You are not alone.
I've recently been onboarding new clients ahead of our next strength transformation program.
This small group personal training program includes structured strength training, energising nutrition and lifestyle programming to help you feel your best self post-baby.
During the consultation, clients rate themselves in different areas of their lives including body-confidence and self-confidence.
Generally post-natal women rate body-confidence fairly low.
Fairly unsurprising. Your body has changed, you may not be able to do the things you used to do and you're likely to be experiencing aches, pains or any number of internal post-natal issues in your day-to-day life.
After a year of growing (and potentially feeding) a human being, your reflection has changed, your body can also feel like it’s not really yours anymore!
I remember wondering how on earth I’d be able to get back to what I used to do, or whether my body would ever look the same again. But you get there and when you get out the other side, however long it takes, I promise you will feel stronger than ever because of what you’ve been through.
So this is physical body-confidence, not in a great place.
Sadly a high number of women also rate self-confidence as low on the scale.
Knowing how all-consuming being a new mums is, it’s perhaps not a surprise it takes so much from you.
Having a baby requires all of your energy. Particularly during those first few months, your entire life changes in an instant, you’re exhausted and spending your days reacting to and prioritising the needs of someone else.
You can easily lose your sense of self, forget what you used to do, what you like to do and that you were once an independent woman who left the house on her own and had a daily routine, a career and a social life.
You can lose confidence in your abilities to do simple things, thrive in social situations and even just have a ‘productive day’.
Training new mums is not all about physical strength but about rebuilding that sense of confidence in their own abilities, in being able to overcome challenges, hit new goals and be successful in other areas of their loves despite whatever else is going on.
If you too are feeling like your self-confidence (along with your body confidence) has taken a battering over the last few months, know that you are not alone. It does get better, things do get easier, you will get stronger and in time you will get more and more snippets of your old life back.
Strength training can improve that inner sense of self-confidence and self-esteem that is so easy to lose when you’re in the throws of postnatal life.
At Strong Mums Club we provide new mums with a structured strength training plan to help them get physically stronger, in-person training sessions to take away the guesswork of whether they are doing it right, a small community of like-minded women to train with and support each other along the way and a full lifestyle plan designed to help you feel healthy, strong and confident. If you’re interested in our next programs click here for more details.
I’ve listed some further ways to help improve your own self-confidence below and hope these help you get back to your old self again.
Positive affirmations - listening to or repeating positive affirmations can be a great way to improve your self-confidence and self-love. You can write your own or download some that resonate and listen. I found listening to these during morning pram walks were great for improving my headspace in those post-natal days.
Gratitude - Make a list of all the things that are going well in your life, all your achievements, all the things you are grateful to your body for. Practicing gratitude daily is the quickest way to raise your vibration and get you feeling good and when you feel good, your self-confidence is more likely to shine. I wrote a post on this last year if you want to take a look.
Get yourself out there - accept that offer of help and go do something that makes you feel good, on your own (or at least without your baby). This could be a yoga class, a catch up with a friend, a night out. Every time you do something that you used to do pre-baby you get a glimpse of your old life back, you get closer to your old self and you slowly start to build your confidence back up.
Workout to get those endorphins flowing - 99 per cent of the time you feel so much better after a workout, physically and mentally. The better you feel…..the better able you are to go about your day with a bit of confidence. not to mention the sense of achievement for actually getting a workout into your day!
Journal - writing down how you’re feeling, why you don’t feel good and where it’s coming from, can really open your mind to what’s going on in your head. Journalling can act a bit like therapy, without a therapist. Start by asking the question, How do I feel today? Just brain dump anything that comes into your head, see where your pen takes you and see how you feel afterwards.
Open up - we are all guilty of shutting down when we don’t feel good about ourselves, but opening up to someone close to you, particularly if they are in a similar position to you, can make a huge difference to how you feel. It’s good to know you are not alone in this. Your support network is an important asset as a new mum, surround yourself with people that love you, build you up and make you feel good.
Do bear in mind self-confidence is a constantly evolving state of being. It takes time, work and patience to build and maintain self-confidence but you slowly but surely you can make improvements.
Be kind to yourself.
You’ve got this.