Pregnancy brings changes in a woman’s body and life and that changes often tend to last even after childbirth. Weight gain, postpartum depression, and sleepless nights are certain issues that a woman may have to deal with post-childbirth. If you’ve recently given birth to a wonderful angel, you know what we are talking about. No doubt, you adore your baby and love the way your body has changed after pregnancy, but there are certain changes, that most new moms can do without. Apron belly, for instance! If you have noticed an excessive amount of fat or tissue hanging down your belly, chances are that you have an apron belly.
Read on to know what is an apron belly and how to get rid of it!
What Is an Apron Belly?
Apron belly, also known as mother’s apron or pannus stomach, occurs when the belly and the fat surrounding the internal organs expands owing to weight gain or pregnancy. Apron belly in pregnant women occurs due to the excess fat deposited in the omentum. Omentum is a flap under the abdominal muscles and in the front of the intestines where the fat deposits.
Apron belly can hang from the abdomen to the top of the pubic area, upper thighs, or even the knees. The main reasons for apron belly are pregnancy and weight gain. However, it is not just common in new-mothers or overweight women; men who have lost a lot of weight may develop an apron belly too.
What Are the Risks of Apron Belly Fat?
Fat lying below the skin that can be grabbed with hands is subcutaneous fat. In the belly, this fat builds up in the spaces between and around the viscera ( internal organs like the stomach and intestines). It is called visceral fat and generates toxins that affect the way the body functions. It is tucked away inside the body and does not give an indication of how healthy the body is. You may now be overweight but this kind of fat could cause inflammation, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and other heart ailments in future.
How to Reduce Apron Belly
Apron belly fat is metabolically active and it may take you a while to get rid of fat deposits. Having said that, there is no one-stop treatment to rid one as it is more of an overall health priority rather than just of cosmetic value. It is, therefore, important to focus on losing the fat with general wellness in mind. Sensible dietary techniques and a strict exercise regime will help in weight reduction. In exceptional circumstances, surgical or non-surgical options may be needed. Read on to know the methods a little more in detail.
1. Weight Loss By Diet Control
Incorporating dietary changes will have a direct effect on your apron belly fat. Creating a calorific diet is your answer to reducing the apron belly.
- Make dietary changes: Changes to your diet can help you lose visceral fat and eventually subcutaneous fat. By including whole-foods in your diet that comprise of fresh fruits, vegetables, lentils, whole grains and protein-rich foods, you can reduce calorie intake. Having oats and low-fat yoghurt for lunch and baked or boiled food for lunch made in olive oil will give the required nutrition and keep a check on calories.
- Eliminate extra calories: Stay away from sugary food, refined grains, and soda drinks that contain excess calories and zero nutrients. Keep a food diary to monitor your daily intake of calorie-rich food.
- Invest in a health-inspired cookbook: You may not have considered this, but by investing in a few cookbooks that have healthy recipes in it, can help reduce your apron belly fat and eating a healthy diet.
Exercises can reduce not just fat deposits but also bring down the risk of several health ailments associated with excess weight. If you are trying to reduce your apron belly with exercise, here are a few exercises that would help you:
- Planks: Planks are a bit difficult until you master them. This exercise involves getting down on all fours on the ground, stretching your legs all the way back with feet pointed down. Forearms must be under the chest. Breathe in before you begin. Lift your body up off the ground, ensuring it is parallel to the ground. Distribute your weight evenly between the toes and feet and stay in that position for 30 seconds. Repeat for as many times as you can. This exercise works the ab and stomach muscles.
- Lunge Twist: Stand with your feet hip-distance away from each other. Lunge the right foot forward such that the right knee is above the right foot and bent at a 90-degree angle. The left leg is at its position and stretched out. Keep your back straight, hands on your waist, and hold the position for 10 seconds. Return to normal position. Repeat this exercise 10 to 15 times for each leg.
- Crunches: Start by lying down on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Breathe and put your hands behind your head. Lift your upper body about 30 degrees above. Hold this pose for about 3 seconds. Do this 10 to 20 times every day.
3. Surgical and Non-Surgical Ways to Get Rid of an Apron Pregnancy Belly
Exercise and diet can help in losing weight and fat. But, excess skin will still remain, and this can be removed using surgical and non-surgical options.
- Laser or cool sculpting procedures: Lasers help to get rid of belly fat, not just apron belly but in other parts of the body, too. They are non-surgical procedures that are not appropriate if you are breastfeeding, suffer from obesity or have any other medical conditions.
- Panniculectomy: A surgical procedure, panniculectomy can be combined with a tummy tuck to get rid of extra skin and fat. A panniculectomy does not tighten the abdominal muscles by removing extra skin and fat for a flatter abdominal area like a tummy tuck. Since this is a surgical procedure, it involves meeting some health standards.
Some Helpful Tips for Dealing With Apron Belly
An apron belly before and after birth is not uncommon for people, and it could be a major cause of emotional turmoil than physical stress. There are ways to deal with the physical aspect, and it is important to accept your body the way it is once you have developed the condition. It will equip you with the mental strength required to deal with the issue. Here are some tips that can help you do that.
1. Maintaining Hygiene With Belly Apron
- Reducing moisture and dampness: Anytime there is skin-to-skin contact because of excess fat, the areas surrounding it will be subject to excess moisture and sweat. The skin will get irritable, and it is important to keep the stomach apron clean. Heat rashes, skin ulcers and skin tags can occur due to dampness in the area. Let the skin dry naturally.
- Use a shower head or hand-held shower head: While bathing, a showerhead or hand-held shower can be useful to clean under the folds. A hand-held shower can help to get rid of the dirt that is stuck in the folds.
- Coconut Oil: Skin-to-skin contact can create a lot of rashes and itching in the area. Coconut oil is anti-fungal and a natural antiseptic. It can be applied to soothe the rashes under the apron belly.
2. Clothing Tips for Women With Apron Belly Fat
It is difficult to find clothes in plus-size, but many manufacturers are now recognising the need and have created different fabrics that can be pulled and stretched to fit the body.
- Plus-size capri leggings, skater skirts, and full skirts: Plus size leggings that are loose on the legs with a wide waistband, long skirts and skater dresses are perfect for hiding the apron belly fat.
- Plus-size tunics, waist-less dresses, and plus-size empire dresses: Tunics can help cover the belly fat. Waist-less dress and empire dresses that flow can help hide the fat and look great lending shape to the body.
- Plus-size briefs or high-rise knickers: High-rise knickers and plus size knickers are good to cover the belly and act as tummy tuckers.
3. Dealing With Some Unusual Hindrances Caused By Apron Belly
Apron belly does pose some unusual hindrances to people. It may affect daily routine tasks and activities, but these tips can help you find a way out:
- When driving – Use seatbelt extenders: Seat-belts are supposed to lay flat across the hips, but with belly fat, it does not go very far. An extender guarantees safety when you drive.
- For back problems and sagging skin – Use a support band: Sagging skin, especially in the abdomen area, can lead to drooping and back problems because of carrying additional weight in the frontal area of the body. Get a support band to support the abdominal area. It won’t just conceal the belly fat, but will also prevent sagging and help with back problems.
If you have an apron belly, don’t you worry about it. It is not impossible to get rid of the apron belly. Finding the right solution to help with the discomfort and building your confidence is the most important step. You can follow the remedies mentioned above and consult a doctor to overrule any potential health issues and for expert guidance.