You’ll know when you’re ready for your new-mum comeback, and we all make it happen in different ways. You may want to get back into shape or concentrate on de-stressing, being more positive or getting involved in the world beyond your baby again. If you’re wondering how you can find the time when it’s still a challenge to fit in your daily shower, don’t worry — when you feel ready, it is possible…
The positive-thinking trick
Who Mums who love parenthood, but find it more of a struggle than they expected.
What A way to become more positive every day. In his book, Hardwiring Happiness, Dr Rick Hanson explains how you can retrain your brain to focus on good experiences.
How Our brains have evolved to focus on bad experiences to protect us from danger, Dr Hanson says. “It’s not enough to think positively. To stop negative thoughts sticking to your memory, you need to embed positive ones in your psyche.”
How to do it
Follow this four-step process to help the good stuff to stick.
1. Pick a positive thing that happened today
Something simple like cuddling your baby or enjoying a good meal.
2. Enrich this experience
Focus on it for a few moments — remind yourself of the taste, smell or feel.
3. Absorb it to cement it fully
Visualise the experience sinking into your mind.
4. Link positive thoughts with negative ones
If you just try to banish bad thoughts, they’ll come back later. Instead, acknowledge that when good things happen, bad experiences may be around the corner — you just need to make less time for them.
The get-fit plan
Who New mums and mums with toddlers who want to ditch the post-baby wobble and tone up.
What A four- to six-week fitness regimen, by Inspire Mum & Baby’s gym instructor, Linda Tan. Call 6348-7881 to enquire.
How Gym sessions, in small class sizes, are structured for both working and nonworking mothers. The workout routine focuses on plenty of stretching and muscle toning. Starts with a basic workout before progressing on to advanced moves.
How to do it
Several basic exercises mums can expect to do at Inspire Mum & Baby gym sessions are:
1. Lie down on your back and bend your knees, inhale and straighten one leg until it’s parallel to the floor; exhale and bend back the knee to its starting position. Repeat with the other leg to complete one set. Do eight sets of these exercises.
2. Lying on the floor with both knees bent, straighten one leg up to the ceiling and draw a circle both clockwise and anti-clockwise with your leg. Repeat with other leg.
3. Resting your back against a wall, get into a squatting position. Tilt your pelvis and draw your navel towards the wall. Challenge yourself by doing this exercise with one leg extended out.
The mental recharge
Who Multitasking mums who need an on-the-go mental boost to help them keep calm and carry on.
What “Mindfulness is an ancient technique rooted in Buddhism,” explains Geethika Jayatilaka, director of The Parent Gym, UK. “Your aim is to live in the moment and avoid running on auto-pilot.” Research confirms that mindfulness can help relieve stress, build resilience and even boost your immune system. Plus, it’s easier than you think.
How If you’re trying to stay calm with a rowdy toddler, a few minutes of mindful meditation is a good way to lower anxiety, up your mood and regain your cool. And the best thing for busy mums is that you can do it anywhere and recharge your mind.
How to do it
1. Once you’re a mum, you may find yourself doing regular laps of the park to lull your baby to sleep as you'll both need some fresh air.
2. A walk with baby in the stroller is a great time to kick-start some mindful meditation.
3. Set your phone timer for three minutes and start by focusing your thoughts on what you can see and feel around you. Is the ground under your feet firm or wet and slick? Can you hear any birds? How does the air feel on your face?
4. Try to slow down your breathing as well. “You’re aiming to hone your thoughts completely on your current experience. So, whenever your mind wanders off to worrying about your baby’s night feeds or your shopping list, bring your focus back,” Geethika says. You can also try this technique at home when your baby is napping.
The eat-smart solution
Who Mums who want to shave several inches off , though not recommended for breastfeeding women.
What A healthy, balanced diet will help our bodies get rid of toxins.
How After months of eating comfort food, our bodies accumulate toxins and waste that our digestive system holds on to. So, cut down caffeine, snacks, alcohol and sugary food gradually, and detox with juices like pomegranate, wheatgrass, beetroot, carrot, green vegetables and ginger. Nutritionist Clement Gan from Eat Right Pte Ltd notes that juices help the body to absorb nutrients like vitamins and minerals easily — these range from B-group vitamins and vitamin C, to potassium and magnesium.
How to do it
1. Don’t skip meals, but instead cut unnecessary calories you might be scarfing down at meals.
2. Plan to eat a healthy breakfast with cereals, a low-fat milk smoothie, and a fresh slice of fruit.
3. Consume a low-calorie meal for lunch and dinner, such as a salad without any dressing, or use an olive oil and lemon dressing.
4. Focus on greens, a small quantity of brown rice, legumes, and consume fish and meat (skinless) that is steamed or baked.
5. If you can’t resist the munchies, snack on mixed fruits with nuts, or a green vegetable juice. Wash down with a cup of hot water with lemon, a beneficial slimming beverage.