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How to Lose Baby Belly

How to Lose Baby Belly

You have brought your beautiful baby into this world, and while you want to divert all your attention only to her/him, you can't help but notice a small baby bump that has stayed behind even after delivery. How do you get rid of that baby belly? Here are some tips that may help you.
Puja Lalwani
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
Most new mothers find it extremely difficult to get back into shape after bringing their bundle of joy into this world. While the happiness is over the top, there is also a lot of masked concern about that belly that just doesn't seem to go back inside, and still makes the new mom look a few months pregnant. However, there are ways in which that (no) baby bump can be flattened to take you back to your pre-pregnancy shape. Yes, if celebrities can do it, so can you (of course with a little more effort). So, there is a lot that goes into losing that baby belly, and here's how you can go about it.
Helpful Tips
Why does the baby belly stick around even after delivery? This is because your stomach stretches over nine whole months to accommodate the growing baby. Once the baby is born, the stomach muscles will definitively take some time to go back to their regular shape. Experts also suggest that because of the distension of the uterus and other surrounding organs, it is likely that the belly appears to be bloated. So, before we suggest anything for you to get rid of the flab on your belly, there are some very important points you should keep in mind.
  • Always consult your doctor before you start any diet or exercise regimen, particularly so if you are breastfeeding.
  • While doctors suggest that those who have had a normal vaginal delivery may start working on losing weight almost immediately, it is those who have had a c-section who need to wait for at least six weeks before starting. In either case, do consult your doctor before starting.
  • Experts also suggest targeting weight loss of only one to two pounds in a week, and not more. The focus should be on healthy eating and light exercise rather than crash diets. Experts stress on this point because weight loss during breastfeeding can result in the release of harmful toxins in the body that can then make it to the milk that you feed the baby. Also, reducing your calorie intake while nursing can affect the amount of breast milk and cause you to feel weak.
  • Any exercise you do should initially be a low impact exercise such as a short walk. Do not try to do too much too soon. You have to take care of yourself and your baby, and you need to be healthy for that.
With these important tips in mind, let's move on to what you can do to get rid of your baby belly.
Get Light Exercise
After consulting with your doctor, you can engage in mild forms of exercise to start burning the fat on your belly. These exercises include:

➝ Strolls in the park with your baby in the pram, for about thirty minutes
➝ A postpartum yoga class
➝ Full body stretches
➝ Aerobic exercises by following a low impact aerobics DVD
➝ Specific toning exercises for the abdominal muscles, which should be performed in conjunction with other cardiovascular exercises such as walking or stair climbing
Exercises to Lose Baby Belly
There are a few abdominal exercises that will help reduce your belly. These have been explained here.
  • Abdominal Squeeze: This exercise only requires you to squeeze your tummy inward as much as you can, just like you would if you had to fit into a really tight pair of jeans. Hold your tummy in this position for about five seconds, and then release it. Remember not to stop breathing when you contract your tummy muscles. This exercise will strengthen your abdominal muscles to perform more rigorous exercises in the future.
  • Pelvic Tilt: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and with your knees slightly bent. Slightly lower your buttocks, curl your pelvis, and suck in your tummy. Stay in this position for ten seconds. Relax and continue doing this for a few minutes with regular intervals, throughout the day. This is another great exercise to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
  • Abdominal Crunches: After having strengthened your abdominal muscles with the aforementioned exercises, you can move on to doing basic crunches. Lie flat on an exercise mat and bend your knees so that your heels almost touch your buttocks. Place both your hands behind your head. Now, exhale and lift your upper body without moving the lower body, and go back down, but don't touch your head to the floor. Perform at least fifteen repetitions of this exercise daily. Also, keep your abdominal muscles squeezed while doing this exercise for best results.
  • Reverse Crunches: For reverse crunches, lie flat on your back on a mat and stretch your arms behind you to hold something stable such as a stool or chair leg. Exhale and lift up both your legs to a point where they are at 90 degrees to the floor. Contract your stomach muscles while doing so, and slowly lower the legs back toward the floor while inhaling deeply, but do not let them touch the floor. Perform at least ten repetitions of this exercise daily.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Do note that the stress here is on a 'healthy' diet. To lose weight, you should try and cut back only on 500 calories each day to lose a pound or two in a week. Do not allow your calorie intake to go lower than 1200 calories in one day. Consume a healthy, balanced diet, where each meal consists of foods that have the following nutrients:
  • Carbohydrates: Granola, oats, whole grain breakfast cereal, whole wheat bread, brown rice
  • Fats: Nuts, olive oil, avocados
  • Protein: Eggs, lean meats, beans, lentils, tofu, dairy
  • Potassium: Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, bananas, apricots
  • Fiber: Lots of fruits, raw vegetable sticks, and steamed vegetables
  • Water: Green tea (consult doctor if you are breastfeeding), fresh fruit and vegetable juices, at least ten glasses of water in a day
You can enjoy these foods by lightly cooking or grilling them, or even enjoying some of them raw. The best way to consume these to lose weight after pregnancy is to eat five to six small meals in a day. Doing so keeps you energized as well as fit to lose weight in the best manner possible.
Finally, experts also suggest that breastfeeding requires the body to burn a large number of calories, which in itself may help kick-start the weight loss process. However, only this method cannot be relied upon, and to effectively lose your baby belly, you should follow the aforementioned exercises and diet tips. Be patient and give your body time to adjust to the change it is undergoing, and you will see these tips work like magic. You are sure to be back in shape; perhaps in better shape than your pre-pregnant self.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only. No postpartum exercise or diet program should be started before consulting a doctor.
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