Almost all pregnant women and their onlookers love a cute baby belly, there is something sweet about it and the future it holds. That cuteness is usually lost after the baby is born and the belly is still there. In today’s celebrity driven society it is somehow expected that as soon as a new mother has had her child and her two days in the hospital she should be ready to fit into her old pre-pregnancy jeans. The standards society and women themselves set for women after birth are absurd. Of course we should be healthy and lose any unnecessary weight in order to be healthy and take good care of our children but that doesn’t mean being bikini ready when still trying to figure out if breastfeeding or bottle feeding is best for herself and her child.
The number one thing a new mother should be doing during those first few months with her child is taking care of her child’s and her health any way she can. She shouldn’t be worrying about how her belly may look, but inevitably she may end up caring about “the pooch”. If she does there are some things she can do to help get rid of it or lessen its prominence at least.
If a woman decides to take action on ridding herself of the pooch or camouflaging it, it is still important to remember that with birth a woman’s body can change and not change back to exactly what it was before ever again. It is essential to remember that while it takes nine months for a woman’s body to prepare for a baby it can take even longer to heal and shift back to normal. In fact the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend waiting at least eighteen months between the end of one pregnancy to the beginning of another; suggesting it takes at least this long for a woman’s body to fully heal.
15 Cinch it!
Corsets are so medieval. Unfortunately they are making a bit of a comeback with celebrities like Kim Kardashian calling them “waist trainers” and touting there long term benefits, if you wear them regularly enough, supposedly. However many doctors warn against the potential health risks of wearing waist trainers regularly and too tightly. However, if a mother wears them correctly and not long term they could be beneficial for camouflaging any post pregnancy pooch.
Waist training in many expert opinions is a bad idea. So don’t waist train. However if a woman has a big event coming up and wants to fit into her dress without a post-pregnancy pooch blatantly showing a corset or waist trainer worn not to tight can be the perfect option. Think of it as shapewear not training though.
14 High Waist
Being on trend is not on everyone’s must do list and that is certainly fine. Currently mom jeans are coming back in style as well as nineties grunge. Mom jeans are certainly not everyone’s cup of tea and even though models like Karlie Kloss and Kendall Jenner look great in them that doesn’t mean everyone will be so lucky.
While mom jeans may not be best suited for every body type taking advantage of the trend of higher rise jeans can be great for disguising the post baby pooch. Think back to the early 2000’s when most people were wearing super low rise jeans. They looked amazing on Britney spears and flaunted her abs but on other people it could unfortunately look like bad muffin top. Higher rise jeans can conceal and cinch in the extra weight around the middle making them a great option for disguising the post pregnancy pooch. The higher rise jeans won’t necessarily look like high rise jeans, especially if worn with a regular untucked shirt.
13 Heal It (Diastasis Recti)
Women everywhere complain that they just can’t seem to ride themselves of their post pregnancy pooch, even when they are back to post pregnancy size. If this is the case it might be worth a visit to the doctor in order to discuss diastasis recti. A doctor can help a mother determine if she is just carrying a little loose skin or extra weight around the middle or if it is potentially being caused by diastasis recti.
Diastasis recti is a condition that affects a person’s abdominal muscles. During pregnancy a woman’s abs separate to make room for the growing baby. Generally the abs come back together after the mother has had time to heal. However, with diastasis recti the abdominals may stay separated therefore weakening a woman’s core and making a pooch more prominent. If this condition is present certain popular exercises for belly fat reduction will actually make it worse. In fact crunches can exacerbate diastasis recti so if it is expected it is best to get into a doctor or physical therapist who can help create a fitness plan to help heal it, in some severe cases surgery may even be necessary.
I can remember my mom looking for a particular type of panty hose when I was a child, control top tights. They basically were supposed cinch the stomach in and smooth out the middle section for when a woman was wearing a dress. They were for special occasions not really an everyday wear thing. Our generation has it’s own version now and it’s called shapewear.
Shapewear is basically tight knit spandex designed to be worn under clothing. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian claim to wear it under almost all their clothes and in fact it’s been spotted under dresses on many red carpet events. Shapewear is fairly comfortable when buying a breathable version in the correct size. Shapewear can not only slim the appearance of post pregnancy pooch but also smooth thighs and even disguise bra bulge and it can be found in most department stores.
11 Drink More Water
We have all heard the advice to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and to add a glass for each hour of light physical activity. Even though this is well known advice few people follow it. There are many risks to not drinking enough water including stomach bloating. If a woman is dealing with post pregnancy pooch the last thing she needs is to add bloating on top of it.
While it can feel like bloating when a person first starts drinking more water that is actually usually caused by water retention due to her body holding on to fluids because she was in fact dehydrated. After a few days of drinking an appropriate amount of water many people will see the benefits. In fact drinking enough water can help to clear skin of acne, alleviate headaches, energize a person and even help to get rid of unnecessary bloat in a person’s bowels which in turn will help a person lose weight and look less bloated around the middle.
10 No More Soda
Almost every person has some type of guilty pleasure and for some guilty pleasures it is clear how harmful it can be. Take for example smoking, its obvious smoking causes significant health issues. For other people their little guilty pleasures may not seem as harmful like laying out in the sun without sunscreen or drinking soda with dinner every night.
Soda, pop, coke whatever you want to call it can be bad for a person’s health. It can cause dental health issues and yellowing teeth, it takes up space that could be used for water and can therefore help lead to dehydration which has its own plethora of health implications. Soda can even become addictive especially if it has certain sugars or if a person becomes addicted to the caffeine contained in it. Soda also adds to post pregnancy pooch because it can cause bloating from both the sugar substitutes in it and the carbonation. If a woman is trying to rid her body of the post pregnancy pooch one of the first things she should cut out is anything carbonated or full of artificial sweeteners as these are both proven to cause belly bloat.
9 Zip Up Your Mouth After 6pm
Snacking is a great thing. Snacking or eating many small meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals has even been shown to increase weight loss and aid in health. However there is an exception to that. A person should not eat immediately before bed, if they do digestion is slowed and more fat is absorbed into their body. Eating right before bed can even disrupt sleep by causing heartburn or the need to use the restroom in the middle of the night.
Regardless of when a person goes to sleep they should try to avoid eating within four hours of bedtime. Following this rule can be difficult for new mothers, and not just because bedtimes are flexible when following a newborns schedule. It’s also difficult because when waking through the night to handle infant feedings a person often notices their own hunger cues that they would normally sleep through. To help stave off those cues it’s important to stay hydrated and have water for herself during the feeding time. If snacking at night absolutely can’t be helped make sure those calories are counted in the daily total and that they are healthy snacks like celery with peanut butter.
8 Get 8 Hours Of Sleep
Beauty sleep is important. That’s a common phrase and while it seems silly good rest can in fact make a person “more beautiful”. Take for example that when a person doesn’t get enough rest they are more likely to age prematurely, have bags under their eyes, and even less energy to get ready for the day. It is common knowledge that all people need different amounts of rest but for the average healthy adult it is somewhere around 8 hours. 8 hours of straight sleep is not always possible when a person has a child. Whether that is because the child is waking them or their bladder has changed from pregnancy and they have the need to wake up and pee in the middle of the night, it’s just not always possible.
8 straight hours of sleep may not be possible with children but ensuring the rest a new mother gets is good rest is possible. The bedroom in which a person is trying to sleep should be dimly lit and quiet. It’s also recommended that before bed people don’t look at any artificial light like a television or cell phone within an hour of bedtime. If a person takes these simple steps and potentially gets some naps too their body will actually function better and even avoid bloat caused from poor digestion caused from lack of sleep.
7 Incorporate Fitness Into Daily Routine
Going to the gym is not always possible for the average person, when adding a newborn into the equation it becomes almost impossible. For newborns until they are six months old they can’t be put into a jogging stroller so their mother can jog even. In fact most gyms that have childcare won’t even allow babies until they reach a certain age. So what is a busy mom to do for fitness? She can incorporate it into her everyday activities.
Working out is difficult with a newborn but with a little practice a new mom can actually turn caring for a baby into even more of a workout and therefore help rid herself of the post pregnancy pooch. Picking up toys, burp cloths, and bottles is not fun and can feel never ending but if a new mother starts doing a squat each time she picks something up it can really strengthen her core and cinch her waist. When picking up a baby it’s important to hold the child correctly and support their head and neck well but it’s also important how a new mother does this. In fact if bending incorrectly and not using her core a new mom can cause serious back problems and pain for herself. That means its best for her to hold in your core (i.e. suck in the stomach) and hold her back straight while bending at the waist, whilst picking up an infant. That means every time a mom picks up her baby it can be a great time to work on getting rid of the mom pooch.
6 Weight Lifting
Lots of new mothers will try to get back to their old workouts as soon as possible. But a new moms’ body is different and her core strength is seriously diminished which adds to the appearance of the mom pooch. Instead of going right back to cardio it is actually best to make sure a woman has the appropriate strength in order to hold her form during cardio and avoid injuring herself.
In order for a new mother to build her strength back she should focus on weight lifting. That does not mean she needs many weight or even a gym in order to focus on strength in fact body weight exercise’s like planks are one of the best exercises for a person to focus on if they have a mom pooch and need to gain strength. Pushups and squats are also essential in building good strength. Strength training can even help a woman care for her child and carry them more often. Even if a woman is not a new mother but had her child years ago there is a good chance that focusing on strength exercise’s will help her to become better at cardio and lose the mom pooch.
5 Run Baby Run
Cardio is an excellent way to lose weight. Look at runners everywhere and you’ll note that while they aren’t all model thin they do seem to have a lower percentage of body fat. They also seem like they have more energy than the average person. Getting in cardio with a baby is actually quite easy to do if a person is dedicated and makes time for it. Losing fat from participating in cardio will also lessen a mom pooch.
Cardio is great for a person’s lungs and heart and it’s even been proven that running does not cause knee damage but rather that runners are just more aware of knee pain because they use their knees more. As mentioned earlier, before a person begins any type of cardio it’s important that they have good strength in order to have appropriate form and posture in order to avoid injuring themselves. Once a women has got the green light from her doctor that she is good to work out and she has gained some strength she can begin by walking her infant in the stroller. If it is too cold outside to bring the baby in the stroller a woman can find a local indoor track and start doing a few laps a day. She can even hike with her baby, special backpacking carriers are made for hiking with children on safe trails. Once the child is 6 months old and has good strength a woman can begin using a jogging stroller to run on smooth services with the baby. As an added benefit to most of these types of cardio infants and children love getting out and seeing new things and it models a healthy appreciation for the outdoors.
4 Throw The Maternity Clothes
It’s very common that people keep clothes that are far too small. However some people still choose to wear these clothes sometimes because they desperately want to be that old size. But thing is, people can’t see the size tag, they can however see if something is too small and pushing out a post pregnancy pooch. Instead of concerning themselves with size mothers should focus on feel and look of their clothing. Does it feel comfortable and look flattering? These are the questions a person should ask when getting dressed not “what size is it”.
There have been a few people that have gone viral on social media because they went shopping and bought a variety of sizes of clothes from extra small to large, and the clothes all fit. Size really doesn’t matter, fit does however. If clothes are too tight and ill-fitting it will only emphasize a mom pooch. Instead of focusing on a garment size focus solely on the fit.
3 Group Classes
There have been numerous studies that have proved things are easier to do when done with support of like-minded people. For example if a person is trying to quit drinking they go to Alcoholics Anonymous to receive tips and support on quitting their habit. The same principle is true of diet and fitness. If done in a group and with support a person feels more obligated to participate fully and has better chances of being successful.
Many areas now offer fitness classes for mothers that they can bring their new baby to. If the post pregnancy pooch is due to poor diet, excess weight, or lack of core strength these classes can help. There are also fitness classes that offer childcare for the child so the parents can focus solely on their own workout. Another positive of taking classes like these is that they are great for helping mothers meet new mom friends and therefore find playdate buddies for their babies.
2 Watch Your Portion
Eating many small meals instead of 2 or 3 large ones per day can help with post-pregnancy pooch and weight loss. Eating large meals can cause serious bloat and be more difficult to digest therefore adding more bloat to the midsection. Only eating a set breakfast lunch and dinner also makes a person feel hungrier since they are going longer between meals.
While many of these tips may be seem difficult to do while trying to care for a new baby the good news about small meals is that this works well with caring for a baby. Babies’ schedules are unpredictable and constantly changing. That is not news to any seasoned parent. Having to make 3 large meals and eat at the same time every day can be difficult with a newborns flexible schedule therefore eating smaller throughout the day and when the new mother has time makes more sense. It also lessens bloating and post-pregnancy bloat.
1 Accept it!
Accepting the changes in a woman’s life can be difficult after having a baby. There are many changes to a woman’s life and if she can’t accept some of them she may drive herself crazy trying to get everything back to “the way it used to be”. Sleep won’t ever be the same, even once kids are older, and a woman’s body won’t be either. But instead of trying to change that embrace it.
Bodies change for a multitude of reasons and if a mother is at a healthy weight and works out regularly and still has a slight mom pooch theirs a good chance she has hips and a bigger bust line now too. She should embrace the changes and the blessing it brought into her life. But I know that is easier said than done.