Find Yourself After Having a Baby
You: from A to Z
As a pregnant woman, people reach out to touch you; you're like
a magnet. Once baby is born, the focus shifts to the child. How can you
rediscover and nurture your core in a gale of new responsibilities?
It all begins with the positive pregnancy test, according to
Jennifer Louden, author of The Pregnant Woman's Comfort Book: A
Self-Nurturing Guide to Your Emotional Well-Being During Pregnancy.
"Pregnancy offers women time to value and nurture themselves," Louden
says. "When you have a child, it's hard to remember who you are. You need
to have an established sense of self to keep you centered."
Does that mean building a meditation room -- complete with New
Age music -- and setting aside an hour a day for yourself? Like that would
happen, Louden laughs. The important thing, she says, is giving yourself
permission to put yourself first. So much, and so many precious people, depend
on your ability to do so.
Quick Boosts From A to Z
A is for apple and other juicy fruits. Eat some every day and
use a plate. Buy kiwi for yourself even though no one else in your family likes
it. A is also for abdominals. It never hurts to make a conscious effort to pull
them in, even when drifting off to sleep, says Denise Austin, star of Denise
Austin's Fit and Light on Lifetime TV.
B is for beauty, don't neglect yours. Buy new cosmetics and
C is for cuts. Indulge in good haircuts -- maybe while the kids
are with the sitter.
D is for decluttering. A 52-pickup clockwise around the room
once a day does wonders for the spirit. For more quick neatening tips, go to www.overhall.com.
E is for exercise. Austin advises against Pilates during
pregnancy, but recommends the regimen for afterward.
F is for fine linens. You shouldn't be sleeping on Mickey and
Minnie sheets. Your bed (and your sleep) is too important right now.
G is for grownups. Don't be afraid to have people over and
specify "no kids this time." G is also for getaways, again sans
H is for hot tea. Britain got through the blitz drinking
I is for "you." What do you like to do best? Garden,
read, mountain bike? "Mother" may not have an "I" in it, but
you can't spell, or be, "Interesting" without "I."
J is for baby jogger, a running contraption that will help you
get back into shape after baby is born. Austin says if you can afford a good
one, go for it.
K is for kittens. No, pets do not need banishing. They can even
lower your blood pressure. (Just be sure to avoid the litter box during
L is for love. You may be besotted as you've never been before.
Bask in it.