5 Ways To Lose the Postpartum Belly Pooch Fast

After having a baby it is common for your postpartum belly
to still look pregnant. But how do you get rid of the pooch and have
your stomach return to normal post pregnancy? Learn 5 secrets from a
physical therapist all moms should know on how to heal your body, lose
weight and tone your belly postpartum. 

This is a guest article by Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT from Live Core Strong.

You just had a baby, and even though a few weeks went by, you still
look exactly the same; you still look pregnant. It’s completely normal.
That mommy pooch sticks around for quite some time.

But there are ways to speed up the process and ultimately get rid of the baby weight faster.

I’m a mom of 4 and a physical therapist; with my experiences and
medical training I have found that losing the postpartum belly pooch can
be done easily by following these 5 tips.

Make sure to pin this post for later!

1 – Engage the correct core muscles early on during postpartum recovery

Just to get it out in the open and in the clear, I
recommend that you get approval by your doctor at the 6 week postpartum
check-up before you begin any core exercises postpartum.

Once you were given the clearance to begin, I highly recommend
starting right away. So this should be around the 6 week postpartum time

The sooner you start doing your postpartum ab exercises, the more you are setting yourself up for success.

Your body is still going through hormonal changes, and you can
use that to your advantage. It’s much harder to lose the postpartum
belly weight 1 year postpartum compared to 2 months postpartum. 

So for your first postpartum core exercise, I want you to get down on the floor and lie on your back.

Bend both knees and keep your feet flat on the floor.

To perform abdominal bracing, which is the exercise that
contracts your transverse abdominis muscle (the corset muscle around
your belly), you need to breath in and draw your belly button down into
your belly.

Hold this for 8 seconds but remember to keep breathing.

Your pelvis should flatten along with your back so that your hand cannot fit underneath you.

If you arch your back the opposite way, your hand can fit under your back. This is the incorrect way to do this exercise.

After holding for 8 seconds, relax and repeat for 10 reps. 

This is the most important ab exercise to do early on
postpartum. You should not be doing any crunches or planks, because you
may hurt yourself.

Just a quick side note – Dr Jena has an awesome ebook that
she has put together that shows you exactly step-by-step how to heal
your abs and core after having a baby. If you’re ready to lose the baby
weight, get your copy of Postpartum Ab Rehab HERE. 

2 – Invest in a good postpartum belly wrap

I highly recommend postpartum belly wraps to assist the uterus
in shrinking back down to its normal size early on during postpartum
recovery. It’s recommended to wear one the first 4 months postpartum.

There are many different varieties of postpartum belly wraps;
some work well, and some don’t help at all. I would hate for you to buy
one, thinking it’s helping with abdominal compression, but in reality
it’s just a piece of cloth wrapped around your torso acting as an
unsightly undergarment.

There are products on the market that really do work, and
you’ll see amazing results quicker than you would any other way. You can
learn more about my top postpartum belly wrap recommendations here. 


3 – Breastfeeding

If you are breastfeeding, then you are off to a great start
with postpartum weight loss. This is just one of several amazing
benefits to breastfeeding.

It’s absolutely amazing how our bodies work as women, but the
one thing that I was actually shocked to learn when I first became
pregnant was understanding how breastfeeding actually helps to shrink
down our uterus. 

When we breastfeed, the hormone oxytocin is released from our
brain. This release of the hormone also causes your uterus to shrink
down after childbirth, and these contractions can feel like period
cramps. They can be known as “after-pains” because they can be rather
painful after childbirth.

As time goes by, the pain lessens but you still continue to get
the benefit of uterine contractions far into postpartum recovery while

4 – Eat a healthy diet

If you are breastfeeding, or even if you’re not, eating healthy
is extremely important for any new mom. You need energy to take care of
your baby, and the whole point of eating is to gain energy.

The word calories means energy, but you want to make sure you
are putting healthy calories, healthy energy, into your body so that you
can lose the baby weight safely. 

If you are breastfeeding, it’s important that you eat foods
that are rich in protein, vitamins and calcium to help your baby get the
added benefits from those nutrients.

Make meals choices that have lots of fruits and vegetables, and remember to avoid junk food as much as possible.

Drink a lot of water, especially if you are pregnant, and avoid drinking sugary drinks.

Making simple diet changes that are not too restrictive but are
manageable as mom to a newborn will help you see small weight loss
goals reached each passing month. 


5 – Make a lifestyle change

Commit to your workout routine, commit to your healthy eating
habits and commit towards making healthy lifestyle changes throughout
your every day routine.

There is no way you can lose that postpartum belly if you are
constantly binge watching Netflix shows each night. But if you make the
decision to get to bed early, catch up on your sleep and get good rest
so you are energized for the next day, you’ll find it’s easier to do all
the other things on this list.

Exercising will be easier to incorporate into your routine
because you are less tired, you’ll have more energy to cook healthier
meals and you’ll feel more relaxed during breastfeeding time, which will
help with increased milk supply for your baby. 

Find a routine that works for you. Routines are a great way to
remember to make a healthy lifestyle choice. It can easily be forgotten
to do your 5 minute postpartum ab exercises each day, but if you
remember to always do them at 9 am when your baby is doing tummy time,
then it will be easier to remember.

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