How To Get Abs And A Flat Stomach After Pregnancy
The post below, 3 Secrets to Bouncing Back After Pregnancy, contains Amazon Affiliate links. Thank you for reading!
After finding out that I was pregnant with my son, I became kind-of sort-of obsessed with The Bounce Back. I would research all sorts of foods, workouts, and other regimes to adopt during my pregnancy to make this processes easier on myself.
It has now been 21 months since I had my son, and I feel confident that if I did this same process if I were to become pregnant again, then there's a good chance I'd have similar results.
Secret 1: Adopt a toning workout that you can stick to your entire pregnancy.
As soon as you find out that you are pregnant, and if you were physically active prior to becoming pregnant, find a pregnancy workout that will keep you toned throughout your pregnancy. Does the Pregnancy Project by Tracy Anderson work? It sure does, when used regularly!
I was a less-than-committed runner prior to becoming pregnant. I never really liked it much. So after a lot of research, and clearing this with my doctor, I decided to begin doing The Pregnancy Project DVD series. This Tracy Anderson Method includes nine discs to take you all the way to your final days of pregnancy.
Tracy is pregnant throughout this series, and each disc is meant for a different month of pregnancy. They do not become easier as you become more pregnant - which I loved. The workouts are about 30 minutes in length, and they keep you toned throughout pregnancy without realizing it. The workouts focus on arms, legs, butt, and core.
I pushed through these workouts six days per week, even with the most extreme pregnancy-induced edema swelling that you have surely ever seen! I did the workouts until the day I had my son.
The work paid off. I was already starting to see results just a week after having my son. Literally 14 days later, my stomach was flat again. It by no means was firm, toned, or snug to my body that early in the game, but it was flat. It was a great start to a journey that needed a little bit more work. Tracy kept my core toned which GREATLY helped with bouncing back.
Pregnant belly vs. one week postpartum belly.
Secret 2: Condition your skin and track your weight throughout your pregnancy.
I implemented a semi-aggressive stretch mark prevention plan throughout my pregnancy. Just when you think you are applying too much oil or lotion to your skin, apply a little more. Overdo the oils and moisturizers to the max to keep your skin supple and soft.
Tips for improving your skins ability to stretch while pregnant.
Having extremely moisturized skin will help your stomach to stretch where it needs to for pregnancy, and then to shrink back after your baby is born. It is all about elasticity, and at my pregnancy age (32), I could not rely on my skin to stay conditioned on its own. Coconut oil is your friend! Skin like buttah!
You should also pay attention to your weight during your pregnancy. No, this is not so that you can feel bad about yourself if you gain 70 lbs while pregnant. It is simply so that you stay aware of what is going on with your body, and then make necessary changes when needed.
For example, if you cap off every night in a given week with a Butterfinger blizzard from DQ, and you are not happy with your 8-pound weight gain that week, then maybe stick to just one blizzard the following week (clearly speaking from experience here!). Tracking your weight and paying attention to what is going on will allow you to make adjustments before it is too late.
Pregnancy-induced edema caused massive swelling to my lower half.
For the most part, pregnancy weight gain is out of our control. I had textbook gain until week 34, but then I absolutely blew up when I acquired pregnancy-induced edema. I gained 30 lbs in 5.5 weeks, most of which were out of my control. Oh well! At least I knew what was going on and I could limit my blizzard intake!
Secret 3: Pick a post-pregnancy workout that you love.
I did not do this until my son was about 17 months old. It was not until then that I became serious about really finishing this "bounce back". Up until 17 months postpartum, I had been happy with how my body had recovered since pregnancy, but I craved more definition.
I was already a member of Fit4Mom, and I decided to try their 8 Week Body Back program. Our instructor, Lesley (who is the owner of our franchise), really helped us moms to get back into shape. The plan consisted of a meal plan, two in-person workouts per week, at home workouts, materials to help us with meal prep and planning, and an online support group for those in the Body Back program.
Left: 17 months postpartum, before Body Back.
Right: After 8 week Body Back program through Fit4Mom
This program was the one for me, and it worked. It was exactly what I needed to finish my bounce back journey.
To summarize, in order to up your chances for an easier physical recovery for yourself postpartum, it is extremely important to regularly workout while pregnant. If I could pick one tip as an absolute must, it would be that one.
Skin conditioning and paying attention to your weight will also help. And lastly, selecting a post-pregnancy routine that works for your lifestyle will help you to finish your journey.
All this work for just one pregnancy! Ideally, this would be repeated for subsequent pregnancies, which sounds IMPOSSIBLE now that I have a very busy toddler running around. I sure will try though!
Good luck mamas, and don't be hard on yourself if things don't go the way you hoped. Nausea, never-ending fatigue, and an ever-growing belly may disrupt any routine that you form. Remember that the most important thing about pregnancy is that you have your babies best interests at heart along with your own health- bounce back is just a silly thing that comes second (or 100th) to anything you or your baby needs.
An ever-changing belly, pre-baby and then post-baby
MBA, Master's of Human Nutrition, and Mom. Stephanie's subfertility journey has lead to the greatest adventure of her life - Motherhood. In addition to working full time, she chronicles her experiences of pregnancy and parenthood, and also shares nutritious recipes that are easy to prepare for busy families on the go. Feel free to send a message to Stephanie, as she loves to hear from her readers!