You may be wondering why you still look pregnant. But it’s over five months since you had your baby. A lot of women struggle with post partum depression. In addition to this situation, the need to get back into shape becomes challenging.
Read on to see how to get rid of pregnant looking belly.
You have to understand that your body just gave life to another being which is your baby. And that process, being quite complicated, took a toll on your skin.
The skin is elastic which implies that it can be stretched. However, when it is over stretched, it may tear. This explains why most pregnant women have streaks of stretch marks.
Simply put, your skin had to stretch for nine months in order to accommodate the growth of your baby. Now that the baby is in your arms, you need to give your body some time to heal.
Well, you may say it has been five months and there is still no difference between when you were pregnant and now.
Hey! It took your body some nine months. So, can you relax for another four months?
Now, there are a number of factors that can make you still look pregnant after delivery.
Why Do You Still Look Pregnant?
The factors that are behind this phenomenon include:
- How much you weighed before getting pregnant
- How much you weighed during pregnancy
- If this is not your first baby, it may mean that you have diastasis recti
- Your genetic make up
- The size of your baby
- If you were active or not
What Can You Do About Your Mummy Tummy
There are several things that have been tried and approved by a lot of mothers. We will share some of them here.
When you breastfeed, it helps you to burn off calories. This way, you will be shedding excess fat that was accumulated during pregnancy. While breastfeeding can help you lose weight, it can also help your uterus.
Your tummy is still protruding because of the size of your uterus. But as you breastfeed your baby, the uterus contracts. This happens for about six to eight weeks after delivery. As this happens, gradually, your uterus will shrink back to its pre-baby size.
Breastfeeding is healthy for you and your baby. Breast milk contains all the nutrients your child needs to be healthy. It has been established that children who are exclusively breastfed develop a high level of immunity.
So, breastfeed your baby as much as you can. This simple act of care can restore your body and get your tummy back in shape. If you need to breastfeed in public, buy a nursing cover on Amazon.
Cut Back on Sugar Consumption
If you want to get rid of that mummy tummy, you need to look into your sugar consumption. Reduce your consumption of refined sugars. They are one of the major causes of belly fat.
When you take a lot of sugar, it causes your level of insulin to increase. This increase in insulin signals the body to retain fat. When you continue consuming sugar, the body moves that stored fat to the abdomen. This is quite dangerous as it can result in high cholesterol, heart issues and diabetes.
Foods that contain refined sugar contain lesser nutrients and that explains why we tend to over consume them. They do not give us the fiber, healthy fat, or protein that we need. They are just packed with calories.
Hence, consuming more refined sugar will increase the number of calories that you consume. This can lead to belly fat and weight gain.
So, you need to focus more on foods that can give you fiber, healthy fat and protein.
There are healthy sugars such as those gotten from fruits. These fruits contain fiber and very important nutrients. It is advisable to eat your fruits whole rather than juicing them.
When you juice fruits, you end up consuming sugar while leaving out the fiber. And your body needs that fiber to get rid of belly fat. So, eat your fruits and stay away from sugary drinks and beverages.
Fruits that are high in fiber include
- Avocados contain healthy fats and around 9.2g of fiber. They are also good for the heart.
- Pears are good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and folate. A medium sized pear contains 5.5g of fiber.
- Raspberry contains vitamin C and vitamin K. Half cup of raspberry contains 4g of fiber.
- Apple contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and folate. The skin of an apple contains a lot of fiber. A large sized apple contains 5.4g of fiber.
- Blackberry is an antioxidant. It contains vitamin C and vitamin K. Half a cup of blackberry contains 3.8g of fiber.
- Banana contains vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. A medium sized banana contains 3.1g of fiber
- Prune helps in digestion. It contains 3.4g of fiber.
- Orange contains vitamin C and is a very good source of fiber. It contains 3.4g of fiber.
- Guava is very high in vitamin A and vitamin C. One guava contains 3g of fiber.
In addition to eating healthy sugar, incorporate a mix of vegetables in your daily meal plan. You should have at least five portions of fruits and vegetables daily.
Below are few combinations of fruit and veggies mix:
- half a grapefruit, pepper or avocado
- one apple, banana, orange or medium-sized tomato
- apricots or two plum fruits
- one handful of berries or grapes
- one slice of pineapple or melon
- one heaped tablespoon of dried fruits
- three heaped tablespoons of cooked vegetables or beans and pulses
- one dessert bowl of salad
- a 150ml glass of fresh fruit juice
Drink A Lot of Water
When you were pregnant, you were advised to drink enough water. Now that you need your prebaby body back, you still need to drink a lot of water.
About 60 percent of your body is made up of water. Since you sweat and pass out urine, it means your body loses water constantly. Hence, to avoid being dehydrated, you need to make up for the lost water.
The recommended quantity of water to consume daily is about two liters or 8-ounce glasses. You do not need to drink half a gallon of water at a go. You can have your water handy and take it at different hours of the day, even when you are not thirsty.
Drinking water can help you lose weight because you will feel full and end up consuming less calories. Also, if you usually get constipated, drinking water can help you get relieved.
You can also get water from eating certain foods. These include:
- Skim milk
- Broths and soups
- Plain yogurt
- Bell peppers
- Coconut water
- Cottage cheese
Video: Post Pregnancy Pelvic Floor Exercises
This video contains simple pelvic floor exercises that could help your bulging belly.
As soon as you feel up to it, start exercising. But if you had a cesarean section (CS) or a high risk pregnancy, you need to be cleared by your doctor before engaging in any form of exercise.
If you need to get rid of your pregnant looking belly, you have to exercise consistently. There are simple exercises you can fit into your schedule.
Walking is an easy exercise. You can start walking one week after delivery but start gradually before engaging in brisk walk. If you want to warm up for other forms of exercise, walking is the best way to do so.
Start with taking a stroll for about 20 minutes every day. You can take a stroll with your baby using a baby carrier or a stroller. As you progress, you can increase your walking time and intensify your movements.
As a bonus tip, you can walk in various patterns. Walk in a zigzag manner and backwards to alert your muscles.
This involves sitting upright and breathing deeply. The aim is to contract the abdomen. Do this by taking a deep breath and allow your tummy squeeze inwards.
Hold on to it for some time before exhaling. Ensure to breathe out gradually. As you do this consistently, you can increase the time to hold your abdomen inwards.
You can do this by lying on your back, place your feet flat on the floor and bend your knees. Place one pillow underneath your hips and another in-between your bent knees.
Keep your arms at your sides and breath in. As you breath out, contract your abdomen and slightly tuck in the pelvis and squeeze the buttocks. Do this for five (5) seconds before relaxing. You can do this ten (10) or twenty (20) times repeatedly.
Lie with your back on the ground, keep your feet flat and knees bent. Your feet should be kept a distance apart from each other.
Tilt your pelvis upward by lifting your hips a distance away from the floor. This forms the bridge.
Take a deep breath. As you breath out, tuck your abdomen inwards to your spine. Then slowly take your hip down to the floor. You can do this for about five (5) to ten (10) times.
Heel Raises or Slides
Lie with your back on the floor or on a bed. Keep your feet flat. Slide your left heel slowly toward your buttocks. While doing this, ensure your right heel is still on the floor or bed. As you do this, your knees will start bending.
Continue sliding your heel and bending your knee until you become a bit uncomfortable. At this time, you can feel a little pressure inside your knee.
Stay on this position for about five (5) seconds. Slide your left heel back down until your leg is straight on the floor or bed.
Repeat this procedure to slide your right heel while keeping your left heel on the floor or bed.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Put a towel across your upper shinbone. Hold each end of the towel and squeeze your thighs together.
Breath in then out. As you breathe out, contract your abdomen while lifting your shoulders off the floor. Contract and release the muscles of your abdomen. Do this for about ten (10) to twenty (20) times. You can continue doing this exercise for at least fourteen (14) days.
In addition, there are exercise moves that you can do with your baby.
Hold your baby close to your chest, step sideways and do a side lunge. Go back with your buttocks like you are sitting on a chair and place your knees over your ankles. Repeat this for about ten (10) times on each leg.
You can also do a front lunge. Your toes should not go beyond your knee. Go back to the starting position and do an alternate lunge with the other leg. This exercise is ideal for mothers who are having back aches. Repeat this exercise for about ten (10) times.
Hold your baby close to your chest and stand with your feet apart. Squat such that your baby’s feet will touch the floor. Bring your baby closer to your chest as you try to rise. Do this exercise for about fifteen (15) times. However, you can do this exercise when your baby is around three months old.
Before exercising with your baby, practice with a doll to enable you gain balance.
In conclusion, getting rid of postpartum belly requires patience. If you really need to see results in the shortest time possible, be consistent with the tips shared above. You can also use belly wraps if recommended by your doctor.