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After delivery- it can come as a rude shock that unlike the female lead in your favourite TV show who magically gets back into her pre-pregnancy body, just a millisecond after delivering, you still look like you’re bang in the middle of your second trimester!
Alas, the maternity pants that you thought would be your trusted companion only until you give birth, still fit like a glove! But take heart in knowing that this is what a realistic and moreover healthy pregnancy looks like. And while you do lose the weight from the removal of the baby and bodily fluids and the shrinking of your uterus back to its original size in a couple months or so- you’ll still pack a punch in that belly even after that.
So how do you ensure that all of it is gone? Here are the 5 most effective ways of getting back to the same ol’ bod even if life as you know it, will never be the same again.
Plank, reverse crunch and (scissor) kick your belly out:
Exercises such as planks, scissor kicks, reverse crunches and cardio go a long way in shrinking that postpartum belly. If your doctor hasn’t given you the go-ahead on such workouts, however, even mild to moderate yoga poses, brisk walking, and gentle stretches can help. Remember, the trick is to keep moving to get in shape. Exercising Won't just help you lose weight but also gain energy and a better mood- both of which can be rather elusive postpartum.
Make an abdominal belt your new wardrobe staple:
These come in the form of postpartum belly wraps, corsets, and waist cinchers. Find a style that suits your lifestyle and preferences and revel in your stomach getting flatter just by donning this during most of your waking hours. This is a godsend for moms who’ve had a C-section (Farewell C-section pouch) but also quite effective if you’ve had a vaginal delivery. But do remember-whilst an abdominal belt does flatten and support your stomach; it is not a weight loss measure- for that, exercise and a healthy diet are both indispensable.
Don’t doubt the benefits of a healthy diet:
This is easier said than done. Especially when you’re ravenous after a 3am feed and baby wants to party all night, while you just can't wait to pass out. It’s so easy to reach out for the bag of chips or stuff your cakehole with well …some cake, and god knows you deserve a treat. But even though an occasional night of bingeing is allowed, do stick to a diet that consists primarily of high fibre, protein, and other nutrients. A high protein low carb diet is ideal to keep your energy and spirits high while keeping your number on the scale low.
Sleep like a baby:
More specifically, YOUR baby. The cliché- sleep while your baby sleeps is a cliché for a good reason- it’s sound advice from moms and medics who’ve seen it all before you. So, schedule naps of at least half an hour while your baby is asleep to catch up on your sleep.Remember, being broken and exhausted not only comes in the way of caring for your little one but also losing that belly flab- as it slows down your metabolism and gives you a voracious appetite.
Breastfeed baby for a flatter belly:
Breastfeeding (if you can) is the healthiest and safest way to feed your baby. It not only boosts your baby’s immunity the way no formula on earth can but has also been linked to greater cognitive development of the baby. Moreover, breastfeeding also offers some delicious perks for mommies.The body burns a whopping 400-500 calories in a day to produce breast milk. Daydreaming of toned abs and a flatter tummy while feeding your child? That day isn’t far behind if you supplement your feeding with a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
While getting back to pre-pregnancy shape is an understandable goal for most moms- it’s essential that you be kind to yourself in this process. It’s important to not get frustrated even if your progress is not at the speed you would like.And while it’s downright foolish to compare yourself to the Kardashian clan and other celebrity moms on Instagram, it’s also wise to not compare yourself to real moms who seem to lose weight and that dreaded belly so much faster than you.
Remember, every journey is different and your body has just performed the most powerful, miraculous feat in the world by giving you the tiny human who’s stolen your heart.Cherishing this fact will help you stay in much better mental shape even if the physical shape may take a bit longer to achieve!