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25 Mind/Body Tips for the First Year of Motherhood

My baby turned 1 last month. (Sigh) I look at her and cannot believe how fast she has grown from a helpless newborn to a curious little person… It is pretty awesome to watch her figure out the world.
Here I am, 31 years old, and I am still figuring things out! When I look back at the last year I realize that motherhood has sculpted me into a more powerful, focused, and driven person - A healthier person. I have learned a lot about my physical strength, as well as my mental capabilities. Motherhood is quite a challenge! I thought I would share some things I have learned over this last year in hopes that it may help others on a similar journey.

1.  My body is more powerful than I thought.
2.  Kegals work if you actually do them.
3.  Breastfeeding does help take off baby weight. Especially if you do it on demand.
4.  Nap times are prime workout times.
5.  Working your transverse abdominis is the best way to flatten your belly post pregnancy.
6.  Just 20 minutes of exercise can make you feel less tired when you are sleep deprived.
7.  Its okay to say "I'm too tired to work out today." Just don’t say it every day.
8.  Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) is not something to mess with! Avoid deep twists, back bends, and uncontrolled ab work. Hire a qualified trainer if you are unsure what to do…that would be me.;)
9.  Make a priority list, and put exercise towards the top.  The things at the bottom of the list seem to stay there for a while. Organizing your closet can wait.
10. Babies love doing squats with you. Include baby in your workout.
11.  Having a good jogging stroller is key. You can work out AND keep baby happy.
12.  Having a supportive partner makes a huge difference, but even the most supportive partner cannot read your mind. Speak up when you need something.
13. When you are feeling overwhelmed step out of the room and take some deep breaths. The moment will pass.
14. Keep only healthy snacks in the house. When hunger strikes at least you can eat gilt free.
15. 20 minutes of yoga before bed can make you sleep better... even if baby wakes you up 2 hours later.
16. Get outside for a walk (with or without baby) even if it is cold. Staying in all day is not good for the soul.
17. Find ways to be with other moms and babies. Knowing you are not the only one in "baby world" can give you strength. Try my Mind Body Mama class!
18. Read your body. If something hurts don't do it.
19. Whenever something seems challenging remind yourself what it was like to give birth (and/or recover from it).
20.  Upper body strength increases as your baby gets bigger. Welcome to the gun show.
21.  Don't focus on the weight for the first year. It's all about eating healthy and staying active. Your body will respond accordingly.
22.  Just when you think you have it figured out your baby will change things up, so don’t get too attached to any one routine.
23.  Take moments to pamper yourself.  Something as simple as a long hot shower can go a long way.
24.  When you want to give up think of your baby. Can you do it for them? Regular exercise means mommy is happy and healthy. Plus it sets a good example for the little one.
25. You CAN return to pre-baby body.  You have to believe it to achieve it.

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