How I Got Abs And A Flat Stomach After Pregnancy
The post below, 3 Secrets to Bouncing Back After Pregnancy, contains Amazon Affiliate links. This means that I may receive a small commission from products that are sold from this post. 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. Lame, I know. But I couldn't help it! I would research all sorts of foods, workouts, and other regimes to adopt during my pregnancy to make this processes easier on myself. I also talked to my doc for guidance on what I can and cannot do.
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: I adopted a toning workout that I could stick to most of my pregnancy, one that my doctor and I felt was good for me and my situation.
I was physically active and worked out regularly prior to becoming pregnant, which made it easier for my doc to agree that continued workouts would be good for myself and baby. The Pregnancy Project by Tracy Anderson was my favorite home workout during my pregnancy. And I could go at my own pace as my belly grew.
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 me toned throughout pregnancy without realizing it. The workouts focus on arms, legs, butt, and core.
I pushed through these workouts regularly, 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 for me. I was already starting to see results just a week after having my son. Fourteen 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: I conditioned my skin and tracked my weight throughout my pregnancy.
I implemented a very routine skin conditioning lotion regime 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.
I feel that having extremely moisturized skin could have helped my stomach to stretch where it needed to for pregnancy, and then to shrink back after my baby was 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 was my friend! Skin like buttah!
I also paid close attention to my weight during my pregnancy. No, this was not so that I could feel bad about myself when my weight started to shoot up. It was simply so that I could stay aware of what was going on with my body and could make necessary changes when needed.
For example, if I was capping off every night in a given week with a Butterfinger blizzard, and I was not happy with my 8-pound weight gain that week, then maybe I would stick to just one blizzard the following week (I am a huge fan of ice cream!) 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: I selected a post-pregnancy workout that I loved.
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.
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.