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The stomach is often the toughest part of the body to return into pre-pregnancy shape. It takes some time and effort to fully recover from pregnancy and get rid of mommy tummy.
I know you are not dreaming about the six-pack.
You just don’t want to look five months pregnant, with a belly that is mushy and rounder than you expected.
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I will be totally honest with you here:
According to my experience, it takes somewhere between 9 months and a year postpartum to get your pre-pregnancy belly back. It is just about the same time it took to grow a baby in it.
Awaiting your mommy tummy to shrink back into pre-pregnancy shape anytime before 6 to 9 months postpartum is just not realistic.
Why does my tummy still pooch outward?
There are various factors that affect the speed of tightening up your post-pregnancy belly:
1.Pre-pregnancy shape and size
If you gained too much weight (more than 13,5kg /2st 2lb) during your pregnancy or it wasn’t your first pregnancy, you have to give your mommy tummy more time to recover.
2. Excessive fat storage
During pregnancy, your body gained some extra belly fat, that is, unfortunately, know to be quite stubborn – even more so than regular abdominal fat. It’s easy to gain, but hard to lose.
Strengthening your core together with light cardio is essential to losing the baby belly pouch. Getting rid of your extra belly fat and toning the core changes the appearance of your tummy dramatically.
3. Weak core muscles
It´s not just a six-pack. The whole core involves all the muscles that surround your midsection, including your back and pelvic floor. These are the two muscle groups we tend to forget about when trying to get rid of that mommy tummy.
But they are so important and should be an inseparable part of your core training.
If you have exercised before pregnancy, the chances are that the strength of your abs may exceed the strength of your pelvic muscles. That is why it’s important to start working on the condition of the pelvic floor first and then slowly build up to harder core workout.
4. Diastasis Recti
Abdominal Separation or Diastasis Recti means your belly sticks out because the space between your front left and right abdominal muscles has widened. This is caused by much pressure on the belly during pregnancy.
Are you not sure whether you suffer from diastasis? I love how Dr. Sarah Duvall, expert for postpartum core issues at coreexercisesolutions.com explains it in this video:
This condition requires a bit different approach than the “usual” mommy tummy.
In this post, I will give you 4 effective exercises, that are safe to perform when you suffer from ab separation. In fact, they are designed to improve it.
How do I fix my post-pregnancy belly?
When it comes to strengthening your postpartum core, it is always better to start with gentle exercises (even if you don’t have ab separation). Don’t throw yourself into a “100 crunches a day” regime straight away.
Medical disclaimer: Information about treating diastasis recti are based on my own experience with treating this health problem and should not be considered as medical advice. You should always consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider if you think you are suffering from any medical condition.
Exercises to get rid of mommy tummy the right way
You need to re-build your entire core strength again and the best way to do this is to build a solid abs foundation by starting at the very base. As your core regains its strength, you can slowly start to work your way up towards building a flat stomach.
Here are some most effective and safe moves that will help you to build strong core muscles and get rid of that mommy’s tummy.
These exercises are a part of my core workout program that was created by my fitness trainer and helped me to fix my lower ab separation.
1. Side plank
Lay on your side with your forearm flat on the floor, bottom elbow lined up directly under your shoulder and both legs extended out in a long line. Place your other hand on the hip. Slowly lift your hips off the floor, forming a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds. Switch sides.
2. Knee Lifts
This exercise may seem easy, but it actually puts your deep abdominal muscles into some serious training. Sit on the exercise ball, hold onto it with your fingers. Make sure you have a good posture throughout the exercise. Slowly lift your right knee and put your left foot off the ground. Alternate sides. Do 10 reps to each side.
You can alternatively try this exercise while lying on the bed. Just drop your feet on the floor so that your knees are copying the side of the bed. Slowly lift off one knee at a time.
This exercise provides great toning to your abs as well as strengthens your spine.
To begin, put yourself on all fours and then reach your right arm in front of your body and at the same time, extend your left leg behind your body. Hold for a couple of seconds and repeat on alternate sides. Try to do as many reps as comfortable (10-15 reps)
4. Stability ball dead bugs
Lie with your back flat on the floor, legs bent at 90 degrees. Hold a stability ball between your knees and your hands.
Keeping the ball in place with your left hand and right knee, engage your core and slowly lower your left leg and right arm to the floor (without touching the floor!). Only go as low as you can while your low back is lying on the floor.
Are you struggling with mommy tummy? You are not alone! Let me know how you feel in the comments here!