Toning your mum tum
Understanding the changes in your tummy after pregnancy and the toning that really works
Whether you had a flat tummy before you got pregnant or just flatter than it is after having a baby, most mums' minds start to wander about getting their tummy back to how it was before baby at some stage or other. So we have put together some top tips for helping your tummy get some way close to its pre-baby state.
There’s always someone who’s tummy ‘pops’ back weeks after birth, some just naturally return quickly to how it was and some spend money on tummy tucks and personal trainers. So what’s the option if neither of these are you?
Patience! Don’t expect your tummy to just go back to its pre-baby state, after all it took 9 months to grow to carry your baby so common sense lets you know it will take at least a similar amount of time to go back and even then it will look different.
Key factors that affect how long it may take
Factors to help lose the weight include
Safe, healthy ways to help your tummy return to its pre-pregnancy state
Breastfeeding burns extra calories to make milk – can be as much as 500 calories a day, so if you are breastfeeding, you may find the weight starts to go quicker. Contractions that shrink your womb are also triggered by breastfeeding which can help your tummy muscles return.
The age-old advice of eating healthily and gentle exercise is absolutely key to helping your tummy. This includes eating your 5 a day everyday and pack in fibre-rich foods that include seeds, lentils and oats.
Even if you’re not in a fitness mindset, all new mums can begin pelvic floor exercises and work on gently toning up lower tummy muscles as soon as they feel ready. This may help you to get back to your pre-pregnancy shape and help to flatten your tummy.
Avoid sugar. It converts straight to fat which is stored around your stomach and waist.
Cut back on caffeine. As tempting as it is to rely on tea and coffee to get you through those early weeks if you drink too much the stress hormone cortisol gets released and this also stored fat around your waist and stomach.
Take fish oil. These can help food digest more quickly and activates the enzymes in your body that burn fat more quickly.