Belly fat is a very common and obvious outcome of pregnancy that every woman has to face. It is normal to gain weight of around 5-18 kgs during the pregnancy which unfortunately is not shed immediately after delivering the baby.
There are a few reasons why the belly keeps on hanging even after childbirth.
- Your uterus doesn’t contract back immediately after your delivery, it takes the time of around 6 weeks to get back to its normal position and you should remain patient during this time period.
- There is a condition called diastasis recti in which the muscles in your abdomen are overstretched due to the pressure caused by the weight of the fetus.
- Another reason for belly fat after pregnancy is a drop in estrogen level which leads to fat accumulated around the belly area.
How to reduce post pregnancy belly fat?
Below are a few tips that can prove to be very helpful if you want to get rid of that saggy belly that is annoying you after having a baby but bears in mind that belly fat is absolutely normal and you don’t need to overstress yourself with it. Just make sure you enjoy each and every moment with the newborn, after all, you deserve it!
Breastfeed the baby
Breastfeeding is the most efficient and a very natural way to lose postpartum belly fat. You can burn countless calories while breastfeeding your baby. Milking requires a lot of nutrition and calories which can be gained by stored fat cells in the body during pregnancy. In fact, to meet the requirements of feeding a newborn, you need to take on an extra diet that is balanced in terms of nutrition. However, it is still possible to lose fat from the belly area if you remain careful while selecting the type of diet. Eat a balanced diet like fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain all included. Stay hydrated while breastfeeding to ensure belly fat loss.
Carom seed (Ajwain) water
Carom seed is a herb that is well-known for its beneficial effects on the health of a woman immediately after childbirth. The seeds soaked in water overnight and taken in the morning significantly reduce belly fat. Ajwain actually helps in the digestion of food, ultimately improving metabolism and less fat storage.
Drink Ajwain water because it acts as a cleanser of your abdomen and flattens your tummy.
Take a diet rich in antioxidants which help in the conversion of fats to fatty acids and eliminate them from the body. Avoid eating processed food full of sugars or saturated fats. Eat a balanced diet full of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins since you need around 300-500 calories each day to feed your newborn. You can try a cup of water filled with some amount of honey and lemon juice taken empty stomach early in the morning for significant fat reduction in the belly area. Try to drink hot water in the early days of the postpartum period as it not only helps flatten the belly by reducing fat in the area but also relaxes the body.
It’s a taboo that we consider immobilizing ourselves during the postpartum period as a way to heal our bodies. But, in reality, the sooner you start gently walking the more healthy you will be after childbirth. Walking, being an aerobic exercise not only helps in fat loss from the stomach area by boosting metabolism but also opens up your joints after delivery and helps prevent postpartum depression. Try to start walking gently when you feel better after childbirth.
Exercises are great to lose postpartum belly fat. But care must be taken while selecting the right exercise as your connective tissues in the abdomen being overstretched are at risk of thinning out by further pressure. Also, you should consult your gynecologist or a physical therapist before starting any exercise
- Start with pelvic tilts. To tone the muscles of your pelvis, kegel exercises which involve alternate contractions and relaxations of your pelvic floor muscles are great and they can be started as soon as your body feels good if you had an uncomplicated delivery to make your belly look flat.
- Bicycle Crunches. Also called reverse crunches, they are super effective to lose upper belly fat and involve movements of both knees alternately against the chest as if pedaling a bicycle. But they shouldn’t be started until you will perfectly fit, like around 8-12 weeks after delivery.
- Planks. They can be done in many forms for a flat tummy like forearm planks, side planks, etc, and target abdominal fat. They involve lying on the belly with arms lifting the body straight in the air with only toes supporting. Do them only after 6- 12 weeks of childbirth to avoid strain.
- Flutter kicks. These specifically target lower abdominal fat. It involves lying on your back with both legs lifted and lowered alternately. These should also be performed when you feel like doing it, on average after 6-12 weeks of childbirth.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is proven as a means to lose belly fat. Not only does yoga lose belly fat but has many positive effects on the physical and mental health of a mother. There are many kinds of poses like tiger pose, triangle pose, bow pose, etc which a mother can make. Yoga helps in building tone of the muscles in the thigh, back, and abdominal area which aids in losing belly fat. Other benefits of yoga include balancing hormones, keeping the spine straight, rejuvenating vital organs, and relaxation.
To have a really flat tummy after pregnancy is difficult but not impossible. Take some inspiration from famous celebrities who after giving birth to babies, do not carry baby fat for long but work on their belly by doing exercises, yoga, and diet modifications.