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How to Get Your Flat Stomach Back After Having a Baby

by Katlyn Joy | November 17, 2013 12:00 AM
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Every woman who has just given birth to her baby looks in horror the first time she sees stomach – the flabby part in particular. You may be asking yourself, "Whose body is that?" Will you ever see your pre-pregnancy body again? Maybe. And that's OK! Accept your new very feminine curves — you've earned them! But the belly pouch? No one wants that! Here are some tips to get rid of the post-baby flabby belly.

When can you start exercising after childbirth?

Doctors used to advise women after childbirth to wait a significant length of time before trying to get back in shape. That advice has now changed. According to the Mayo Clinic, following childbirth, you can begin getting your body back in shape as soon as you feel up to it, providing you had a vaginal birth with no complications.

Your overall goal will be 150 minutes of aerobic exercise every week.

The recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests exercising for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week. However, you don't want to get the entire 2 and 1/2 hours at one session. It's OK to break it up into segments as short as 10 minutes each.

Crunches alone won't flatten your baby belly.

You will need to perform moderate cardio exercises to burn the fat. You aren't going to tighten up an innertube of fat with mat work. You need to melt away the fat and build that endurance in addition to strengthening your abdominal muscles.

Mix up your cardio workouts.

Monday and Wednesday put your baby in a front carrier and go for a brisk walk. Tuesdays, get on the stair machine or the actual stairs. Thursdays, go to the gym while grandma babysits, get on a treadmill, take an aerobic exercise class, or swim some laps. Saturday, do a portion of an exercise DVD at home. Your body will need to rest as well, so be sure to take Friday and Sunday off to give your muscles time to repair and grow stronger. Believe it or not, resting will help you realize your goal of losing your post-baby belly quicker.

Try belly binding.

It's a practice that's old and accepted around the world, and new and hot here. Celebrity Moms swear by this method too! You don't need to spend serious money to give it a shot, either. Just get some tightly fitting cotton and Lycra tops and wear them most the time in the early weeks after childbirth. While it may not work, it won't hurt and some women find them comfortable.

Do crunches

Start gradually with five or ten crunches if you can, then work up to 10 sets of six, or maybe even 10 sets of 10. You don't want to make the situation worse, though, so use your best judgment and go easy! You do not need to do a full sit up. You will just want to raise yourself up just enough to feel it burn in the core of your abdominal area.

How long will it take to get your body is back to normal?

Rejoice at the 6 week postpartum point when your uterus will be back to normal size now. While you won't be able to slip on your skinny jeans due to this fact alone, it's a big jump towards your goal. Continue with the exercising and the crunches and your postpartum body will be bouncing back to pre-pregnancy size in no time!

Forget about fad diets or starving yourself skinny.

This is especially true if you are breastfeeding and needing the calories to keep producing mild for your baby. You need to eat healthy foods, and appropriate portions. Your body needs fuel and exercise. So plan on eating even more than you did during pregnancy. Be sure to eat plenty of protein help build up your muscles and burn the fat.

Always warm up and cool down.

Remember that your joints are extra lax still in the first weeks postpartum due to your hormones, and that makes you prone to injury. You need to work your way into your work outs. Don't wimp out, but don't push yourself too far too soon, either!

Postpartum exercises to flatten your stomach

Pelvic tilts
Lie on your back and keep your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor. Flatten your back into the floor, tighten up your abs and buttocks, and lift your pelvis slightly and hold for ten seconds then relax. Do this several times initially, then work up to 20 sets.

Lunges with a passenger
While holding your baby in your arms, step forward with one foot while bending the other into a lunge then do again, switching legs. Work up to 15 of these.

Abdominal breathing
Lie on your back and stretch your arms over your head while pointing your toes. Tighten your abs while breathing deeply, feeling your abs return their definition while you make yourself straighter and taller.

Cross reaches
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your head and raise your right shoulder off the floor and reach your hand towards your left knee and hold for 30 seconds. Go back to your starting position then do again on the opposite side. Try for 5 to start and work up to 15.


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