How to Bounce-back After Giving Birth | Great Health Guide
How to Bounce-back After Giving Birth

How to Bounce-back After Giving Birth

Written by Dr Suzanne Henwood & Anwen Robinson

Little prepares us for life as a new mum. In fact, it is possibly the most challenging life experience. After the physically taxing event of giving birth, new mums often wonder how to bounce-back after childbirth. But there is advice and support available to enable you to bounce-back after giving birth and enjoy all that lies ahead. One thing that is essential, is to focus on you, your health and wellbeing so that you can care for your little ones.

A recent survey carried out by CareerMum showed that 83% of mums of pre-schoolers struggle to make time for their own health and wellbeing and 69% don’t feel they have enough time to themselves. Yet we know that we are at our best and more likely to cope with challenges when we are looking after ourselves and feeling good. So how can you start to draw energy back towards yourself, recharge and bounce-back to your pre-childbirth self?

Here are five simple steps – ‘The Five M’s’, that you can implement today to bounce-back after giving birth. Start recharging yourself and create habits that will serve you well for the coming years.

1. Re-frame your Mindset

Motherhood can be tough and it’s normal to feel unsure, overwhelmed and alone at times. Re-framing your mindset to accept this phase as one of the most physically and mentally demanding, is crucial to helping your own wellbeing.

That new mum, who’s life appears to be immaculately perfect, doesn’t exist. It is a mirage that we unfairly benchmark ourselves against and allow others to benchmark us against it. So, cut yourself some slack, scale back your expectations, simplify your day and give yourself praise.

Tell yourself, ‘I am doing my best’; ‘I am doing a good job’.

2. Make ‘Me-time’ non-negotiable

Scheduling time for yourself is a basic human need that is crucial to you and your child’s wellbeing. Beyond breastfeeding, there is nothing that a mum does that no-one else can step in and do, so plan in non-negotiable time for you, ideally every day. Even if it is just ten minutes with a cup of tea or to get some fresh air.

Tell yourself, ‘I am important’; ‘My health and wellbeing are important’.

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3. Meeting with others

It might feel like an enormous effort, but finding and creating opportunities to meet others is essential and will offer you a sense of freedom and belonging. So, have a day-bag at the ready and a routine for getting out the door. Changing your environment, interacting with other adults, sharing experiences and sharing a laugh, are great ways to energise your day and lift your spirits.

Tell yourself, ‘Getting out is good for me and the baby’; ‘I am not alone’.

4. Re-identify yourself – create the new Me

As a mum, you take on a new identity and it can take time to adjust. You can simultaneously feel a loss for the old you and be unsure of who you are now. Be patient with yourself as you adjust, embrace all of who you are and focus on celebrating each journey. The different identities may feel worlds apart but they are an important part of you and you may find that one day, they will start weaving themselves together.

Tell yourself, ‘I can rediscover myself and find opportunities in my new journey’.

 5. Mindfulness

The time will fly by quickly and we can easily lose time thinking about what we could have done better yesterday and what might go wrong tomorrow. But this day – this moment is precious. Take time to just ‘be’ with your baby. Breathe gently and evenly, noticing the feeling of your breath. Lay the baby on your chest and let the baby feel your breath and heartbeat, humming and singing gently. Just feel a deep adoration and appreciation for the new life you are holding and the relationship they have with you. This not only feels good for both of you, it is an essential component of the development of the child’s nervous system.

Tell yourself, ‘I am enough’; ‘I can do this’.

It is OK to be finding the journey of motherhood tough. It is tough. And with every new stage comes a different set of challenges.

Forming good habits and making time for our own health and wellbeing is essential to embrace those challenges and to enjoy the experience of motherhood. But those habits won’t form themselves. So, focus on yourself right now and select the one ‘M’ you are going to start with and each week adds in another ‘M’.

By caring for yourself – you are caring exquisitely for your baby. And you will see that bouncing-back after giving birth is totally possible.

Author of this article:

Dr Suzanne Henwood is the Director and Lead Coach and Trainer of mBraining4Success.  She is also the CEO of The Healthy Workplace and a Master Trainer and Master Coach of mBIT (Multiple Brain Integration Techniques) and can be contacted via her website.

Anwen Robinson is the founder of CareerMum; a social enterprise that recognises the challenges faced by women after having children and the need to improve the workplace experiences of mums. Read more at her website

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