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After delivery, the belly of a mother does not regain its old form and tightness immediately. The hormonal changes post-childbirth will cause the tummy to reduce over time, and there are certain things like exercise that you can do from your end to ensure you regain the pre-pregnancy shape. Learn more about the physiological changes that cause this rather alarming look and how it can all get back to normal.
Why do You look Like A Pregnant Woman Even After Delivery?
The accumulated fat and swollen cells from your pregnancy days remain for some more time even after delivery, getting dispelled slowly. The belly growth during pregnancy was a 9-month long affair, and so it is natural that the reverse will also have a certain time period. Therefore, even after delivery, you may still have a postpartum belly with a radius that can be equated with a six-month pregnancy.
How Long Your Belly Takes To Shrink Back To Normal?
1. 24 Hours after Delivery
You lose a lot of fluid weight, so, along with the baby’s weight, you may lose around 12 pounds more.
2. After One Week
A lot more of the extra weight is being dispelled in the form of urine, while breastfeeding also results in a loss of calories and weight.
3. After Two Weeks
The effects of breastfeeding and hormonal changes will start to show a bit due to the massive reduction of extra liquid and calories.
4. After One Month
The changes in weight are more visible; some say a new mom can lose as much as 40 pounds in this period, so it is possible that you will be back to your pre-pregnancy weight.
5. After Six Weeks
Internal changes will also reshape your once-pregnant look. As the uterus contracts to the pelvis, the belly starts looking flatter.
6. After a Few Months
Lifestyle adjustments like a healthy diet and reasonable exercise will help you get your tummy back to the firmness you desire.
7. After Nine Months
Down the line from delivery, you should have shed all the excess fat that was gained during pregnancy.
Home Remedies To Reduce Belly Fat After Delivery
All new moms desire a flat belly after delivery. It does not happen immediately, but over a time, the right habits will ensure that the extra weight is shed. There is no short-cut and keeping in mind the mother’s and the baby’s health, fad diets and extreme means are not recommended at all.
Instead, there are many home remedies that will reduce the belly fat.
It is a natural activity that goes a long way to help a new mother burn some calories (while the baby is adding them up).
With the right balance of fats, carbs and proteins, is also an important choice in this effort to get back to original size.
3. Drink Water
It is important to keep the major bodily functions going; including the extermination of extra calories, therefore new mothers are advised to drink plenty of water.
5 Exercises To Reduce Post Pregnancy Belly
Just because you cannot hit the gym after childbirth does not mean you cannot try out some safe exercises to tone your tummy. Here are five useful ‘mid-section and core’ focused postpartum belly exercises that will speed up your shape recovery.
1. Pelvic Tilt
The pelvic tilt is an exercise where you lie on your back with pillows propped under your hips and between your knees. Squeeze your buttocks and draw your abs in, creating a stretch in the abdomen. The tilt can be performed a week after a normal delivery, you will have to wait at least 8 weeks if you had a C-section.
2. Pelvic Bridge
The pelvic bridge can be performed six weeks after delivery. It requires a similar pose as the tilt, but this time you are lifting your hips up from the floor and maintaining that bridge before you lower yourself. You can start with sets of 5 repetitions before increasing gradually.
3. Heel Sides
The heel slides also needs to be done resting your back on the floor. In this exercise, you need to bend one leg up with the heel on the floor and then use your abdominal muscles to push the heel away while exhaling. Repeat the set with both legs. This exercise is good for your lower back.
4. Towel Pulse
The towel pulse is a softer variation of the crunch where you lie on your back with knees bent. You pull a towel across the shins,olding it on both sides with your hands. Lift your shoulders off the ground and hold, contract and release the abdominal muscles. Repeat up to 10-12 times.
5. Single Leg Stretch With Towel
You will need a towel for this next variation – the single leg stretch. This exercise is recommended for those who have crossed 12-14 weeks post childbirth. For this exercise, you must lie on your back, knees above your hips and your shins parallel to the surface. Put a towel between your thighs and push it out while you maintain the leg position to create resistance; involve your upper body by lifting your neck and shoulders up and stretch the free leg as you exhale.
Tips To Reduce Belly Fat
There are a few tips that you need to keep in mind in your endeavour to stop having a squishy midsection.
1. Start Exercising Slowly
When you start exercising, make sure you are doing the right ones and ease yourself into them. Give yourself the breaks you need and do not tire yourself out.
2. Workout with an Exercise Buddy
It is always good to find a partner to workout with; it is more fun when you are sharing the experience and is also safer to have someone around in case you have a little twist or pull.
3. Ball Exercises to Reduce Belly
With an exercise ball, you can try out many abdominal muscle exercises like ball crunches. It’s great for strengthening your core muscles and improves your balance.
4. Eat Small and Frequent Meal
Stay away from banquet style diets and instead go for efficiency. Small and frequent meals will keep you (and your nursing baby) nourished while also not overloading your system with too many extra calories in one go.
Is It Normal That Your Tummy Muscles Feel Slack?
After the rather dramatic physical changes you have experienced during pregnancy, and the stress of childbirth, it is possible for those tummy muscles to feel slack. They have, after all, been through a lot. The condition is called rectus abdominis diastasis (RAD). RAD can happen due to many reasons; maybe your stomach muscles are weak, or you had a large baby (or twins), a narrow pelvis or a prior pregnancy. RAD can be treated with some physiotherapy, leaving it untreated can lead to a bad back.
You may not think a postpartum belly is a pretty sight, but the journey back to top shape starts with giving yourself credit for having gone through pregnancy and childbirth. Go easy on yourself since it is all part of the process. Set yourself some goals for every week or month and read up on the physiological changes that happen during the post-partum stage. With sustained dietary discipline and healthy eating, along with the required exercises, you will be on the road to recovery in no time.
Also Read: Postpartum Exercises