MAMA MOJO

Five steps to ‘su­per­mum’

Fashion Quarterly - - Contents -

1

STAY CON­NECTED

No one’s ex­pect­ing you to be the so­cial but­ter­fly you were be­fore you be­came a mother, but stay­ing in touch with the peo­ple you love brings many more ben­e­fits than just keep­ing up with the lat­est goss. Be­ing around friends in­creases the re­lease of oxy­tocin, our cud­dle hor­mone, which can be just what the doc­tor or­dered af­ter a sleep­less night. Time with loved ones also gives us a sense of be­long­ing, mak­ing us feel com­forted and val­ued.

2

RE­FINE YOUR DIET

When you have a baby, your pri­or­i­ties change — you’re less con­cerned about look­ing fab­u­lous, as long as your baby is happy. You’ll drink cold tea and scoff luke­warm din­ners; we’ve all done it. But here’s the thing: you’re a role model now, so stop say­ing ‘no’ to nour­ish­ing your body and mind, start­ing to­day. You prob­a­bly made sure you ate all the right things dur­ing preg­nancy, and clean-eat­ing coach and di­rec­tor of The Blue­print Body Ju­lia Higgs says it’s equally im­por­tant to fo­cus on a healthy diet once you’re a busy mum. Up­ping your in­take of the right foods can also boost your en­ergy lev­els.

3

SHOW US YOUR MOVES

There’s one key mo­ti­va­tional el­e­ment you need to re­mem­ber with this step: if you make time for your health and fit­ness, you’re giv­ing your fam­ily a gift — a stronger, health­ier, hap­pier you. The main goal here is to boost your men­tal health; if you hap­pen to slim down while you’re at it, that’s a bonus. Group fit­ness espe­cially is great for your gen­eral well­be­ing, but if it isn’t your thing and you’d rather start slowly at home, aim to com­bine car­dio, core, strength train­ing and stretch­ing, says health and fit­ness men­tor Louise Roche. “At­ten­tion needs to be paid to re­build­ing your core mus­cles. Start by go­ing for walks to get those mus­cles mov­ing.”

4

MAKE IT WORK

A suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion back to work is all about com­mu­ni­ca­tion. “Most em­ploy­ers will be sup­port­ive if you dis­cuss your plans both in per­son and in writ­ten form sev­eral weeks be­fore you re­turn,” says Katie James, mid­wife and ed­u­ca­tion man­ager at Medela. “It might be hard to work the same hours as be­fore, so con­sider ask­ing your su­per­vi­sor to help you ar­range a more cre­ative sched­ule. Re­mem­ber, there’s often no such thing as the ‘per­fect’ bal­ance, and life will even­tu­ally be­come more man­age­able again.”

5

LOOK GOOD, FEEL BET­TER

Con­fi­dence breeds suc­cess. So, what makes you con­fi­dent? A new hair­style? A full-leg wax? A re­lax­ing mas­sage? Find­ing time to pam­per your­self is eas­ier said than done, but it could be as sim­ple as hav­ing an un­in­ter­rupted shower in which you put a treat­ment through your hair and smooth your skin with body scrub be­fore emerg­ing squeaky clean (even if you don’t stay that way for long). What­ever it is, do it — and do it with­out guilt.

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