Postpartum recovery takes time. New moms are often surprised when they still look pregnant after birth. But just as steadily as the weight was gained, it will take time for the weight to come off.
Some women are lucky enough to regain their pre-pregnancy physiques within weeks after delivery, but this is not the case for many new mothers. It took nine months for your bump to stretch to accommodate a baby. It’s only fair that you allow at least nine months to return to your pre-baby body.
Shrinking your body will not be an overnight process. And even if you lose most of the baby weight, you may be left with a post-pregnancy paunch. Hormonal changes will help your uterus contract, but there are things you can do to start seeing results within a few weeks after delivery.
Experts recommend you do not start exercising before your six-week check-up, so we have uncovered other ways to return to your pre-pregnant state. Even if you gave birth long ago, these tummy tucking activities can help you get back in shape quickly.
Whether you’ve had a Cesarean section or a vaginal delivery, here are 7 ways to flatten your ‘mummy tummy.’
7 Wear a Compression Garment
There’s a reason why doctors place their tummy tuck patients in a compression garment after surgery. This device is intended to apply constant, even pressure to your stomach. It acts as an external binder that helps push everything back into place.
This same idea works for women who have given birth. Some new moms experience a condition called diastasis recti. As an expanding belly makes room for a baby, the stomach muscles can separate. This can lead to lax stomach muscles after delivery.
To lose your post-pregnancy pooch and tighten the abdominal wall, wear a compression garment every day. This garment can take the form of a belly band, underwear that extends upward, or a girdle. Not only will the pressure of the garment improve skin adhesion, but it will also help to shrink an enlarged uterus, speed up postpartum healing, and promote fluid passage.
Compression garments should be worn every day for at least two months after birth. Keeping your abdominal wall pulled in will work wonders to quickly flatten your stomach.
6 Replace Your Chair with an Exercise Ball
If you are a newcomer to exercise, introduce fitness into your lifestyle by sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair.
An exercise ball is an excellent device to keep your tummy tight after pregnancy without separating your core muscles. Sitting on an exercise ball will help align your spine, improve your posture, and enhance your coordination.
Plus, abdominal exercises become more challenging when it demands stabilization. Your upper and lower abdomen, side obliques, buttocks, and lower back muscles will constantly be engaged to keep you balanced. In fact, an exercise ball is a great way to challenge all of the major muscles in your body.
Nursing can offer tender moments between mother and baby. It can also be nature’s way of helping with initial postpartum weight loss. Nipple stimulation triggers hormones that help contract your womb. This is the reason some women feel light contractions during lactation.
Breastfeeding is also a major calorie-burner. In the early months after delivery, creating breast milk burns around 500 calories a day. Research shows that moms who nurse lose significantly more weight in one month after delivery compared to moms who bottle feed.
If you experience a weight loss plateau while breastfeeding, as many women do, don’t worry. Experts claim the last 5 or 10 pounds stick around to help with breast milk production. It will be easier to lose those last few pounds after breastfeeding is done.
4 Cut Down on Carbs
Pregnancy creates an exaggerated insulin response to carbohydrates. To make sure your growing baby is receiving enough nutrients to thrive, your body stores extra insulin so it can build up extra fat. It’s an automatic response to safeguard in the event of sudden famine. For many women, this exaggerated insulin response continues after childbirth.
If you’re struggling to lose stubborn baby fat, the single greatest variable is hormonal. More insulin stockpiles more fat. Since insulin is activated by dietary carbohydrates, losing belly fat is well within our control.
Your food choices determine your fat loss. Bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice will easily set up shop on your belly because they are high carbohydrate foods. You can cut down on carbs by choosing salads over sandwiches, and vegetables over rice. For breakfast, forget the bagel and sugary cereal, and switch to eggs and fruit.
It’s not necessary to be completely rigid when it comes to altering your diet; just make gradual changes, and be mindful of your choices.
We all know that babies and sleep deprivation go hand in hand. Although getting enough rest with a newborn in the house can be a challenge, ample sleep can be your route to fitness.
The right amount of sleep makes a difference in your weight. Studies show that sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night aids your metabolism. On the other hand, sleep deprivation creates a hormonal imbalance which can cause your stomach to bloat.
Getting enough shut-eye also helps regulate your blood sugar. With irregular sleep, your blood sugar levels can spike and dip, which can lead to food cravings.
Getting enough sleep may not be the only way to lose your ‘mummy tummy,’ but it’s an important factor.
The quest for a firmer midsection can continue with a hearty chuckle. Laughter not only makes you feel good, but it can be a gentle workout, too.
Laughter actually tightens your stomach muscles. When you are giggling, your abs expand and contract. Your muscles engage just as they do when you intentionally target the abs through exercise.
A good belly laugh also provides a great cardio workout. It will get your heart pumping, making tummy toning more enjoyable. Plus, it’s a simple and safe abdominal workout for new moms recovering from childbirth.
If you don’t feel like laughing, you can still reap the benefits using laughter therapy. All you do is start laughing. At first, it will feel unnatural to laugh at nothing. Just keep chuckling, and fake it until you make it. Eventually, you’ll start cracking up.
Because of the many health benefits of laughter, we should add a lot more into our lives. So, go ahead and laugh your abs off.
1 Compress Your Core
What makes this activity so great is the simplicity. Core compressions re-awaken your abs without straining the muscles. Deep breathing is a safe way to tone your postpartum midsection.
To begin, sit up straight in a chair or on the floor. Keep your spine still while you inhale deeply. Tighten your abdominal muscles and pull your navel toward your spine. Hold for a few seconds, and then continue to squeeze as you exhale. Each time you do this exercise, squeeze the contraction a little harder.
This may seem too subtle of an exercise to be effective, but core compressions restore firm abs. This exercise repairs the rectus abdominis, the 6-pack muscles. By activating these deep abdominal muscles 10 minutes a day, you will notice a flatter stomach within six weeks.
If you’re walking, taking a shower, or just waiting in line, pull in your abs. It’s a sure way to get back your abdominal muscle tone and recover a flat stomach.