Back when I was 29, I walked into the hospital room to visit a good friend that had just had a baby. The baby was so sweet, it was one of my first girlfriends to have a baby.
I remember this day more than others because I remember vividly how disappointed she was in herself.
We had this very vulnerable conversation, while I held the baby and admired her perfect little face.
My friend was in pure bliss with her baby, but she felt terrible about her postpartum body. She told me she felt guilty for feeling that way.
I reminded her that she literally just had a baby and to give herself grace and time.
It was her first baby, she (we) thought that once the baby was out her belly would go down significantly.
It didn’t. She still looked about 6-7 months pregnant.
And unfortunately, several months after that, she still looked pregnant.
She would call me all the time asking what to do.
Although, I could see that she was so, so, so, happy about her baby, she couldn’t help but just be down on herself.
As I recall her saying…. “I should have done more while pregnant, then I wouldn’t be suffering like this”.
Being with her during this vulnerable moment made me want to commit to myself when it was my turn to get pregnant, to do everything possible to exercise, eat right and take extra care of myself while pregnant.
I didn’t want to feel that way.
I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin and feel like myself after I had my baby.
It’s one of the reasons I was so passionate about fitness and nutrition while pregnant and that is when all my pregnancy programs began to birth lol
And the reason why I want to share these tips with you today.
After spending the past 2 decades helping women get their bodies back. I can tell you the belly/abdomen/pooch thing after babies is the hardest thing for us women to deal with.
If you want your belly to go back to normal and even better after pregnancies, pay attention to these tips.
If you are not pregnant yet, I do want to give you one huge tip!
That is that the better shape you are going into pregnancy, the better it will be for you.
Working your core, a lot and having a strong and fit core will help your tons while pregnant. It will also help in preventing that pooch postpartum.
TIPS FOR PREVENTING THE MOMMY POOCH
Nutrition is Everything
When it comes to the pooch, a lot of it has to do with weight gain.
The more weight you gain, the more your body will change.
And if you are gaining weight fast and your skin isn’t hydrated and elastic and ready for it, that is when you get the stretch marks.
The more weight you gain, the bigger the baby tends to be. The bigger your belly will be and harder for it to go back to normal.
The worst thing you can do is have the mentality of “Eating for 2”.
You only need an extra 200 calories a day. That is an apple and a few nuts.
In fact, I have a post written about the mentality of “Eating for 2” and what you can do to avoid excess weight gain. Check it out here.
So, one of the best things you can do for preventing the mommy pooch is to eat healthy while pregnant.
Here’s a few tips for that:
- Eat a protein, healthy carb, veggie and healthy fat in most meals every 2-4 hours.
- Try not to go more than 3 hours without eating (this lowers blood sugar and increases cravings).
- Make sure to have a protein in every meal.
- Cut out wheat/gluten.
- Decrease/eliminate dairy.
- Drink half your body weight in lbs in ounces of water.
- Take supplements to help balance your hormones. (Vitamin B12, D & Fish Oil)
Weight Training Workouts
I know I’m a broken record when it comes to this, but it’s because it’s THAT EFFECTIVE.
- Weight training speeds metabolism so that you can burn more calories all day long.
- Weight training builds muscle which is the place fat is burned in the bottle.
- Weight training tones you up and makes you look tight and compact.
- Weight training helps balance hormones that increase cellulite during pregnancy.
- Weight training works the core in every exercise. Which help the muscles in the belly to tighten and stay in place.
As the baby grows, so does your belly and the muscles in the abdomen tend to distend.
By doing weight training, it forces you to use your core/abdomen muscles in basically every exercise. Working your core prevents your belly muscles from distending, which is what makes losing the mommy pooch soooooo hard postpartum.
This is why most of the ladies that do Fit Mom To Be, have surprisingly flat bellies shortly postpartum.
Train Your Core
It is safe and effective to work your “abs” during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, one of the biggest attributers to the mommy pooch are the muscles in the abdomen weakening and distending.
This is caused by the baby’s growth, coupled with weight gain and lack of movement.
I worked my core 2-3 times per week while pregnant.
I did 2-3 exercises 2-3 sets.
My first pregnancy I started off doing planks and twists and all kinds of exercises that were safe, but I did end up with Diastasis Recti.
Most of the time, Diastasis Recti can make the mommy pooch worse.
Because I worked out and didn’t gain EXCESS weight, my belly went right back to normal within a few weeks.
This was me 39 days postpartum, you can see the date there from my iPhone.
I had him on February 5th, 2010.
If you notice, my belly is almost flat.
And you can do this too!
I’ve seen hundreds of thousands of women do this.
My second pregnancy I was able to do all the exercises, including planks. This time I did not end up with diastasis recti.
I did heal it after my first, with exercise (it’s all in my postpartum program, BBAPP).
So, I was good going into it.
This was me 8 days postpartum with my second.
I had her on November 5, 2013.
This is just to show you that just because you had Diastasis Recti once doesn’t mean you have to get it again... you can heal it with exercise and also you can have a flat belly again even after 2 pregnancies….
You just have to follow my tips above!
If you have coning when you get up from lying down or when doing plank or pushups, I would stay away from those exercises or any that put too much pressure on the abdomen and cause it to cone.
There are still plenty safe exercises you can do, and I include them in my Fit Mom To Be Workout Program.
These are Andy’s pictures….
If you work your core twice a week, you will be at a huge advantage for avoiding the dreaded mommy pooch.
Take a Good Quality Vitamin B12
During pregnancy, your body is in a state of stress. It is always working so hard to build the support system for the baby.
When your body is in a state of stress, you release a hormone called cortisol.
This is the stress hormone, and one of the symptoms of cortisol is extra belly weight gain.
Vitamin B12 helps combat cortisol. Vitamin B12 will also help give you more energy, support you and balance your hormones.
If you don’t have a good quality Vitamin B12, we have one in the MMF Shop.
Remember, if you don’t have good quality supplements, then your body won’t absorb them. Which means you get zero effects from it. (Waste of time and money).
Wear A Belly Band
This is something that you do immediately postpartum, just make sure you get it during pregnancy, so you have it.
They are a tool that is going to help pull your belly in. It will also help your uterus and muscles in the belly go back to normal faster.
After giving birth I wore my belly band for 4 weeks and I wore it as much as I could. I wore it around the house as much as possible and at night I slept with it on.
When I needed a break, I took it off for a few minutes or an hour and then I would put it back on.
I suggest you ask your hospital nurse or doctor for one because they have a really good Velcro abdomen binder that they give out for c-sections or back surgeries, but most hospitals will give one to you.
But I recently found out from a TikTok I made about this that a lot of hospitals won’t give them out so you can get one on amazon and if anything, return it later if you get one in the hospital.
Hope these tips help you!
I hope you listen and apply.
I have helped over 250,000 women have fit and healthy pregnancies and then be confident and fit moms after babies.
Most women who don’t put in the work during pregnancy, end up regretting it postpartum like my friend did because it takes a long time… months to years to feel like themselves again.
This puts women in a greater chance of postpartum depression which makes everything much harder.
Put in the work. Invest in yourself this pregnancy. It will be worth it.
YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT.
If you haven’t joined Fit Mom to Be but want to learn how to exercise to have a fit pregnancy and prevent the mommy pooch, I’d love for you to join us.
Looking for motivation to start working out? Check out this video!