Are you still rocking a little post baby bump after the birth of your child or children? A post baby bump is perfectly normal and evidence of one of the amazing ways our body transforms to make a precious human. During pregnancy we put on weight so that we have extra fat stores for our baby to draw on when they start breastfeeding.
Often the bulk of the bump will subside after the birth and over the next few weeks as you experience further fluid loss and your uterus returns to nearer its pre-pregnant size.
Some women love their “mummy tummy” as a reminder of how their bodies housed their precious baby while other Mums find it really frustrating how their body has changed.
So what happens when you can’t budge that bump?
There is no precise time at which you will or should ‘return to normal’. Your body has changed and sometimes it takes a little longer for our mindset to change. It is important that women are kind to themselves and speak positively about their bodies. Our inner voice is very powerful and we also want to teach our children to love their bodies.
To start to move that post baby bump you need to focus on three key things:
- Abdominal separation. Check your abdominals for separation, then choose the appropriate exercises for your level of separation. Click here to get the full guide which include a video for how to check if you have separation. http://nurturedfitness.com/gift/
- Choosing nourishing foods that fuel your body is really important. Some foods that are high in sugar and sometimes even dairy can cause inflammation in your body giving you a bloated appearance.
- Find some form of exercise that you love to do so that you make it a priority and something you look forward to each week. Finding an activity that is baby friendly is an added bonus. I love Kangatraining for a safe postnatal workout.
Go through this simple Checklist to start the healing process of restoring your core after childbirth:
- Check your tummy for any separation.
- Choose core exercises that isolate your transversus abdominals.
- Do not do sit-ups or crunches – these can make it worse!
- Start gentle abdominal bracing – immediately after a vaginal birth and one week after a cesarean birth.
- Watch your posture – try to carry your baby on both hips instead of always using your dominant side.
- Try not to stand as if you are still pregnant with a large curve through your lower back and tummy pushed out. Tuck your hips under slightly and transfer the weight into your toes when standing.
- Choose an optimal positioned baby carrier.
- Don’t do anything more vigorous than walking for the first 6 weeks after birth. Check in with your GP for when to start postnatal fitness.
- Leave all your crazy expectations behind and be kind to yourself.
These things take time so remember to give yourself a break. Especially if have a baby or children at home who consume your every moment and you are trying to find your groove. So do what you can, when you can! All the exercise in the world will not fix loose skin or stretch marks. Yes, even those amazing athletes with killer 6 packs still have some loose skin or stretch marks on their bodies after birth.
If you are still unsure speak to a qualified postnatal fitness instructor or women’s health physiotherapist who can asses your tummy and give you expert advice.
Click here to get Philippa’s Full Guide for Healing your Core & Pelvic Floor Muscles, including how to check for abdominal separation and appropriate restoring core exercises that will rebuild your body from the inside out
Pre/Postnatal Fitness Expert & Founder of Nurtured Fitness
Philippa is a pre/postnatal fitness expert, founder of Nurtured Fitness, Babywearing Consultant, Kangatraining instructor and mother of two. All her working career has been in the fitness industry, but when she became a mother she saw and understood for the first time the demands and challenges of maintaining a fitness regime WITH children. Based in Cairns QLD, she thrives on helping women achieve their best. Philippa has developed her range of 100% family-friendly fitness programs, both studio-based and online, so every woman she advises, trains and guides can make fitness a regular and normal activity and an achievable priority within family life.