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I'm not happy with the way I look since my baby arrived. What can I do?

It can come as a big shock to new mums when they don’t immediately regain their pre-pregnancy body. It seems unfair, doesn’t it? You’ve spent nine months with no control over your body and then you have to wait even longer to look good again! The truth is though that your body has taken nine months to stretch to accommodate your child and it’s unreasonable to expect it to shrink back to normal in a week, a month, or even a few months.
 
For the first few weeks after your baby is born you’re going to be sore, you’re going to have discharges, cracked nipples and be more exhausted than you ever thought possible. It’s completely irrational to think that you’re going to look great so don’t take your looks during those first few weeks into account. Don’t even take the mums that fit into their old jeans a month after their child arrived into account – they’re the exception, not the rule! How quickly you regain your figure will depend on your age, your fitness level, how many children you’ve had before and a few other factors, so be patient and don’t judge yourself too harshly. Remember, your body may be a little more worn but you’ve created a whole new person!
 
Don’t try to rush back into activities either. For the first few weeks after your baby arrives your priorities should be to rest, recuperate and bond with your baby. Don’t worry if your house isn’t perfect and don’t try to rush back into exercising. In fact, if you’ve had a vaginal birth, you can probably start easing into exercise a few days after you arrive home (easing meaning gentle walking, not hours in the gym) but if you’ve had a caesarean you’ll have to avoid exercise for at least six weeks before you exercise again.
 
If you’re really feeling low then there are a few things you can do to feel better. Go on a shopping spree to buy pretty, comfortable and stylish post baby clothes. Invest in a great, easy to manage new hairstyle, make sure that you use makeup, even if it’s minimal and take a short, relaxing shower or bath every day.

More questions

Video from Tony O'Regan, fitness instructor at Carton House on how to do prayer squats
Exercise is definitely a part of dropping post baby weight, along with a healthy diet. However, there are limits to how much you can do and how soon you can start.
It is more than likely that you will be able to wear most of your pre-pregnancy clothing again – but do not expect to do so too soon after having your baby.
Losing baby weight is a priority for many new mums, and as long as you’re eating sensibly and exercising moderately, breastfeeding can help you to do just that.
The weeks and months after having a baby can be challenging to new mums who struggle to come to terms with the changes in their bodies.
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