For new Mums, after bringing home that precious bundle from hospital, weight loss and regaining your pre pregnancy figure is low on the priority list.
And so it should be, you should enjoy those first few weeks that so quickly turn into months. Settle into your new routine and take that time out to heal and recover after bringing a new little person into the world.
It is so important to remember that your body has undergone a massive transformation during your pregnancy and birth, and whether you delivered normally or via c-section, your body will need time to heal before you can undergo any sort of strenuous exercise regime or diet. Sooner or later though, the want to regain your pre pregnancy figure may rear its head. It IS possible to regain a flat tummy after birth, but remember that your shape may never been the same as it once was. Embrace it, rock those new curves and remember that you’re aiming to make the most of your incredible body (hey, you created a whole person!) and focus on being fit and healthy.
Here are some tips to get a flat tummy after birth (but ultimately better health and fitness).
Stick to Your Diet
All the exercise in the world won’t make a lick of difference if your diet is a mess. You’ll never get a flat tummy eating overly processed foods. The key to a flat tummy is a healthy body and lowered body fat, so make a conscious decision to nourish your body and see the benefits. Aim to increase the plant base in your diet as well as good quality sources of protein to fuel your body. Remember that good fats help our organs to function at their highest level and will keep your skin clear, hair shiny and nails strong.
Look to boost the following in your diet and remember to include vegetables and protein at every meal.
- Any and all vegetables! These are a great way to add bulk to your meals to fill you up without piling on the calories.
- Quality protein sources. Especially necessary for helping to repair your muscles post pregnancy, protein will help you to feel fuller for longer and allow your body to function at its best.
- Fibre, fibre, fibre! You can’t get enough of this but if your diet is low in fibre, start increasing your intake SLOWLY to avoid any tummy troubles. Think fruits, vegetables, lentils, beans etc.
- Good fats. Your body needs healthy fats to function. Aim for a small but daily dose of nuts, seeds and good oils.
Exercise of any description is good for you. Start off slowly and build your intensity, but always be gentle with your body. Remember that if it is easier for you to squeeze in multiple lots of 5 minute squat sessions than carve out an hour each day at the gym, congratulate yourself on your dedication and do what works best for you! There are some exercises more beneficial than others in helping to create a flat tummy:
- Gentle, low impact exercises such as walking and stretching. These will help your body to slowly burn fat whilst being gentle enough on your post partum system to avoid any injuries.
- Pilates and yoga – great ways to lengthen and tone your body without putting stress on your joints.
- Swimming – fantastic calorie burner and great for weight loss.
- Get squatting! Squeeze (ha, pun intended) as many of these in a day as you can. Squats activate your core muscles and burn up your legs. They will help to keep your metabolism elevated and allow your body to burn through excess fat. A great way to engage your core and strengthen your tummy muscles.
- Don’t place too much emphasis on crunches. Not as effective in flattening your tummy as you might believe, you are better off reducing your body fat and working on gentle ways to strengthen your core (especially important for newly post partum Mums as your tummy muscles are stretched and fragile).
Just Be Patient
The most important thing to remember is that after having a baby, your body will need TIME to heal and regain tone, strength and shape. It is not realistic to expect that your body will bounce back in a few months post birth, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate results.
A flat tummy is absolutely possible after the birth of a child, but only if you make a conscious decision to nourish your body wisely, exercise frequently and allow yourself the necessary time to enjoy your new baby and let your body heal. Your body may never return to its original shape but you absolutely can make the most of what you have and feel beautiful, healthy and confident after the birth of your baby.