Posted: Aug 03, 2012 9:00 AM
 
Now that you have a newborn baby, the last thing you might want (or have the energy for) is exercise. But even if you've reached your pre-pregnancy weight, odds are that you still have some excess fat around your middle. And it probably jiggles too. But don't despair, if you attempt to whittle that middle now, you'll have a much better chance of tightening those abdominal muscles and banishing that spare tire once and for all.

Mother Nature will help

Don't be shocked that after you give birth, you're still going to look at least six months pregnant. It's going to take time for your body and your belly to recover from the last nine months. From the moment your baby is born, your belly, much like a balloon, will begin to deflate. It will take about four weeks for your uterus to contract back to its normal size. All the cells in your body that swelled during pregnancy will begin releasing their fluids (think urine, sweat and vaginal secretions). And the extra fat you put on to nourish the baby will start burning off (especially if you're nursing and exercising).

Nursing

Many doctors, nurses and, of course, lactation consultants believe that nursing will help you lose weight and tighten your abdominal area. You burn calories when your body makes breast milk and when your baby nurses. It also helps your uterus contract.

Exercise: Don't underestimate basic crunches

It's probably been a while since you've done a crunch (er, nine, maybe more months), so start slow and don't push too hard. Begin with pelvic tilts and simple abdominal contractions. Lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Slowly tighten your abs and tilt your pelvis toward your head. Tighten the pelvic floor as you do this.

Use a stability ball

stability ball

An exercise ball is another great tool for tummy exercises after pregnancy. Ball crunches work like regular crunches, but you'll be adding the element of balance, which makes your moves a bit more challenging.

Pilates or yoga

Try yoga or Pilates, both of which place an emphasis on a strong core. You'll have that pre-baby belly back in no time!

More about your health

Nature's best antibiotics
Is alternative healing a sham?
What to expect from acupuncture

Topics:

Comments

  • newest
  • oldest
  • most replied