Struggling With Your Postpartum Belly? Frustrated With Your Mummy Tummy? We bring you the best tips and exercises to help tone your tummy and get you back into shape.
After nine months of stretching and growing to accommodate a full-term baby, it can take weeks, months or even longer for your tummy muscles to tighten up. The speed and degree losing your postpartum belly often depend on several factors such as diet, exercise and even your genes.
We at Hera have spoken to a few experts to bring you tips and some gentle exercises that can speed up the postnatal toning process for you.
The uterus is a pelvic organ that homes and nurtures the developing fetus. Its approximate dimensions in an average adult female are 8 cm long, 5 cm across, and 4 mm thick.
During pregnancy, as your baby grows, your uterus too will expand to make room for your developing baby.
After the 4th week of pregnancy, the uterus expands at an average rate of 1 cm in size every week. After the 12th week of pregnancy, the uterus moves up out of the pelvic cavity and rises into the abdomen. It also starts to it rest against the lower portion of the front of your abdominal wall, causing it to bulge forward.
By the ninth month, your uterus has expanded 1000 times from the size of a pear to the size of a watermelon or larger.
Contrary to what a new mother might expect, after birth, the uterus does not contract or return to its normal position immediately. For most new mothers, this process takes weeks or months.
The stretched belly skin, the expanded uterus and weakened core muscles causes new mothers to look pregnant even after giving birth. This is called the postpartum belly.
24 Hours Postpartum belly
Immediately after giving birth, hormonal changes and breastfeeding will cause the uterus to contract and shrink to the level of the belly button.
One Week Postpartum belly
One week after giving birth, your uterus will continue to shrink. Your body will continue to get rid of extra fluids, especially if you have an IV or an epidural.
One Month Postpartum Belly
As you breastfeed your baby, your uterus will heal faster. The hormones that help let down the milk also cause your uterus to contract.
Six Weeks Postpartum belly
Six to eight weeks after giving birth the uterus returns to the pelvis around and it goes back to its original). This means your postpartum belly will start to look flatter and smaller.
A Few Months Later
With a healthy diet and a regular exercise regime, many women find themselves in their pre-baby size. However, many women continue to struggle with loose and saggy skin around their tummy.
Hera Pro Tip: Many women struggle to get a flat stomach after having a baby due to Diastasis Recti. Speak to your doctor to know more about this condition..- HERA
Gentle exercises done regularly will help you get back to your pre pregnancy body shape within a few months. Here are a few of our postpartum belly exercise recommendations
You can start gentle walking and strolls as soon as comfortable after giving birth and get a doctor’s go ahead.
Pelvic Floor Exercises
Pelvic floor exercises can be resumed immediately after giving birth. These exercises can help you tone up your lower tummy muscles and help you flatten your tummy. These exercises include the below:
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip apart and flat. Engage your pelvic floor and lift your hips for 10 seconds. Lower your hips back down and release your pelvic floor.
Lie on your back with your knees bent so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor. In a controlled movement, engage your abdomen and slowly spread your legs so that each knee moves outward.
Hera Pro Tip: To ensure that you do the exercises correctly, you can do a few initial exercises with a personal trainer. .- HERA
Diaphragmatic Breathing, called deep breathing, not only helps relax muscles, but it also starts the process of strengthening and toning your abdomen muscles. To do this exercise, breathe deeply, contract and hold your abs tight while inhaling and relax while exhaling.
Tummy Tuck Exercise
This exercise will also help to strengthen your abdominal muscles. To do this, place your hands on your lower tummy, Keep breathing normally and gently draw your tummy in. Hold for a few seconds and then relax. This exercise can be done lying down, sitting, standing or on your knees.
Planks help to strengthen the muscles in your upper body and your abdomen. You can perform a standard plank within the first few weeks of giving birth. You can also proceed to side planks and side plank lifts to continue toning your tummy.
Word Of Caution: Irrespective of whether you had a C-section or natural birth, speak to your doctor before starting any exercise regime..- HERA
Pregnancy and birth are a life-altering event that affects our bodies in many ways. It is a time to be patient with your body as it slowly heals itself. Once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, you can start a simple exercise and follow a healthy routine to get your postpartum belly back into shape.
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