Problem With Post Baby Belly?
How to shift that bump and get back into exercise
Many mums find difficult to lose their post-pregnancy bump, and to get back into exercising regularly after nine months of pregnancy. Well, all you need is good nutrition, a variety of exercise, effective core training and patience. Easy, right?!!
Generally it takes 8-10 weeks post-pregnancy (with a straight-forward labour with no complications) for the body to fully recover, shed 'pregnancy' weight and then adapt to a return to full-effort exercise.
If you are more than 8-10 weeks post-natal and still have a bump, first check to see if your abdominal muscles have recovered from the strain of giving birth.
Recovery of the abdominal muscles
As pregnancy is very traumatic for the deep and superficial abdominal muscles, (as they tear apart with foetal growth), these need special attention post-pregnancy to ensure they realign in the right place and then tighten up again to give a flatter tummy.
Moderate to high intensity core training should not be attempted until the abdominal muscles have recovered back to their pre-pregnancy position.
You can check how much of a gap is currently between your abdominal muscles by doing the following:
- Lie on your back, knees up, feet flat on floor
- Take two fingers and position them 1 inch above your belly button
- Gently push downwards with your fingers and as you do this lift your head off the floor
- You should feel your stomach muscles tighten around your fingers
If there is more than a 2 finger gap then your abdominal muscles are not back to where they should be and this will definitely be part of the reason for your 'bump'!
If there is only a small gap then it means your abdominal muscles are in the right position and you can look to increase your core training and focus on getting a flatter tummy as someone who has fully recovered from pregnancy.
Your very first step should be to make sure you're doing your pelvic floor exercises because these are crucial to improving your nervous system communication to the core and change the shape of your waist in the long-term.
Secondly, it's worth seeing a fitness professional to have them assess and then show you how to progressively re-train your deep core muscles. They can also help formulate an exercise plan of gradual increasing intensity to get your fitness formula back on track!