While a baby bump seems fashionable during pregnancy, many women may no longer want to see a bump on their bellies right after pregnancy. But before you engage in any form of exercise, it’s important to first embrace the fact that you just had a baby. Even if you are well into your postpartum period, your abdomen will not magically snap back into place simply because it has worked doubly hard to accommodate the changes due to pregnancy. And besides, it took nine months for your body to prepare for your eventual delivery, so don’t expect your abdomen to immediately get back to its pre-pregnancy state.
Prior to starting any exercise regimen, it’s crucial that you seek the approval of your doctor. It’s also equally important to have the proper mindset because pregnancy changes reverses gradually, so don’t push yourself too hard. The duration as to when you will see noticeable results may vary, but it is believed to largely depend on the weight that you gained during pregnancy, your lifestyle and even your genetic make-up. Do not be frustrated when others seem to get trimmer tummies in a short span of time because it is definitely a case to case basis.
If you have chosen to breastfeed, you are on the right track. Breastfeeding requires extra calories for milk production, so it is a very convenient way of getting rid of the excess weight. Nursing is also beneficial during the early weeks of the postpartum period because it can trigger contractions. This will facilitate the involution of your uterus, or the shrinking back of the uterus to its normal size. This generally occurs during the sixth week of the postpartum period.
You also need to keep track of your diet. Breastfeeding is not an excuse to eat more than what you usually do. Bear in mind that your body requires only an added 500 calories to produce good quality milk. Stay away from foods that are loaded with empty calories because it neither helps your milk production, and your desire to lose weight. Your appetite may soar after giving birth, so it may help if you stock up on healthy food choices to prevent added weight gain.
If your body is ready, make time for exercise. A good start is by simply walking even with your baby in tow. You can then gradually increase the intensity of your work out by following a proper exercise program. Check out the local fitness club, community center, or you may even ask your doctor for recommendations on a program that will be suited for you. Aim for a long term plan as opposed to just having one for the purpose of addressing problem areas after pregnancy.
At home, you may also do exercises that can tone the stretched muscles of your abdomen. The most common exercises are leg slides, head lifts, shoulder lifts, curl-ups, and pelvic tilts. Do this regularly, and increase the number of repetitions as you go along. There is really no short cut to getting rid of your pregnancy belly, so be patient and take it one step at a time.
With many women desiring firmer and toned bellies after pregnancy, there are plenty of products available in the market claiming to do just that. One such product is an abdominal binder, or what is more popularly known as a belly wrap. The benefit from wearing a belly wrap is that it provides abdominal support during the time when the uterus is shrinking back to its original size.
But with regards to its contribution to weight loss, there are conflicting views. If you feel that a certain product will not put your health at risk, and that it can help you get rid of your pregnancy belly, then it’s certainly worth a try. But if it is something that can do more harm than good, it’s best to just stick to the basics of dieting and exercise. After all, this age old approach is proven to be the safest and most effective way of reclaiming your figure.