses, new levels of exhaustion, when or if you should return to work, and wondering if your clothes will ever fit again constantly sit in the front of your mind. Though you might not recognize “you” at the moment, she is still there. It’s just a matter of finding your former self and maybe even a few surprising new traits! This week, we discuss how to rediscover yourself after having a baby.
Your Sex Life, Reimagined
Postpartum depression. Hemorrhoids. Stretchmarks. Hives. These are just a few of the many issues your physical body experiences after having a baby. No wonder feeling sexy is probably the last thing on your mind! But returning to intimacy shouldn’t have to feel like an obligation either. Make an upgrade to your post-baby sex life by…
- Dating your partner again. For most women, intimacy starts way before any sexual interaction does. So before you go all in, go out to dinner. Have a movie night. Do the things you did in the beginning that gave you butterflies. It will do wonders for your relationship and your new sex life.
- Doing what’s comfortable. When it comes to sex, stick to what is comfortable physically and emotionally. The more relaxed you are, the greater the likelihood you’ll have a more pleasurable experience. Over time, your confidence, stamina, and desire will grow.
- Understanding things are going to feel different. That’s okay. Your physiology changes over time and especially after a baby. It’s possible the tricks that got you going before are no longer working for you. Work with your partner to find new ways (and fun ways!) to satisfy each other.
- Remembering there’s no rush. Some women feel the need to rush back into a sexual relationship before they’re ready. Any doctor will tell you that the six-week mark is a guided suggestion and by no means a rule. If you’re feeling pressure to rush into sex before you’re ready, physically or emotionally, talk with your partner about your very real concerns. If the pressure continues, speak with a trusted friend or medical professional about your options.
Raising Your Self-Esteem With Self-Care
More than ever, self-care is being recognized as necessary, not selfish. FINALLY! Self-care comes in all different forms. It’s not necessarily about beauty. It’s about having the confidence to take care of yourself as well as you take care of those around you.
- Work out. Yes, we know you’re tired. But having a consistent workout routine will actually make you less tired overall. Get with a girlfriend and hit the gym together. You can even workout with the baby!
- Dress up. Change out of those sweatpants and put on clothes that make you feel happy and confident.
- Take a bath. Every once and a while, skip the quick shower and opt for something a little more luxurious, like a long bath. You’ll come out feeling relaxed and ready to for the rest of the day.
- Make a change. What is one physical thing you’ve been thinking about changing? New hairstyle? New moisturizer? Do it and do it now! Something as simple as a new lipstick that you love can help you step out into the world feeling fresh.
- Go out and see your friends. Social interaction is one of the first sacrifices we make as mothers. Even if you feel you have a great support system, you can sometimes find yourself isolated from others. Make a monthly (or better yet, weekly) friend date, and work on maintaining the friendships that mean the most to you.
- Connect with your new body. Pick up your favorite body cream, scent, or oil and slather it all over. Find parts of your new body that you love. Remind yourself what this amazing body did! Over time you’ll find yourself loving your body more and more!
Losing Yourself To Motherhood (And How To Try Not To)
Did you know that mothers stop and attend to their toddlers 210 times per day, on average? That’s 210 moments in between dinner, laundry, breastfeeding, and cleaning. With numbers like that, losing yourself to motherhood seems inevitable. Almost all women find that when they become mothers, their own sense of self and what they love falls away. But there is one trick you can do to bring yourself back to a form of you that you can easily recognize:
Every day, do something JUST for you!
“Everyday? Should I do something before I change my fifth diaper of the morning, or after I clean the spit-up from my shoulder for the third time?” We get it! This seems daunting. But studies find that taking just 10 minutes a day for yourself, away from child and partner responsibilities, will make you a more focused and attentive parent. What is something you enjoy doing? Dancing? Reading? Watching the latest Real Housewives? Whatever it is, allow yourself the time and space to “be you.
And remember: Be kind to yourself. The most important thing you can do is release yourself from expectations and take things one day at a time. When you rediscover yourself, you also uncover new and wonderful things about you. Accept and ask for help, and never underestimate your abilities.
At Miami Center of Excellence, we know what new moms go through. We are here to help anytime. Give us a call, or make an appointment online.