Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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When I got pregnant, I was bound and determined to look good after the baby was born. I admired those moms in my Facebook newsfeed whose hospital pictures showed them smiling with makeup on as they cuddled their newborn. That was totally going to be me. I even imagined all the comments people would make in on those first few pictures. "Congratulations! Baby and mama look great!"
In retrospect, this was a crazy notion. (Can I blame it on the hormones?) None of those things happened. Oh sure, people congratulated me on my baby, but I did not look good. Not at all.
People joke that having kids is the best form of birth control, but if you don’t want another baby right away, you need a method that really works. Plus, research shows it’s optimal to wait at least 18 months before conceiving again in order to reduce the risk of having a preterm birth or a baby with low birthweight.
Few events in life are as unforgettable as having a baby. But there are plenty of other days after the Big Day that aren’t rosebuds and rainbows. Suddenly, you’re adjusting to less sleep, a changing body, and to being cooped up with a little bundle of … demands?
Related: The New Mom Survival Guide
When I gave birth to my first child, nobody asked what I planned to do with the placenta. If they had, I would have answered, “Why, do you want it for something?” It wouldn’t have occurred to me that someone might sauté her afterbirth with lemon and ginger, blend it into a smoothie or make a blood-on-paper print of it for posterity.
Nearly every basic mommy move, from diaper changing to car seat wrangling, pulls your shoulders forward. As a result, the muscles in your back react as if you are falling and work extra hard to pull you upright, straining your back even further. Knowing the best way to carry, lift and push your baby can help keep your back in its best shape.
Here’s how to:
The average newborn weighs approximately 7.5 pounds. But how many pounds will YOU weigh when you walk out of the delivery room? And how long will it take for you to get your pre-baby body back? While the timeline is different for every woman and is based on a number of factors—how much weight you gained while pregnant, whether or not you’re breastfeeding, your diet and exercise habits—there are certain weight-loss milestones you can mark on your calendar.
After your newborn arrives, you’ll soon realize that seemingly small details in your baby’s room, such as the height of the changing table, can make a massive difference in preventing an aching back.
“Many new mothers are so focused on their little one’s needs, they don’t realize just how frequently they’re lifting or bending in a way that’s not safest for their back,” says industrial designer Carla Jaspers.
Pain-proof your nursery with these ergonomic tips:
Life with a newborn has likely left you feeling less than amorous, with sex a distant memory between nighttime feedings and exhaustion. Eventually, however, your thoughts will turn to re-establishing physical intimacy with your partner. And when that happens, you’ll need to think about something you haven’t had to in a while: birth control.
Almost any woman has probably had a moment at some time in her life when she laughed too hard, or perhaps drank a little too much alcohol and really, really had to go to the bathroom. But as Fit Pregnancy readers know, that baby pressing against your bladder makes you have to go to the bathroom often, and it’s quite common to have leaking or incontinence issues after your baby is born as well. And while we know it’s not a sexy topic, it’s a big (often embarrassing) problem for many women.