How To Get A Flat Stomach After Having A Baby

by Sep 18, 2019

Learn how to get a flat stomach after having a baby with these 8 simple and easy to follow steps. Return to your pre-pregnancy body faster and get that flat tummy look earlier on during postpartum recovery.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

 

 

Want to know how to get a flat stomach after having a baby? Your stomach was growing for the past 9 months (for good reason) but now you are ready to move in the opposite direction, flattening the mid section. You want to feel like your normal self again and move out of the maternity closet and back into those skinny jeans. And most of all, you just want to feel healthy again. I get it. That’s why my blog is called Live Core Strong. I want to help you live core strong during your postpartum recovery and for the rest of your life and for that reason I created this blog.

But specifically in this article, I want to share with you my top 10 secrets for getting a flat stomach after having a baby. Continue reading to find out.

1. Maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy and postpartum

 

The recommended weight gain during pregnancy is 25-35 lbs according to WebMD.com This consists of mostly fluids, a small percentage is actually the size of your baby (typical size of babies are 6-8 lbs) and an even smaller percentage is fat.

When it comes to postpartum recovery, you obviously lose weight instantly with the delivery of your baby and your placenta, it takes a bit of time to excrete all the excess fluids, but the hardest part of weight loss is losing the fat.

So in order to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, eat a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegatables, protein and complex carbohydrates and avoid fatty foods and products high in sugar.

It’s also important that you maintain a healthy weight during postpartum recovery. If you are looking for a great resource for nutritional information after pregnancy check out this nutritional guide for new moms.

2. Drink lots of water during pregnancy and postpartum

 

Drinking water not only helps cleanse your body but also helps you to avoid drinking liquids high in sugar such as soda and juice. If you make the switch to consume more water than sugary drinks, you’ll already be off to a great start. If you are even more motivated, eliminate the sugary drinks all together and stick to water, milk, coffee and tea  (decaf if you are pregnant and nursing).

Learn the 8×8 rule for recommended daily amount of water per day.

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    3. Breastfeed your baby

     

    Breastfeeding your newborn is by far the ticket to speedy recovery.

    The hormones, the uterine contractions and the increase in metabolism all play a huge roll in weight loss and shrinking the size of your stomach.

    The uterus contracts to get smaller with every nursing session. The uterus has enlarged so much during pregnancy that even if you have lost a lot of the fat around your waist, your stomach will continue to stick out and appear as if you are still pregnant. Breastfeeding will ultimately help your uterus to get smaller and thus your stomach will appear flatter. 

    In this research article, they had this to say about breastfeeding and weight loss:

     

    “Exclusive breastfeeding was associated with maternal postpartum weight reduction. These results reinforce the World Health Organization recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life in order to reduce the risk of weight retention or weight gain in postpartum women. It has been well established that exclusive breastfeeding is beneficial for both infants and mothers, but promoting breastfeeding as a strategy to promote postpartum weight loss is of paramount importance,”. 

    4. Consistent exercise routine

     

    Establishing a good workout routine during pregnancy will set you up for success during your postpartum recovery. It is hard to become motivated to workout after having a baby (doctors recommend starting postpartum exercise 6 weeks post delivery).

    If you are not used to working out on a regular basis, the sooner you start the better. Start slow, 5 – 10 minutes at a time and 3 days a week. Gradually build up time and frequency to eventually get in the habit of a consistent workout routine.

    If you feel that mom life is just too busy for working out, then use these helpful tips to incorporate a new workout routine into your busy schedule now that you have a baby. Creating new workout habits will only make it easier for you to reach your goal.   

     

    5. Focus on the proper core strengthening exercises

     

    Core strengthening is not as simple as you might think when it comes to postpartum recovery. There’s a right way and wrong way to go about it. It’s not all about the crunches; actually I highly recommend you AVOID crunches postpartum. 

    What is most important is that you engage your core with proper form and proper progression. Postpartum women are very prone to injury due to the extreme changes that took place in their body during pregnancy and childbirth. Take caution and read this article about the 10 safest and easiest postpartum core exercises that can be done in the comfort of your own home (again, begin at 6 weeks postpartum). 

    6. Focus on cardio for increased calorie burn

    Cardio is the best way to burn calories at a quicker rate. The more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose. Don’t get me wrong, I love strength training (a lot), but the rate at which your heart rate increases with cardio is in no comparison to any other type of workout. Get a Fitbit Smart Watch to track your level of fitness day to day to see if you are making progress towards your weightloss goals.

    Some great examples of cardio during postpartum recovery would be:

     

    HIIT

    Running

    Tabata

    Bike

    Elliptical

    Stepper

    Swimming

    Baby boot camp classes

    Strollercize classes

    Mommy and Me Classes

    7. Wear a postpartum belly wrap

    Postpartum belly wraps are the product that everyone should have but no one is talking about. It should be a “must have” item during discharge from the hospital like a breast pump is for new moms.

    A postpartum belly wrap is exactly what the name says, it’s a wrap that goes around your belly specifically worn during postpartum to help shrink and shape your midsection to return it back to pre-pregnancy size.

    It’s a way to assist and support your internal organs, pelvis and back as your body naturally tries to return back to it’s normal shape. You can learn more about the benefits of postpartum belly wraps during postpartum recovery and also find out what the Top 11 Postpartum Belly Wraps are of 2019.

    8. Get adequate amounts of sleep

     

    If you get enough sleep during the postpartum phase of motherhood, then your overall health will benefit. The more sleep you have the better you will feel, the more energy you will have and, therefore, the more motivated you will be to exercise.

    It’s not easy to get the recommended hours of sleep a night when you are taking care of a newborn baby. Trust me, I know. After having 4 babies myself, sleep was definitely lacking for months. But you need to put sleeping as a priority early on.

    My best tip is to take at least one 20 minute nap a day, every day, at the same time while your baby is sleeping. 

    For example, if you can get your baby to sleep every day at 1pm, then you commit to napping from 1:00-1:20 (at least) each day at the same exact time. That will help you to get your body the much needed rest it needs and your body will get used to a break in the middle of the day. This should help you when it comes to tolerating those frequent late night wake-up calls from baby.

    How To Get A Flat Belly Postpartum

    It really only takes 8 key factors to reach your goal of having a flat stomach after having a baby. 

    1. Make healthy choices when it comes to your diet during pregnancy and postpartum

    2. Drink lots of water during pregnancy and postpartum

    3. Breastfeed your baby

    4. Consistent exercise routine

    5. Focus on the proper core strengthening exercises

    6. Focus on cardio for increased calorie burn

    7. Wear a postpartum belly wrap

    8. Get adequate amounts of sleep

    Only focusing on one of these factors at a time will not be the answer for most women looking to change their body after pregnancy. But combining all 8 is really the key to success. But if you wanted to get started on something right at this moment, I recommend you begin with these 4 easy at home postpartum core exercises that are safe for your initial post-pregnancy workout. 

    What is the one thing on this list that you think is going to be the hardest one to tap into during your postpartum journey? Comment below with your answer?

     

    Keep Smiling,

    Dr. Jena Bradley, DPT

    This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

     **It is important to always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program and get medical clearance. Always warm up thoroughly and stretch after all workouts. LiveCoreStrong.com and Jena Bradley will be not be responsible or liable for any injury sustained while exercising at home, gym or elsewhere. Perform exercises at your own risk.

    About Dr. Jena Bradley

    About Dr. Jena Bradley

    Jena is a mom of 4 darling little girls, a physical therapist and founder of Live Core Strong, a blog focusing on motivating moms to live a life that incorporates fitness and fun throughout their motherhood journey.  She aims to be the friend you always wanted to have who could guide you through the “fog” when faced with an “I don’t know what to do” mommy moment. At the most inconvenient time of her life, she embarked on a journey of sharing her story and expertise to inspire the next generation of healthy moms. You can learn more about Jena by visitng her ABOUT page. 

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    Hi there, friend! I’m Jena, a mom of 4 and a Physical Therapist with a passion to motivate moms! I want to inspire you to be your best self by sharing my experiences and trusted advice on motherhood, health and fitness.

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