A lot of women anxiously compare their postpartum belly to the one they used to have before childbirth. They look at the before-after pictures and cannot believe that it is possible to return to their former shape. Of course, there are a few lucky ones whose abdominal muscles and skin recover quickly. But unfortunately, the majority of women have to work hard to get rid of the postpartum belly.
Postpartum belly: to-do list
The first thing any woman should do is to consult her doctor. After childbirth, the uterus contracts for about 40 days. During this period, the process of abdominal recovery gets started. Doctors don’t recommend going in for sports until the uterus has stopped contracting because exercises may cause bleeding or prolapse of the uterus (in the case of a cesarean section – the disruption of sutures).
If you feel well after natural birth you may start to wear postpartum bandage which tightens the abdomen. But if you feel discomfort and pain in the abdominal muscles the postpartum bandage is not recommended. In the first weeks after giving birth, you can start using a cream, for the flabby abdominal skin. It will receive additional nutritional elements that increase skin elasticity.
There are a lot of factors which contribute to getting back in shape: heredity, bodily structure, the weight a woman gained during her pregnancy and efforts she puts to get rid of it.
How to get rid of a postpartum belly
A number of measures have to be taken to remove the postpartum belly. It’s extremely important to keep to a healthy diet. Post-pregnancy workouts also require a comprehensive approach: two or three exercises will not be of any use.
The abdominal skin is flabby because your belly used to be much bigger in size during pregnancy. The skin on it has stretched. That’s why stretch marks have appeared on your belly.
Any woman who is highly motivated and persistent is able to restore skin elasticity, and the postpartum stretch marks will become a distant memory.
First and foremost, every mother should thank her body for giving her the happiness of motherhood. It has managed to bring a new person into this world, and this is a good reason to love your life and your body.
Only after a woman accepts her imperfections and learns to love her body as it is, she becomes truly motivated to change herself and to take the proper care of her body. After all, it’s not just about your reflection in the mirror – it’s about female health and psychological comfort.
“When does the belly disappear after giving birth? The very time you stop eating!” It’s just a joke and it’s totally untrue. Moreover, such an attitude towards nutrition can have a negative effect on your health and the quality and amount of breast milk.
In order for your skin to regain elasticity, it is necessary to follow a few simple rules:
- Drink 8-12 glasses of clean water a day. It triggers metabolic processes in the body, makes the skin more elastic and healthy;
- Drink water at least 15 minutes before and not earlier than 15 minutes after meals, and it is better to increase the gap between taking food and water up to 30 minutes;
- Eat regularly but in small portions – one portion should be about a cup (0.5 pt). It is healthier to eat every two hours in small portions than to overeat twice a day. The body should not starve because in that case it gains fat as a reserve;
- Avoid starchy food – white bread, pastries, pies, and cakes should be a rare treat;
- Balance your diet – include white meat and fish, cereals (slow carbohydrates), vegetables and fruit, vegetable proteins and fats, sour-milk products;
- Minimize the consumption of fatty meat;
- Eat fruit in the morning hours;
- Reduce the consumption of sugar to a minimum.
If you follow these simple rules of proper nutrition you will get rid of sagging belly skin.
Tightening the post-pregnancy abdominal muscles is possible but you should exercise not only the abdominal area but also the whole body.
In the 40-day period when her belly is recovering, a woman can use a breathing technique: inhale and contract your stomach, exhale and expand it (do it 15 minutes per day).
A woman should also watch her posture in order to get rid of the flabby abdomen.
Each training session begins with a warm-up – it is important to warm up all the muscles and joints before the main workout starts, so there is no muscle damage because of the physical load. Excellent results can be achieved by doing a plank: stand on straight arms and legs, the body is parallel to the floor, the back is straight, the loin does not hang down, the buttocks do not rise up. The plank can be done differently: on elbows, with feet leaning on a ball, with arms crossed, a side plank. When the body isn’t moving the muscles are very tense, the load on them increased. Start doing the plank for 10-20-second sets, gradually increasing the time to 1-2 minutes.
In addition to the abdominal exercises, it is desirable to include in the training complex exercises for the hips and buttocks, arms and back. It’s not so easy to find enough time for training while changing diapers and preparing lunch but you can still find a half an hour per day. And if you follow all the recommendations, then in about six months you will see a noticeable change.
Along with the physical activity, it is good to self-massage the abdominal muscles: at first, stroke, then pinch and rub the skin, apply some pressure to you muscles, and at the end stroke the skin again. The effectiveness of the massage is in its regularity. It is advisable to spend 10-15 minutes a day on it; the skin must be clean. After the massage, apply a moisturizing cream, grape seed oil, or a stretch mark removal cream.
Do not massage your belly if you have a fever or menstruation, gallbladder or kidney diseases, hernia, if there is skin damage.
To tone the flabby abdominal skin and return its elasticity, you can rub your belly with a natural bristle brush – after taking a shower, rub the problem areas in circular motions for 5-10 minutes.