Tips To Strengthen Your Abdomen After Pregnancy
Developing your core strength can help tone up lax abdominal muscles. Plus, theres an added benefit: Strong abs can help support your back, which may be strained from all the bending and lifting youre doing as a new mom.
Just be careful not to rush your abdominal workout because it could interfere with your recovery, especially if you developed abdominal separation. Although this often resolves on its own in a month or two, starting a vigorous ab-exercise program right away could put you at risk of injury, like a hernia. So save the crunches for after your body has had time to heal.
Once you get the all-clear from your doctor, try these tummy-toning exercises:
Pelvic tilts with ab contractions. Lie on the floor with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Press your lower back into the ground, pulling your belly button down toward your spine. Keeping your lower back pressed into the ground, slowly tighten your abs and gently lift your pelvis up an inch, then release back down, engaging your pelvic floor.
Modified crunches. From the same, bent-knee position on the floor, exhale slowly and extend one leg parallel to the floor. Return that leg to the starting position as you inhale. Do the same with the opposite leg.
Pilates and barre classes are also good for strengthening your core when your doctor gives you the green light.
- What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff.
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
Watch Your Diet To Get Rid Of Hanging Belly After Pregnancy
Eating a healthy diet regularly can promote healthy weight loss and also work on the hanging belly after pregnancy. While breast feeding mothers need adequate nutrition, most of must be obtained through vegetables, fruits as snacks and your daily meals must comprise lean protein, low fat dairy products and whole grains. Use healthy fat like olive oil for cooking your food rather than butter or vegetable oil. Include fluids and make sure water intake is maintained. It may be advisable to consult a dietician to plan a healthy, weight loss diet such that it meets your breast feeding requirements but keeps a check on your weight and hanging belly fat.
Getting rid from the hanging belly after pregnancy is not easy and simple task. It is important to focus on strengthening abdominal muscles, maintaining health and losing hanging belly. If all these tricks dont help some women to reduce hanging belly after pregnancy then cosmetic surgery option may be considered to get rid of hanging belly, in some cases.
Tips For Getting A Flat Tummy
The postpartum belly can be stubborn. This perhaps has even made you wonder, can your stomach shrink to its original size postpartum? Well, with the right diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits, yes, it can.
Now these guidelines are supposed to help you slim down after pregnancy. Please be aware that its imperative that you listen to your doctors advice. So dont make alterations to your health regimen or start exercising before it is okayed by your physician.
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First Focus On Your Cardio To Burn Calories
Most of the pooch is going to be stored fat left over from pregnancy. This is where walking can be one of your best exercises, not crunches. Crunches and ab routines are only going increase your muscle stamina, or make your muscles bigger and stronger. Dont get me wrong, we want to keep our core strong, but that wont lose the pooch. Cardio that is either long and slow, liking walking uphill for 45 minutes or sprinting is going to really help you burn fat. You should aim at doing cardio for more than 20 minutes because your body is first going to burn the glucose, or sugar in your blood. Once that sugar is used, your body will start using the stored energy or fat. The first step is the hardest, and that is to burn the fat around your muscles. You will better be able to tell if you have some separation still to work on too. If you arent sure what to eat to help you burn fat and lose the extra baby pounds, check out these 5 foods.
This postpartum workout program + app has some awesome at-home, body-weight cardio workouts that will help you burn fat and lose some of the extra fluff over your abdominal muscles. If you live somewhere where getting outside to do cardio is very difficult, or there is no where to walk, grab an affordable treadmill, and you can wear baby while walking on it!
Your nutrition is also going to help as you add in cardio. Keeping your carb count down, and your protein is very important!!
What Women Can Do
Even if core training doesnt help close the gap, it might help with the associated pelvic floor issues and back pain. Bø said there is strong evidence that training the pelvic girdle can help with urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. She said there is no evidence that specifically working the transverse muscles helps with back pain, among the general population. She is not aware of any studies looking specifically at those with abdominal separation.
However, there is some evidence that overall core strengthening helps with lower back pain and theres little doubt that pregnancy and childbirth weaken the core, especially in the short term.
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Head Lifts Shoulder Lifts And Curl
Why Theyre Good For You: These three movements help strengthen back muscles. They also tone the tummy and abs and burn calories.
How Theyre Done:
- Head lifts: Lie on your back with your arms along your sides. Keeping your lower back flush to the floor, bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Relax your belly as you inhale. As you exhale, slowly lift your head and neck off the floor. Inhale as you lower your head back down.
- Shoulder lifts: When you can do 10 head lifts with ease, try this move. Get in the same position you did for head lifts. Inhale and relax your belly. As you exhale, raise your head and your shoulders off the floor, reaching your arms and hands toward your knees. If this strains your neck, fold both hands behind your head, but dont pull on your neck. Inhale as you lower your head and shoulders back down.
- Curl-ups: When you can do 10 shoulder lifts, move on to this. Start in the same position on the floor. Lift your torso until it’s about halfway between your knees and the floor behind you. Reach toward your knees and hold for 2 to 5 seconds. Then, slowly lower yourself down.
Don’t forget to breathe. Exhale when you exert. Inhale when you relax.
Losing Baby Belly Fat Through Cardio Exercise
Cardio exercise is excellent for losing baby belly fat, and one of the most gentle forms is walking.
Walking for exercise a week or two after giving birth should not be a problem for most women. Your body will let you know when you are ready, but go easy at first.
A good starting point is a 15 to 20-minute walk, undertaken at a slow to moderate pace. Do this at least 3 or 4 times a week.
Build up to walking 30 to 60 minutes most days, and pick up the speed. Later, you can add other forms of cardio exercise if desired.
It may not be convenient for you to go to a gym at this time, and it isnt necessary. If you have a treadmill or other cardio exercise machine at home, use it.
While you dont have to own home exercise equipment to get into shape, I love the convenience it offers. It allows me to walk or run no matter the weather even on those days, its just not possible to get out of the house.
With your own treadmill, elliptical trainer, stationary bike, or rowing machine, you will be able to exercise while your baby sleeps, and you can watch TV or get in a bit of reading at the same time.
If you dont want to buy exercise equipment, there are specially designed prams that will enable you to comfortably and safely jog while pushing your baby.
More stable than regular prams, jogging strollers can cope with rough terrain, provide a smooth ride, and they come with safety harnesses to keep the baby securely in place for your peace of mind.
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Minimize Stretch Marks While Youre Pregnant
They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Thats certainly true when it comes to rejuvenating loose skin after pregnancy.
Following the same steps that will help you minimize the appearance of stretch marks during the first nine months of your pregnancy will go a long way toward keeping your skin tight after your baby is born.
We recommend a product like Mustela’s Stretch Marks Cream or Stretch Marks Oil. Both products work to nourish the skin on your hips, thighs, stomach, and bust so that your skin can naturally expand and stretch without scarring.
The increased elasticity these products provide makes it much easier for the skin to regain its normal shape after your baby is born.
Resuming Your Sex Life
The elastic walls of the vagina stretch quite a bit during childbirth, but they do spring back into place. So you can resume sexual intercourse when you feel ready and have gotten the go-ahead from your doctor. If youre breastfeeding, you may experience less lubrication because nursing causes your body to produce less estrogen. Having a vaginal lubricant available can help if you feel discomfort.
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But Arent There Special Stomach Overhang Exercises
Unfortunately, there are no special stomach exercises you can do to get rid of your mommy tummy / apron belly.
Studies have confirmed that you cannot spot reduce fat in the abdominal area. This means that doing hundreds of sit-ups, crunches, or other abdominal exercises wont help you get a flat belly.
As I said before, the only way to get rid of mommy tummy is to lose fat from your entire body, overall.
Also, you may or may not lose fat from your belly first. For the majority of people, the lower belly tends to be one of the last places to lose fat.
Im telling you this because I want to set your expectations.
This is not a quick nor easy fix.
Now that we have that out of the way, lets go over specific strategies on how to get rid of mommy belly.
Theres Still Some Baby Belly Fat Left
Several things contribute to the accumulation of belly fat due to pregnancy. In principle, you will gain more weight if you eat and drink more calories than you burn. Now when youre pregnant, the hormonal changes can make it hard for you to work out. Therefore, youll burn fewer calories daily while technically eating for two or more!
Many women report that the most significant part of their weight gain occurs in their third trimesters. These same hormones will make you hold onto calories and store them as fat. Why you may ask? To help nourish and protect the growing baby. Additionally, this fat is also used to provide nutrients when breastfeeding.
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How To Lose Belly Fat #: Staying Hydrated
One of the most overlooked points for weight loss is adequate hydration.
Around 55-70% of our bodies are made up of water, so any loss in fluid can have serious consequences.
These include impaired concentration, loss of strength and general fatigue, making daily activities far more difficult than they need to be.
Too often we go through our day in a blur of fizzy drinks and caffeine, leaving us dehydrated.
Read BellyBellys article about the benefits of electrolytes during pregnancy and post-natally.
Choosing The Right Fitness Ball
When selecting a fitness ball, its important to get the correct one for your height. Refer to the individual manufacturers guidelines to find out the right size for you.
The majority of women will find that a 22-inch ball suits them. If you are 5 feet tall or under, an 18-inch ball should suit you best. Those over 5 feet 8 should find the 26-inch size the most comfortable.
After unboxing your fitness ball, you will need to inflate it before you can use it. The better balls come with instructions and a pump, making the process quick and easy. Be sure to refer to the instructions so that you inflate the ball to the right size.
My fitness ball came with an exercise chart. Two of my favorite exercises for losing baby belly fat are the Reverse Crunch and Rock and Roll. The instructions for these are below.
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Cut Down On Alcohol Consumption
Alcoholic drinks are unhealthy in a lot of different waysand cutting them out of your diet is especially crucial after pregnancy.
Most alcoholic drinks are full of sugar or other added sweeteners. Its also harmful in that it can interfere with your levels of hormones. This might lead to your body to prioritize fat storage over other tasks.
The most well-known risk with alcohol is that it lowers your inhibitions. Not only can this be hazardous for your kids, but it might lead you to make poor diet choices. When you drink alcohol, youre more likely to reach for fat heavy and sugar loaded snacks.
Get A Postpartum Massage
Self-care post-pregnancy can go a long way for your mental and physical wellbeing. Consider going for a postpartum massage to help increase the blood-flow to the abdominal area to speed your postpartum recovery. Massages are also excellent for addressing saggy skin because massage oils nourish the skin and improves the overall elasticity.
This little self-indulgence may also boost your pleasure hormones, oxytocin, which helps the involution process shrinking the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size.
Women who had c-sections will need to wait until their incisions fully recover before getting a massage. It’s a good idea to get the green light from your doctor before booking an appointment.
For more help on this, check out our guide to getting a professional postpartum massage.
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/76 Easy Steps To Lose Belly Fat After Delivering A Baby
Most women gain anything between 5 to 18 kilos during their pregnancy. Losing this weight post delivering the baby is not that easy. Juggling between the responsibilities of being a new mom and returning to your old body can be difficult. But researches show that starting exercise right after giving birth is not just good for overall health but also reduces the risk of postpartum depression. Not just this, there are many other small steps that can help you get back to your pre-pregnancy body.
As every pregnancy and delivery are different, do not forget to check with your doctor before to take up any exercise plan. If you experience any kind of discomfort in exercising or experience heavy bleeding, do consult your doctor immediately.
Here are six easy tips that will help you lose the postpartum belly fat easily.
Eat More Of These Two Important Nutrients
The third thing you need to do to lose body fat is to address your nutrition. While movement and exercise are important, thats only the icing on the cake.
The number of calories you eat will always be the prime target.
The good news is, there are two nutrients that you can consume regularly to help improve your nutrition and burn fat.
The first nutrient is
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Prenatal Vitamins Because Your Body Still Needs The Nutrients
Dont shelve your prenatal vitamins just yet. Keep taking them, especially if youre breastfeeding. You need to restore the nutrients you may have lost during pregnancy, and support your body while its producing breast milk, says Lawson. Your doctor may also recommend you take an iron supplement and vitamin C .
What Is A Typical Postpartum Weight Loss Timeline
You and your doctor may have discussed how much weight to gain for a healthy pregnancy and the health of your baby. Guidelines for pregnancy weight gain are based on a womans body mass index .
How long it may take to lose the baby weight is another matter entirely. Theres no specific timeline for postpartum weight loss. Remember, your body will be in recovery mode for at least the first six weeks postpartum.
Breastfeeding can add another wrinkle to the weight-loss equation. While some women say breastfeeding aids postpartum weight loss, others may find it difficult to lose weight until after weaning the baby, typically because they feel hungrier when they’re nursing.
It often takes six to nine months to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight. But it can take a lot longer, even 10 months to two years, especially if a woman gained 35 pounds or more during her pregnancy.
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How To Lose The Belly 4 Years After The Baby
Much of a womans pregnancy weight melts off in the months after she gives birth, thanks to hormonal changes that lead the body to release excess fluid and cause the midsection to shrink down. However, excess body fat can linger for years after you have a baby if you dont take extra steps to burn if off. Pregnancy-related changes such as broader hips may be permanent changes that you will need to embrace as a souvenir, but you should still be able to burn off belly fat four years down the line 3.
Exercise at least 30 minutes daily. Most adults should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, but you may need to get up to an hour per day to slim down your midsection. If you cant find 30 minutes in one chunk, start with a 10-minute power walk three times throughout your day.
Eliminate “empty” calorie foods from your diet. For example, thanks to added sugars, a single can of regular soda offers you 150 calories but not much else. By cutting out two sodas and a bag of chips per day, you could cut about 500 calories from your daily diet, which equates to about 1 lb. per week.
Train with weights two or more times per week. Building lean body muscle will help speed up your metabolism, which helps you burn off the belly fat at a faster pace 3. Try other strength building exercise options, such as push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups or buy a set of resistance bands or sign up for a Pilates class.