I have two daughters, ages 8 and 2. Though the pregnancies with both of them were different, I did end up with excess weight and a small belly after both deliveries. This was especially noticeable after I had my second girl. Fortunately for me, I regained the body I had before childbirth in under a year both times. Here are five main strategies that I found helpful when dealing with abdominal separation and a loose belly.
1. Get a Body-Shaper
Consult with your doctor if you had a c-section, otherwise a couple of weeks after delivery you can start wearing body-shaping pants and underwear. This will encourage your abdominal muscles to return back to the way they used to be, and prevent your abdominal separation from getting worse when you eat or make strenuous movements.
2. Don’t Eat Before Bed
It goes without saying that you should try to get as much sleep as possible in order to encourage your body to regenerate after the pregnancy. But it is also important that you give your tummy more time to recover from digestion. The best time to do this is between dinner and breakfast. Try not to eat after 6pm or at the latest after 7pm, and avoid night time snacking.
3. Don’t Wear Heels
Good posture is essential when it comes to flat tummies. Wearing heels encourages you to stick out your belly and slouch. Wearing flats will help you keep a straight back and get the belly bulge under control.
4. Know Which Exercises to Do
All exercises are not made equal when it comes to dealing with abdominal separation. Sit ups and crunches can make the problem worse. Transverse abdominal exercises like doing the plank, glut bridge or swimming front crawl are likely to help.
5. Eat Healthy
With a new born baby to take care of you will have little time or energy to cook wholesome meals. Prepare beforehand. Make meal plans and grocery shopping lists for your partner. Most importantly freeze as many healthy precooked meals as you can and keep your kitchen filled with healthy snacks.
Having children is a beautiful gift. It does not have to mean waving goodbye to your toned body. Staying in shape after childbirth is a challenge, but also an opportunity to better understand how your body works and what it needs. Do not give up, and love and accept yourself no matter what.