Question

Pregnancy, Fertility and Childbirth

How do I get my flat stomach back after having a baby?

A Answers (5)

  • AMichael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answered
    The prospect of trying to eliminate your post-pregnancy pooch and recover a flat stomach can be daunting. Some women suffer from a condition called diastasis recti, in which the abdominal muscles get separated during pregnancy, leading to said pooch.

    To tell if you have this problem, see if you can gently push your fingers thru a gap in your stomach muscles. You can help tighten your abdominal wall through exercise. A good move - the modified cat pose from yoga, while you're standing in the shower. It helps re-awaken the abs without putting a whole lot of pressure on the muscles.

    But remember, the secret to a flat stomach doesn't simply center around core strength, but also making sure that you eat right and avoid the simple carbohydrates that set up shop on your hips or waist unless you are running marathons to burn the sugar.
  • ARealAge answered

    No doubt, your belly has been through quite the delivery workout. The only problem is that this workout did more damage than good to your abdominal muscles. The prospect of trying to eliminate your postpregnancy belly and recover a flat stomach can be daunting. You can help tighten your abdominal wall by doing some exercises. A good one is the modified cat pose from yoga, done while you're standing in the shower. It helps reawaken the abs without putting a whole lot of pressure on the muscles. But remember, the secret to a flat stomach centers around not only core strength but also eating right and avoiding the simple carbohydrates that set up shop on your hips or waist unless you are running marathons to burn the sugar.

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  • With all the respect to professional answers listed above I'd like to mention my personal success after having two big babies. These tips along with healthy eating habits and smart workout plans worked for all my postpartum clients.

    1. First thing to mention is to train your abdominal muscles before getting pregnant. Strong abdominal muscles stretch in a healthy way and are less likely to separate.

    2. Remember to wear some kind of a compression garment the first couple of months after delivery. The pressure caused by that helps the muscles and the enlarged uterus shrink back to the normal size.

    3. Nursing the baby is another way nature helps new moms get back in shape. Studies show that breastfeeding mothers have significantly more reductions in hip measurements and more fat loss by one month postpartum when compared with the formula-feeding moms.

    4. Invest on a sport/jogging stroller. Indulge your baby with half an hour rides every day, while you are pushing him/her in the stroller. The pushing move is a very natural move to suck in and tone your abdominal muscles while burning calories and soothing the baby. Keep this in mind that the baby is growing (systematic and progressive workout!). You can also progress to grassy fields rather than concrete trails. 

    I hope these tips help you as an addition to your healthy diet and exercise.

  • The key to getting your flat stomach back after having a baby is to follow a systematic and progressive workout plan as well as watching your diet. When beginning a workout program after having a baby one must remember that their body has just gone through some huge changes and will take some time to get your body back to the way it was.

    The first step is cardio. Walking, running, jump roping, tennis, etc. These types of activities will help you get your heart rate up and help you burn calories, helping you melt away any fat. Follow your cardio workout with some abdominal training and resistance training. When beginning your workout program start by stabilizing your muscles. Stabilization simply means using your inner core and back muscles to hold you stable while performing an exercise. So an example of an abdominal stabilization exercise would be a plank hold.

    Another trick to getting your flat stomach back is to workout your core out in as many ways as possible. Regular crunches alone are not going to do it. You have to work your upper abdomen, side obliques, lower abdomen, lower back, butt and inner stabilzation muscles. Working your core out in all directions will not only give you a flat stomach, but it will also give your lower back support which can help diminish back pain.

    Now the ultimate key to getting your flat stomach back is to draw that bellybutton into the spine. It takes a conscious effort on your part to keep those stomach muscles tight while working them out. It may hurt more, but this is the key to getting your stomach tight and toned. Be mindful of the muscles you are working on.

    And the last thing is to watch what you eat. You will not see the results your are looking by eating whatever you want whenever you want. You have to eat healthy and be conscious of what you are eating and how much. A healthy diet of 6 small meals a day with lots of fruits and vegetables will help you see the results you are working hard for!

  • ASuzanne Luft , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
    Have your doctor test you for diastastis recti at your 6 week appointment. If there is any separation in your ab muscles, it is important to avoid crunches or situps which could increase the separation.  Transverse abdominal exercises are great for helping to tighten up your midsection.  Following a healthy eating plan will help reduce abdominal fat.
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