After nine months of pregnancy, you get the most beautiful present in the world, your baby. But, that cute little present lives behind some side effects, like bulging belly. Even if you haven’t gain a lot of weight, there is hardly any chance for your stomach to go back to normal by itself after labor. And even if you are exercising hard and eating well that “thing” won’t go away!
Why is it like that?
During pregnancy the outermost abdominal muscles stretch and separate to make room for the expanding uterus. Even after birth, though, when the uterus shrinks back to its original size, these muscles can stay separated. Left untreated, a diastasis will, besides looking bad, stimulate back pains.
How to solve the problem?
Getting back your abdominal strength is essential. Stomach muscles have the important role of supporting your back and helping you avoid the aches of daily activities that come with motherhood. Patience is the key. It took nine months for your stomach to stretch to accommodate a baby, so it makes sense that it would take at least that long to tighten back up. If, however, you don’t have enough patience, or if rehab and exercises don’t work for you, the alternative solution may be abdominoplasty. It is a cosmetic surgery that includes removal of excess skin and fat from your abdomen.
Breastfeeding causes your uterus to go back to its normal size, which makes your tummy appear smaller.
Step by step
Until you gain back your form, walking will be appropriate way of exercise for you. Start with an easy stroll. Eventually you’ll work your way up to a pumped-up power walk.
Choose your exercises carefully
Some routine fitness moves, like crunches, sit-ups, pushups, press-ups, and front planks, can make abdominal separation worse. So can swimming, some yoga poses (like downward dog), and doing anything on your hands and knees. Instead of that, try some step by step ab toners.
The key is in breathing
Deep belly breathing with abdominal contraction is so easy exercise that you can do it just an hour after giving birth. Sit upright and breathe deeply, drawing air from the diaphragm upward. Contract and hold your abs tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling. Gradually increase the amount of time you can contract and hold your abs.
Your exercise buddy
If you can hardly find some time to exercise due to newly acquired mom responsibilities, there are some exercise that you can do with your infant. The trick is to find some period of day when your baby is in a good mood, so you can work on your belly fat, and your baby can have a great time with mom. When you are doing exercises it would be useful for your baby that you count out loud, so your little one could have fun. Make sure to check with your physician and pediatrician before starting an exercise routine, and take extra care to keep your baby safe while you’re exercising.
Don’t give up, and don’t lose hope. There is a land of flat post pregnancy bellies out there, and you’ll get there. It takes time for your body, and especially your tummy, to fully recover from pregnancy.