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3/13/11 6:11 P

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Feel like you've been in a mommy rut since the baby was born? These tips will help you figure out streamlined beauty and lifestyle routines so you're at your best ó inside and out.
If thereís ever a time for an overhaul of your daily beauty and lifestyle routines, itís during your babyís first year. As soon as you bring your precious bundle home, you realize all your old ways of doing things ó from the way you treated your hair (bye-bye salon blowouts!) to the way you chilled out after a strenuous day at work (au revoir to relaxing in front of the TV) ó no longer apply. (Even moms with an older child or two need to tweak their day-to-day schedules once thereís a new baby in the mix.) So what can you do to look and feel your best now that youíre short on time? Find savvy shortcuts that streamline your beauty routine, make finding the best clothes for your new, post-baby body a snap, and recharge your batteries when too many baby-related chores threaten to overload your circuits. Hereís help for multitasking moms:

Postpartum Wardrobe and Beauty Fixes:
Stained tops (thanks to your babyís prolific spit-ups and your leaky breasts) and sweatpants are any new momís go-to outfit, especially in those first postpartum weeks when fitting into your prepregnancy clothes isnít possible and you really arenít keen to keep wearing those maternity staples. Since you do have to go out in public (itís good for you, remember?), youíll need a few postpartum clothing tricks that will hide the bulges and leaks without sacrificing comfort. (Think dark-colored tops and bottoms with colorful accessories.) Worried that youíll never fit into those prepregnancy jeans? Relax. It took nine months to build that baby-growing body, so give yourself time to get back into shape. As long as you eat right and treat yourself well (read: squeeze in a brisk walk and savor healthy snacks rather than scarfing down junk food), youíll find your way back into (most) of your fave pre-baby clothes.

Your clothes may not be the only thing preventing you from looking (or feeling!) like a postpartum diva. Your pre-baby beauty routine has probably taken a hit, too, with those 30-minute hair-and-makeup sessions in front of the bathroom mirror being replaced by a 30-second swipe of a hairbrush (and thatís on a good day). Youíll need to find a new streamlined postpartum hair-and-makeup routine ó but one that isnít so pared down that itís nonexistent. (Make it easy with one of these quick beauty tips.) And when those colic-induced ó or teething-induced ó sleepless nights take their toll on your spirits, you might need to bring in the heavy artillery (or makeup bag) to boost your outlook ó and your looks! (Need help? Try one of these three mini-makeover ideas.)

Rev Up Your Energy and Health Postpartum

Between sleep deprivation and the demands of daytime baby care, new moms have a hard time mustering the energy they need. What helps you get back that revved-up feeling? Stretching, walking in the sunshine, listening to music, or kicking back with a healthy snack can do wonders for improving mommy moods in the first year. A word of caution: Make sure you donít fall into a routine that routinely neglects you. Focus on finding time (itís there, even if you can squeeze only ten minutes out of your day) for fitness and friends to bust you out of that mommy rut.

Another thing that shouldnít fall off your to-do list? Taking care of your health, whether itís your aching arm from all that baby-carrying or youíre unexpectedly feeling a few signs of the baby blues. Whenever youíre feeling overwhelmed physically or emotionally (or both), remember to ask your partner, family, or friends to lend a hand so you can get back to feeling like your old self.

*~* Charity *~*

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