Let’s face it. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed by the demands of being a new mother… so feeling sexy isn’t the first thing on my mind. It’s easy to get stuck in sweats and breastmilk-stained shirts, but taking some self-care has helped boost my confidence and reignite my inner spark.
Start the day off right
Take a small amount of time for a morning routine. Even if it means putting baby in a bouncy seat in the bathroom, start off the day with a hot shower and then massage some of your favorite essential oils or lotion into your skin. Marvel at your postpartum body and what it has created! Any evidence of pregnancy and childbirth, such as stretch marks, are proof of your strength and resilience and of what the female body is capable of achieving. You are beautiful!
Take a break
Being a mother is a full-time job and it can be really hard to carve out some “me” time. Hire or accept help and learn to overlook the laundry that needs to be folded. When your baby naps, use that time to take a nap yourself, read a book or pursue your favorite hobby. Try to get out once a week by yourself or with a friend. Don’t forget date night or time with your partner, either. Leaving baby with a trusted caregiver for an hour or two is important for nurturing your relationship.
Exercise offers many benefits including reduction of stress, anxiety and the chances of postpartum depression. Taking baby for a walk, even if it’s just around the block, can really improve your mood. You will both benefit from some fresh air and sunshine which can also be a sanity saver when feeling cooped up inside. Taking a yoga, dance or another movement class can also help encourage your “sexy vibe.” In terms of your body image, be patient and kind to yourself. It takes time for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy form. I gained 62 lbs with my first pregnancy and 75 lbs with my last pregnancy. Read about how I lost the weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
Get your ladies measured and then buy yourself a nice bra or nursing bra if you are breastfeeding. It can help reduce back pain from the extra weight you are carrying in your breasts. You may also wish to explore shapewear. I’m all about embracing my post baby curves but smoothing everything out ups my confidence. A few luxurious pieces can also make you feel sexy. Dita von Teese teamed up with Destination Maternity to create Von Follies, a new collection that “captures the spirit of retro glamour, while inspiring confidence and meeting the practical requirements and everyday needs of a new mother.” All of the bras have clasps for accessible breastfeeding and the matching underwear features a postpartum shaper.
Wear clothes that fit
Now that you have proper undergarments, buy or borrow some clothes that fit. You may be tempted to stay in your oversized maternity clothes but that is not the best way to help you feel sexy again. Investing in some new pieces will help you feel sexy, confident. Even if you are transitioning between sizes, just a few interchangeable outfits can help you look and feel good. Take a friend along who will be encouraging and honest.
Head to the beauty salon
Styling my hair in something other than a ponytail or bun makes me feel a million times better. There are plenty of mom-friendly hairstyles that are practical and chic. Head to the salon for a fresh cut, highlights or a blow dry which can all work wonders for your confidence. While you’re there, treat yourself to a mani-pedi, too!
Doing a boudoir photoshoot was an incredible experience for me. It boosted my confidence, helped me embrace my curves after having two children, and made me feel sexy and beautiful! At first I was self-conscious about the notion but pushed those thoughts aside and jumped in and had fun with it! A good photographer will make you feel at ease and guide you for the most flattering poses and angles, capturing you in your best light. Rhiannon Panopoulos of Alloria Winter Photography says, “There are countless reasons to celebrate yourself and sometimes we need a visual reminder of why we should LOVE ourselves. It’s my purpose in life to help bring confidence and sexy self-expression to women.” If you’re not comfortable doing a boudoir shoot or don’t have the means at the moment, a good friend can take some fun and sexy snapshots!
Don’t pressure yourself into feeling sexy or engaging in sexual activity before you’re physically or mentally ready. Although many care providers give the green light after six weeks postpartum, lack of sleep, postpartum blues and changes in the way you view your body after pregnancy can affect your mood. If you’re feeling pressured by your partner or the outside world, it’s okay to give yourself some space and time.
Image via Alloria Winter Photography