Before and After Motherhood: 3 Reasons Why Taking Care of Yourself is Healthy

I’ve heard stories of women who haven’t had children, because they’re so scared of the physical implications of pregnancy, that they’re willing to pay someone else to endure the process for them. HUH?!?!?!?

While I’m not going to get into the unbelievable feeling that you embody once it’s sunk in that you are a creator of life, what I will get into is the perception we had of ourselves before the kiddos, and after they came…well, we don’t feel so hot.

It’s sad really (these BEFORE/AFTER pictures have a purpose at the end of this post). 

Listen, “my hips don’t lie” when I’m hurdling in my bedroom in search of a pair of Spanx to smooth out my not so smooth latin curves. I work with my hands, so I do have to make it a point to schedule and get my manicures.

What I don’t get is when did becoming a mom became synonymous of “I’m not worthy”? It’s not ok to forget about you. 

Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t: 

1) Self Care Improves Your Emotional Health: Taking time out to care for yourself can remind you and others that you and your needs are important, too. It conveys to others that you value yourself. This can contribute to long-term feelings of wellbeing.
2) Self Care Makes You a Better Caretaker: When you neglect your own needs and forget to nurture yourself, you are at danger of deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem and feelings of resentment. Also, when you spend your time only taking care of others you are at risk for getting burned out on all the giving, which makes it more difficult to care for others or yourself. Taking time to care for yourself regularly can make you a better caretaker for others, specially your children.
3) Self Care Releases Stress: Giving your body some special treatment is a natural way to relieve stress. Spa-related activities like massage and warm baths have been known to sooth even small colicky babies like nothing else. These activities continue to be effective tools for relaxation as we get older.
Angelina, Gwen and Halle…don’t they look like they ‘own’ their presence AFTER the baby came? They look FABULOUS but also relaxed, more confident… don’t you think?
In my before picture I see fear and insecurity. When I look at this after picture of myself, I see a more driven and determined woman. 
Now go, look at your before/after shots. Who/what do you see? If you aren’t doing so, what actions will you take TODAY to take care of yourself?

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