While we hope that it's not the first thing that pops in your mind, it's unrealistic to expect that mothers sacrificially don't care about their bodies postpartum. You got to be your own human before this little human came into your world, and you get to after, so it's completely normal and fair to wonder what your body will be like now that baby is gone. What happens to your body and metabolism after baby?
Basically, metabolism is how your body burns and/or uses calories--how fast or slow your body does that is unique to you, and often based on genetics and diet choices combined. But, after pregnancy, it's definitely slowed, and this can often lead women to feel frustrated with not just new body image, but how to feel more like 'themselves.'
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This matrescence is natural and normal, and should be talked about so women do not feel badly about wondering when/if their body will feel like 'theirs' again. While mothers would not trade their children for the world, it's important to realize that moms want to feel like themselves in their new roles as moms, and there are some things they can do to help speed that metabolism up!
When it comes to maternal metabolism, for researchers, the reset hypothesis believes that pregnancy does not end at delivery but with weaning. Researchers have found that lactating reduces the risk of several adverse metabolic conditions and also helps a woman utilize stored fat more efficiently, and thus, possibly help bring her back to 'pre-baby' weight sooner than if she was not lactating and nursing.
Recent research also has found that breastfeeding for at least three months not only helps protect women from metabolic disease like obesity and diabetes, but can do so for up to 15 years post giving birth. Additionally, nursing can help women lose weight as breastfeeding can burn approximately 500 calories a day. Keep in mind that it also makes women hungrier, and mothers should make sure they are feeding themselves lots of healthy foods with good fats for both mama and baby, though.
Eat breakfast! If you're like me, breakfast for YOU gets overlooked because you're taking care of breakfast for everyone else but this is a problem for so many reasons. Mama needs as much fuel as any other family member (dare we say more?) and so eating a protein-rich breakfast (or at minimum, a natural protein drink) can help kick start that metabolism daily and set a pattern you're looking to keep!
There's merit to eating raw or unprocessed foods because your body needs to use more energy (burn more calories) to break foods down. Not only are they cleaner and better for you, if they aren't exposed to as many pesticides and toxins, your thyroid won't have to be as taxed to tolerate them either.
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Drink lots and lots of water. Or, even a green tea treat for a metabolism boost. We can't stress enough how vital water is to every function of the body, but for metabolism to work effectively, you need to be really hydrated. We mean really hydrated!
Most importantly? Don't calorie restrict. It's a nasty plan that backfires. Even if you believe you're eating clean foods, just fewer calories, post-baby (and after) your body will recognize the fewer calories and slow down to ensure there is enough for a rainy day. Particularly if you're nursing, don't calorie restrict because that can affect breastmilk as well.
Just remember that your body won't ever be the same, but it doesn't have to be. It's created and carried life, and though it may get back to where it was (or better, as many moms feel) before baby--even if it doesn't, you earned every stretch mark.