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- Woman to Woman
by Deirdre Uria
Giving birth doesn't doom you to stay in sweatpants and scrunchies forever. Here's strategies to feel normal again -- fast
After giving birth, if you're not changing diapers or establishing a feeding schedule, you're washing onesies or rocking your newborn to sleep -- just some of the many responsibilities of a new mom.
Here are a few easy ways to nourish your body and spirit, even with a baby on your hip.
Healthy Mom Life Tactic No. 1: Eat to maintain energy.
Eating nutrient-rich foods throughout the day is essential to maintaining energy. Kath Younger, R.D., registered dietitian and blogger at KathEats.com, recommends salad lunches that are filling and surprisingly easy to prepare. "There's no cooking, no dishes to dirty, and the contents can vary from day to day." Just top prewashed greens with pre-chopped veggies. Add some dinner leftovers (diced chicken or beans) and light dressing and you've got a balanced meal.
Also, don't forget to hydrate -- especially if you're breastfeeding. Fill a large pitcher with water each morning and pour yourself at least 8 full glasses a day, if not more.
Get midafternoon munchies?
Younger's favorite healthy snacks are whole fruit, Greek yogurt and trail mix.
Healthy Mom Life Tactic No. 2: Boost your confidence with fashion fake-outs.
As your body bounces back from delivery, don't invest in a new wardrobe yet. You'd be amazed at how much mileage you can get from a few key fashion staples in an in-between size:
- Consider a white button-down shirt, a black cardigan, midrise dark denim jeans or sleek black leggings
- Add personality with a statement necklace (Chewbeads are pretty, and baby can safely teethe on them!), a classic headband, a wide belt and colorful ballet flats
Healthy Mom Life Tactic No. 3: Buy a few beauty basics.
Trae Bodge -- beauty expert, co-founder of Three Custom Color Specialists and mom of one -- believes good skin care goes a long way. She suggests using a Clarisonic tool with your cleanser to clean and exfoliate, and dabbing on Garnier Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer before bed. It's a serum and night cream that "leaves skin feeling baby-soft but not oily." Adds Bodge: "My favorite multipurpose product for daytime is the Anti-Aging Hydra Tint from La Prairie; it's a moisturizer, tint and SPF 20!"
Bodge also prizes quality beauty products that do double duty, including heavy-coverage concealer (for blemishes and dark circles), three-in-one cheek color (for blush, highlighter and bronzer) and a tinted lip balm (for moisture and color).
Healthy Mom Life Tactic No. 4: Make exercise easy.
Who has time for group fitness classes or running on the treadmill now that baby makes three?
Consider an at-home routine doing crunches while holding baby on your belly, squats beside his crib, and push-ups over your little one with a nuzzle on each descend. You can get challenging cardio just walking around your neighborhood with baby in a front carrier or stroller.
Remember, putting your own well-being on your daily to-do list and making a promise to refuel and refresh will help you be the best mom you can be.
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Woman to Woman: "Reclaim Your Body After Baby!"