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My First Baby: Bouncing back after having a baby

Finding happiness with the new you isn't a one-size-fits-all formula.

ST. LOUIS — Since having my first baby Kingston, my body feels and looks a lot different. I remember getting impatient after he was born, not wanting to wait to start exercising.

Here’s the thing, we can’t rush healing. It’s different for everyone, but we all need to be better about listening to our bodies and what we can and can’t do. So often, we set unrealistic expectations. When we don’t meet them, we’re disappointed.

I found what worked for me was walking. Once I was cleared by my doctor, I walked three or four times a day. As soon as I was done with a feeding, I loaded Kingston into his bassinet and we were off. Getting outside in the fresh air, talking to neighbors and just moving felt so good. I wasn’t getting the intensity I used to with running, but walking gave me the exercise I needed to feel mentally and physically better.

"Every body literally, physically, mentally is different. It took nine months to grow your tiny human, and it’s going to take at least that to regain your sense of self," explained Kristin Milonas, who's a trainer with FIT4MOM St. Louis.

Milonas said we need to practice patience and not let ourselves get discouraged too quickly.

"Give yourself grace. It literally is different for every single person," she explained. "I remember thinking I can’t do X, so I’ll do zero and that doesn't make any sense,” she laughed.

To get started, Milonas suggested getting out with friends or family. Socializing with adults is the first step to starting to feel like yourself again. A walk, deep breathing or stretching are all small but great ways to return to your pre-baby self.

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