Losing the Pregnancy Belly Fat

pregnant womanAfter a woman gives birth, one of her priorities is to regain her figure. For many women, this is easier said than done. In some cases, it comes down to simple genetics.

There are women who are able to bounce back into shape easily after a pregnancy. However, there are women who find getting back into shape to be a struggle.

Let’s take a look at some post-pregnancy exercises that a woman can do to tone her stomach:

Exercises to Strengthen the Core

The following are exercises to be done after a vaginal birth.

Diaphragmatic breathing

While lying on your back, your hands should be placed over your abdomen. Your belly should rise and fill with air as you inhale. Use your mouth to breathe out as your abs tighten by pulling them in the direction of your spine. The goal is to have your stomach flatten as you breathe out.

Kegels

These are pelvic floor contractions. They are able to be done in any position. Do these a few times each day by tightening and holding your pelvis for ten seconds.

Pelvic tilt

Bend your knees while laying flat on your back. Make your abs firm and breathe out as you tilt the pelvis. As you push your lower back to the ground, attempt to bring your navel to your spine. Hold this position for ten seconds. Then you can breathe in and rest.

Stretch out the kinks

With your palms up and your legs and arms out straight, lie on your back. Push your knees into the cushion, tighten your thigh muscles and bend at the ankles so your toes are pointing towards the ceiling. Flatten your back and pull your abdominal muscles in. Force your hand into the cushion. Hold this position for ten seconds, then you can rest. This will let your muscles to loosen without their sizes changing. This will provide a simple readjustment to having a normal posture after giving birth. It is also safe on the body.

Bridges

While you are lying on your back with your knees bent, contract your pelvic floor, buttock and abdominal muscles. Raise your hips off the floor. Hold this position for five seconds. The challenge will increase as your feet get farther away from your buttocks. You can also continue your progression by raising one leg while you are in this position. However, you will need to keep our hips level in order to do this.

Heel sliding

Do a pelvic tilt and tighten your abdominal muscles while lying on your back. While you are maintaining your pelvic tilt, slide out one leg at a time. As long as you can maintain the pelvic tilt without allowing your back to arch, you can try to slide both legs out at the same time. You should bring your legs back one at a time.

Curl ups

While you are lying on your back, stretch out your arms and exhale. As you reach towards your knees with your hands, pull your belly towards your spine. Only continue your roll up until you feel your shoulder blades begin to lift off. Then you should slowly lower your arms and exhale. As you rise, make sure that your stomach flattens. You can also do diagonal curl ups. These can be accomplished by reaching one arm past the opposite knee. The level of difficulty can be increased when you change the positions of your arms.

The following are exercises to be done after a Cesarean delivery.

Huffing

If you received general anesthesia, this is important because it to clear the mucus out of your lungs and throat. Take outward breaths that are rapid and forceful. Do this while you are tightening your pelvic floor and abdominal muscles.

Foot and ankle movements

These can be done as a way of preventing possible blood clots resulting from the use of anesthesia.

Bridges with a twist

Elevate your hips. Then lower one hip toward your mat, then the other. Do this so the twisting of your hips is gentle. This will help to work your core and eliminate any gas pain you might be having.

Exercises for Both Cesarean and Vaginal Deliveries

Single leg lowering

Lift one leg up and do a pelvic tilt while lying on your back. Maintain your pelvic tilt as you straighten your leg and return it. Continue your progression by doing a bicycle motion as you lift both legs. Make sure that your abdomen is flattening as you exhale.

Double leg lowering

Lower your legs and maintain your pelvic tilt. Begin with your knees bent and straighten your legs out as you lower them. You should only be lowering them as far as you can while still maintaining your pelvic tilt. Return each leg one at a time to the position you started in when you feel your back begin to arch.

Another Great Post Pregnancy Resource

While doing some more research I found an awesome article written by a physical therapist that discusses more exercises you can do for that post pregnancy belly.

There's also great information on what happens to your body after childbirth.

Read "Rebuilding Your Core After Pregnancy".

Hopefully you new mommies (and older mommies...lol) will find this information useful and you'll be on your way to a flatter stomach!

Disclaimer

Please note that ab exercises will NOT repair the ab damage (diastasis recti), skin damage or hernia damage caused by pregnancy. Please see your doctor before taking any of the advice on this page.

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